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Seattle Sounders vs. Montreal Impact: Highlights, stats and quotes


Seattle Sounders FC 0 - Montreal Impact 1

Saturday, March 31, 2018

Venue: Xbox Pitch at CenturyLink Field

Referee: Ismail Elfath

Assistants: Kathryn Nesbitt, Jeremy Hanson

Fourth Official: David Gantar

VAR: Edvin Jurisevic

Attendance: 39,469

Weather: 51 degrees and clear


MTL - Jeisson Vargas (Ignacio Piatti) 60’


SEA - Kelvin Leerdam (ejection) 40’

MTL - Daniel Lovitz (caution) 41’

MTL - Ken Krolicki (caution) 48’

SEA - Román Torres (caution) 71’

MTL - Samuel Piette (caution) 83’


Seattle Sounders FC - Stefan Frei; Kelvin Leerdam, Román Torres, Chad Marshall, Waylon Francis (Nouhou 84’); Gustav Svensson, Cristian Roldan, Magnus Wolff Eikrem (Jordan McCrary HT’), Handwalla Bwana (Alex Roldan 74’), Nico Lodeiro - captain; Will Bruin

Substitutes not used: Bryan Meredith, Harry Shipp, Jordy Delem, Lamar Neagle

Total shots: 12 (Lodeiro, 4)

Shots on goal: 4 (Four players, 1)

Fouls: 12 (Four players, 2)

Offside: 4 (Bruin, 2)

Corner-kicks: 6 (Lodeiro/Wolf Eikrem, 3)

Saves: 3 (Frei, 3)

Montreal Impact - Evan Bush; Chris Duvall, Victor Cabrera, Rod Fanni, Jukka Raitala, Daniel Lovitz; Samuel Piette, Ken Krolicki (Alejandro Silva 81’), Saphir Taider; Ignacio Piatti - captain, Jeisson Vargas (Anthony Jackson-Hamel 72’)

Substitutes not used: Clement Diop, Rudy Camacho, Dominic Oduro, Raheem Edwards, Louis Beland-Goyette

Total shots: 8 (Vargas, 5)

Shots on goal: 4 (Vargas, 4)

Fouls: 18 (Piette, 7)

Offside: 3 (Three players, 1)

Corner-kicks: 3 (Taider, 2)

Saves: 4 (Bush, 4)


On the team’s attack before the red card:

“It was not as fluid as I would have liked. Handwalla [Bwana] had some good moments. We had a couple of sequences where we were able to keep possession in their field, win the ball back and stuff like that. But it wasn’t as good as we would have liked.”

On how the team can fix the attack:

“I don’t know if we have that many options. I can bring another young guy off the bench or we can try and keep all of our men on the field, which gives you more options. I thought the chances we created with 10 men were actually pretty decent. Some of those set pieces we were dangerous on, some of those balls that were blocked by their team that looked like they had a chance to be on frame, so it was almost like we played better with 10 men – more determined.”

On his disappointment with the red card:

“I’m very disappointed. Very disappointed. Kelvin [Leerdam] understands what he did. He apologized. But that’s, again, it comes down to me because I have to make sure I tell them exactly what the expectations are of this club. We don’t need need to do those things because it’s not the way we want to do things. It puts the team in jeopardy. It’s not the style of soccer that we want to do. It’s not the sportsmanship that we want to have within this club. And, look, I get it. Guys get heated. It’s the heat of the moment. But that’s actually when you have to be most composed. That sort of stuff is going to stop. It’s going to stop.”

On whether the discipline issues stem from lack of leadership:

“Well, I mean, you could look at Kelvin tonight. Kelvin is a very well-rounded, nice guy. So, what happened in that moment? I will have a longer detailed conversation with him for sure. But leadership within this group, I think it’s still strong. I don’t think it’s weak. I think players make mistakes, but the mistakes have to stop happening. If the mistakes don’t stop happening, then guys don’t stay on the field. That’s the issue.”

On the halftime message:

“We had to sacrifice someone. I felt that Handwalla had been successful against Duvall in one-v-one situations. So, unfortunately, Magnus [Wolff Eikrem] had to come out. We put Jordan McCrary on, who gave us youthful energy. He was excited to be on the field. We put Nico [Lodeiro] in the middle of the field with Gustav [Svensson]. We brought Cristian [Roldan] out wide, so you had Cristian and Handwalla on the wings. That created some problems for them. But the message at halftime was, again, testament to the leadership of the group. It was not just from the coaching staff. They were determined not to lose the game. They wanted to get a result. Had one of those shots gone on target or scored one of those free-kicks, maybe the game changes. Maybe it doesn’t. I commend them for the effort that they put in in the second half.”


On the result:

“Very frustrated, it has been three games that we have lost, two at home. That is something that we don’t like. And we know what we need to do, we need to train harder, practice better. We have been in situations like this before, we know what we have to do to actually get out of these things and we are going to do it.”

On what Montreal did that made it difficult to win:

“In my mind the game really changed when we made the mistake on the red card that gave them an upper hand. Then they scored the goal and it gave them a chance to play on counter attack. It was still very helpful for them to stay and wait.”

On the mistakes needing to stop:

“I completely agree. As I’ve said before, we have been in a situation like this before. We don’t have to feel desperation. There are many games ahead of us, but we have to stop these mistakes. We are going to continue to put in this effort.”


