Impact 4, Sounders 1
The Montreal Impact could not have found a better way to show to
show off their rebuilt home stadium to their fans.
The goals poured in and the crowd at the revamped and expanded
Saputo Stadium cheered the 4-1 victory over the Seattle Sounders on
”We feel we’re at home now,” Impact captain Davy Arnaud said.
”It was a fun game for everyone.”
Felipe Martins, Justin Mapp, Andrew Wenger and former Sounder
Lamar Neagle scored while Patrice Bernier had three assists to help
Montreal (4-7-3) end a two-game losing skid.
Eddie Johnson scored for the Seattle (7-4-3), which was reduced
to 10 men in the 57th minute when Jhon Kennedy Hurtado was sent off
for a nasty tackle on Collen Warner. Seattle is winless in its last
The expansion Impact played their first five home games indoors
at Olympic Stadium next door while Saputo Stadium, built with
13,034 seats in 2008, was expanded to what will be 20,341 when a
small section of about 900 seats in the east end is completed later
The renovated building looked sharp with its blue seats against
a white background, with a lush grass pitch and an overhang at the
top of the stands that kept in the noise and made for a loud,
energetic environment, especially as the Impact scored a
season-high four goals.
”The sound was great,” said Neagle, who was acquired from
Seattle in a preseason trade. ”We were talking about it on the
bench. I like how close it is. It feels more like Europe.”
The Impact got an early lead when Martins took a pass from
Bernier at the edge of the penalty area and curled a ball through
traffic inside the far post only 18 minutes in.
But what felt like a party for the home side was a nightmare for
the visitors, who played the final 35 minutes down a man after
defender Jhon Kennedy Hurtado was sent off for a hard tackle on
”To be frank, it’s embarrassing to lose like that,” said
Seattle defender Zach Scott. ”I mean, to be down a man and then
start to play? That can’t happen.
”We’ve got to go home and figure it out. They were just better
than us tonight, period. It felt like they were playing with a
couple of guys more than us, besides us getting a man sent off. We
didn’t close down space. We didn’t do what we were supposed to
Seattle had some pressure after the 30th minute when Montreal
centre back Matteo Ferrari limped off with a right thigh problem
after going up for a ball with goalkeeper Bryan Meredith.
Johnson headed a cross over the net and had a good chance off a
corner, while Brad Evans fired a shot from near the penalty spot
that Donovan Ricketts gathered in.
But Montreal put the game away after the half.
Only six minutes in, Mapp took a long pass on the left side from
Bernier and cut most of the way across the front of the penalty
area before firing a low shot against the flow inside the left
Only seven minutes later, Bernier picked off a Seattle clearing
attempt and slipped a pass to Wenger to score from the right side.
Bernier got an ovation when he was substituted by Bernardo Corradi
with 15 minutes left to play.
The Sounders got one back when Fredy Montero sent Johnson in
alone to chip a ball over Ricketts in the 62nd minute.
Neagle replaced Mapp in the 62nd minute and did some tenacious
work to get through the defence inside the area and score his first
of the year.
”We played well,” said Bernier. ”In terms of efficiency, we
created chances and scored.
”And at home with the great crowd we had, it’s a great opening.
We showed the fans we can score and that when we play to our
qualities, we can be a very dangerous team.”
The Impact went 2-1-2 at the Big O, twice drawing crowds of more
than 58,000, but the echoing sound in the cavernous dome made for a
stuffier atmosphere than the smaller, outdoor facility –
particularly on a warm spring night.
”It was awesome,” said the rookie Wenger.