The game has gone final: Montreal 4, Sounders 1.
It was a nightmare for the Sounders in several areas. The defense seemed in tatters. They didn't do anything to quiet the celebratory crowd on hand for the opening of Stade Saputo. And finally, they allowed former teammate Lamar Neagle to knock in the final goal.
The loss drosp the Sounders to an amazing 0-3-2 over their last five games. And their 10-game road unbeaten string lies in ruins.
Here was coach Sigi Schmid's overview:
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I thought it took us 20 minutes to get into the game. By that point we were already down 1-0. Then we got more of the game. We had some chances. We didn’t convert our chances. And then in the second half we gave away some goals, and the red card certainly hurt us at a time it was 2-0. I thought we gave away soft goals tonight. That’s something that we can’t do. I think we certainly have to play much better than we played tonight.
I'll be back with more.87th minute: Former Sounders Lamar Neagle of Federal way makes it 4-1 by running unassisted through three Sounders defenders and finishing strongly. Neagle, who went to Montreal as part of the trade for Eddie Johnson, celebrated with some passion as the shot went in against the hometown team that shipped him away.
61st minute: GOAL Seattle. Eddie Johnson gets Seattle on the board, assisted by Fredy Montero.
58th minute: GOAL Montreal. Bernier beats two Sounders to a poorly cleared ball and sends it back in to Andrew Wenger, who finished with authority.
51st minute: GOAL Montreal. Justin Mapp takes the ball on the left side, cuts in, works way past two Sounders defenders, and fires in from the top of the area. Impact, 2-0.
Second half: ... has begun.
Halftime: Montreal, 1-0. At halftime, commissioner Don Garber said he had no concerns about lack of sellout tonight, citing a "soft-opening" for a stadium rushed to completion. Hmmm.
18th minute: GOAL Montreal. Wonderful juke move by Patrice Bernier and pass to Felipe Martins, who beats diving Meredith to far post. Montreal, 1-0.
Kickoff: Game had begun. Lots of empty seats, apparently due to problems at the gate. Lots of folks still outside.
And problems in the press box too. I'm having trouble with the pressbox wireless, so blog could be spotty.
Sounders in rave/rave; Impact in blue/blue.
Pregame: Pregame and stadium dedication ceremonites seem to be ending. Anthems being played. Kickoff near.
Lineup: Sounders starters: GK Meredith; D Scott, Parke, Hurtado, Burch; M Rosales, Rose, Evans, Fernandez: F Montero, Johnson. Reserves: Webber, Levesque, Seamon, Carrasco, Caskey, Cato, Ochoa.
Impact starters: Ricketts;Brovsky, Rivas, Ferrari, Valentin; Mapp, Bernier, Warner, Arnaud; Felipe; Wenger. Reserves: Bush; Thomas, Wahl, Neagle, Uniparipovic, Nyassi, Corradi.
So, no former Sounders among Montreal's starters, but three in reserve.
First impression: Stade Saputo reminds me a lot of Columbus Crew Stadium. That is, a real bleacher-like feel to the seating bowl, with suites ringing the top, and a concourse circling under the stands.
If there is a bell or a whistle, I missed it. However, it would seem that every seat is a pretty good one -- except for the ones that seem not yet to have been installed in one end zone. The stands hug very close to the field, and with a half-roof hanging over most of the sections, this feels like a place that could rock pretty good.
The video board is modest by current pro standards, and the scoreboard portion is modest by current high school standards.
Arrival: Here is Montreal's new Stade Saputo. The gates have not opened yet. However, the club could hardly have gotten better weather for the opener.
I'm about to go look around, and will share some thoughts on the stadium soon.
First, some basics: Kickoff is 4:30 Pacific time, game will be on KONG. We'll keep this blog post open all evening for news, in-game reports and postgame notes and quotes.
Another stadium shot below:
[caption id="attachment_30043" align="aligncenter" width="600" caption="Montreal's Stade Saputo before gates open for the first time."]