The Sounders welcome the Montreal Impact to MLS at 4:30 p.m. today in a match of recent expansion teams.
When the Sounders came into the league in 2009, their 12-7-11 record and playoff appearance put them ahead of any expansion team except the Chicago Fire more than a decade earlier. Now, the Sounders success of 2009 is looking all the better as Philadelphia, Portland, Vancouver and now apparently Montreal (3-7-3) have been unable to match it. Or even approach it.
I asked coach Sigi Schmid about that yesterday.
"Obviously for Montreal it’s still early," he said. "There’s a lot of games left to play, and chances of making playoffs are still very strong for them because of the way the playoffs are constructed this year. They’ve just got to finish fifth in the East and they’re in the playoffs.
"I think over the years and as the years go by and as other teams come into the league, I think it shows that what we did was pretty special as a franchise. The start we got off to, and not only that but the ability to maintain it. You look at Philadelphia who obviously had a great situation last year and made the playoffs, and this season they’ve sort of fallen again.
"I think our club, year in and year out, we’ve improved ourselves each year, and got off to a good start to begin this year. That’s something special and unique, something that we’re proud of. But that’s not going to help us win the game (tonight)."