I have eaten
that were in
the icebox and which
you were probably
for breakfast. Forgive me
they were delicious
and so cold.
This is just to say – Carlos Williams
We say, "Ooh la la," no? And they say, "Sacré bleu!" We say, "Victoire!" And they say, "Défaite!" Those faux French frauds thought they could subvert us by invoking their innate Canadian powers, calling on the power of a snowstorm to stop a Seattle Sounders steamroll? Au contraire, Impact de Montréal!
On the first Sunday of Spring 2014, the Seattle Sounders ventured far to the north, into the lost city of Montreal, rumored to be buried deep within the frozen tundra of Canada’s wasteland. Accessible only by dog-sled, the troop traveled day and night. Wait, google is telling me Montreal is actually South of Seattle. Ugh. Get it together, planet Earth. Do-over!
On the first Sunday of Spring 2014, the Seattle Sounders ventured south, to the sunny shores of the resort town Montreal, located on the luxurious beaches of the Fleuve Saint-Laurent. Cognizant of their viewers’ desires to witness a sporting spectacular, both teams peeled themselves away from sunbathing on azure water to participate in a play missing some principle characters on both sides.
A few hours and a Sounders victory later, they were back to sipping mimosas. Living the high life.
Let’s make like a Japanese train and Bullet
- There was a moment in Sunday’s game where I commented aloud that Lamar Neagle has a penchant for scoring against his former teams. Then the goal-getting committee made me look the fool. Then the goal-getting committee reversed its decision and gave Neagle his first goal of the season, deservedly. Needless to say, Lamar had his best game of the short season, unlucky to not net a brace.
- We saw again the hacktic employed against the Sounders during the first half, with Hassoun Camara repeatedly (read: four time) hacking down Obafemi Martins whenever the forward would receive the ball with his back to goal and 40 yards out. Amazing how once head referee showed the Impact’s CB a yellow Camara didn’t commit another foul for the rest of the game. This is a common tactic Sounders fans are used to seeing, as the average MLS team has a hard time dealing with more technical based approaches. It’s hard for a crafty dribbler to get past you if you knock him on the ground. More yellows, please.
- After the first two games of the season I was getting a bad association for Stefan Frei with former Sounder Bryan Meredith. However, Frei played a masterful game against Montreal and could’ve easily been Man of the Match. He’s even nominated for MLS Save of the Week.
- I’m all aboard the Gonzalo Pineda express. He’s a great player to have and paired really well alongside Osvaldo Alonso. It was nice to see him go a full 90 as well, especially after a week where Sigi game out and said he was 45-55 minutes fit. But Pineda shows a deftness and creativity that is a huge asset for a deep-lying holding mid, and he plays a great switch of play. What a great service on that first goal as well. It’s nice having another option for set-piece delivery, especially now that free-kick specialists Alex Caskey and Servando Carrasco are gone.
- The 4-3-3 was an interesting experiment. It forced Montreal to attack on the outside where they were able to find some success, which left a lot of Justin Mapp versus Dylan Remick matchups, from which the left fullback allowed quite a few crosses to be hit into the box. Over the first three weeks Seattle has looked the most dangerous when attacking quickly, whether it’s on the counter or a fast transition. We saw in the 4-3-3 a lot of good runs, quick one-touch exchanges, and three legitimate run-of-play opportunities for goals. It seems to be a solid formation for the Sounders when they’re without the services of Clint Dempsey.
- It was good to see Seattle hold onto a 1-0 lead on the road with Montreal bearing down on them, nonstop offense style. To add a second goal on a quick break is perfect. That bodes well for the season, to have the team be pinned back and still be threatening.
A couple Camara kicks to take us home
- Djimi Traore made a magnificent bicycle kick attempt that unfortunately went straight at Troy Perkins. Could have been a Goal of the Year candidate. According to Ross Fletcher, the Frenchman is the architect of the "Skills School" at Sounders practices.
- Micheal Azira looked good out there in his MLS debut. Good energy. Saw him all over the field: in the box on breakaways, sucked inside Yedlin as a third CB, outside as a fourth defensive midfielder.
- Justin Mapp reminds me a lot of Arjen Robben. If given a choice, he will always go left.
- When Alonso plays, Seattle is undefeated against Montreal. When Alonso doesn't play, Seattle is winless against Montreal.
- 6 points out of 9. 2 PPG. It took until Match Day 7 last season to pick up the 6th point, or May 4th. Which, at that stage, Seattle was 1-3-3.
Last week some astute commenter lamented that in order for an analysis and recaps to be good, it must use GIFs, and so GIFs I shall use. An homage to Craig Johnstone.
You can knock us down, Disciplinary Committee, but we’ll come back.
And so we traveled to a foreign land, with weird words for normal things.
But they threatened us with snow. Big whoop, we said.
No really, they said.
Sunday sounds great!
And so a Sunday game was played.
Montreal Impact tried to make it a game, but Seattle Sounders contained them.
In the end, it was a solid victory.
And everybody went home happy.
Except for Montreal.
Might be a long season for their fans.