On the mindset of the team:

“Ever since I got here, it’s always been like that. We have to stay more united as a team. Obvioulsy it hurts to lose, and it hurts to lose even more at home, at the same time it’s ourselves, it’s not like we are getting outplayed. I feel like it’s been the same like that for three years. It’s not like we are getting dominated. Even at 10 men I felt like we had our chances. At the end of the day I think we have a really good team.”

On what happened once the team was down to 10 men:

“I think [Loderio] helped a ton in the middle as a number six, number eight and number 10. We took our chances going forward. We had to defend at times and we were unfortuane not to score one. At 10 men, you play for corner kicks, you play for free kicks, you play for counter attacks.”

On having two weeks off:

“Obviously rest but we need to keep our fitness levels high. I felt that in the beginning 30 minutes or so we looked a little winded. We need to maintain our fitness and get ready for our next game.”


On the overall feeling of the game:

“Obviously everyone wants to win, especially in front of your fans. It was pretty much a terrible night, we just have to bounce back.”

On the instructions from Schmetzer at halftime:

“Defend as a unit better. Let them come wide and we will press from there. If you can get transitions you can go, we can get as much set pieces as we could.”

On being able to have chances with 10 men:

“Just being able to get those set pieces and get those guys up. The effort rises, we worked a lot harder and we wanted to make sure we scored another one for our fans.”


On the lack of results:

“It’s unfortunate, you know you can’t control injuries or anything, things happen and we have to move forward as a team and we are going to start clicking again and it’s going to show.”

On the amount of opportunities with 10 men:

“Once again, we were just trying to connect our passes. When you’re down a man you just have to focus on pushing forward, I don’t know you just have to keep going in that situation.”

On being able to build momentum:

“It’s always good being able to get shots off and everything, you want to try to get after the other team.”


On the match:

“I’m quite pleased with the result and quite pleased with the way we played that game. We knew that Seattle was a good team, especially at home. We were under pressure in the second half, especially when we were one man more than them, but I’m quite happy about the result.”

On playing against 10 men:

“Sometimes when you are in this situation and when you play one man down, you have more energy and more desire to win than the opposition. Even though we had a good first 45 minutes, I expected this kind of scenario in the second half. We have been very generous, especially in the air, because there was a big battle on long balls, but I’m happy for my players that we got these three points.”

On what the difference has been the last two games:

“We are playing a lot of games on the road and we know that we have to be very solid and well organized. We worked hard in the preseason. We worked hard physically, but also tactically. I had a lot of new players – 50 percent of the team is new – so we worked very hard on different solutions. Now we have to keep this good momentum.”


On the team’s change in form:

“I think we changed some stuff defensively. We knew it was tough to play against TFC and here – big crowd, good atmosphere, long travel as well. I just think we worked really well, and playing with a man up helped us as well. It was difficult because it’s not something you train in training. But I think we dealt well with Seattle today. We defended really well when we got 1-0 up.”

On Seattle applying pressure in second half

“Yeah, they did. I think that’s normal. They’re playing at home. They haven’t won in this season so far. They wanted to equalize at the end of the game. It’s always like that when you’re playing away and you’re up, attacking and putting a lot of pressure. So we had to deal with that, and I think we did very well.”

On Vargas’ goal:

“It was a big one, and I think we could’ve scored more goals. But at the end of the day it’s only one goal that we need and then close them down at the back. It was a big goal and I’m really happy for him, it’s his second of the year. He deserves that. He could’ve scored again in the first half on the free-kick, but it was a very good save. One goal is all you need.”


On his second consecutive shutout:

“It’s extremely satisfying, up and down the field. I was talking to Wilfred [Nancy] and saying that last year we had three clean sheets the whole season. We were very aware of that in the offseason. It was something that we needed to improve. To get our second one in a row, against the two finalists from last year’s MLS Cup, it’s extremely gratifying. Moving forward, it gives us a lot of confidence going into the next game knowing that we can go on the road and get a clean sheet. Whether that was aided by a red card or not, the fact is that we had a lot of situations in the second half we had to deal with, and we dealt with them.”

On the team surpassing expectations:

“I hear it at home, my wife had doubts, too. But, I was telling her all along that I had a lot of confidence in what we were building here. Not only the players that are in the locker room, but how hard we work. You guys saw that in preseason and the mentality that we were building, how we were trying to do things the right way. Going forward, if we can take what we’ve done the last two games and continue to do that, but also build on certain things that we didn’t do well, it could be a special thing here. We can’t be content and we can’t be complacent, but just these two wins. We have long season ahead of us, a lot of difficult situations. The travel has always been crazy this time of year and all that stuff. But moving forward, we have a lot to be excited about.”

On Jeisson Vargas’ personality and playing style:

“A lot of times the guys that have that type of personality aren’t great on the field, but he’s been fantastic for us. He does really well. With that personality, sometimes it’s hard to get into duels and hold balls up and things like that, but he’s done fantastic. I came in here and said congratulations to him, and he was just kind of laughing and smiling, kind of like a kid. That’s infectious. You have guys on the team that play certain roles, not only on the field but off the field, and his personality and enthusiasm, and just the playful attitude that he has to play the game, is infectious and you can sense that.”

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