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Sounders vs. Montreal, recap: Unhappy hump day

Sounders drop final game of the home stand 1-2 to Montreal.

MLS: CF Montreal at Seattle Sounders FC Joe Nicholson-USA TODAY Sports

SEATTLE — The Seattle Sounders got a hot start, and looked likely to add to it in the opening quarter hour of the game, but CF Montreal fought back and mucked things up enough to finish Seattle’s home stand on a sour note. The Sounders dropped a 2-1 result after having taken a lead in the 3rd minute thanks to an impressive finish from Jordan Morris and plenty of chances to do a bit more. Montreal set up shop in the middle of the field and forced the Sounders to find a way through, and time and time again the Sounders simply couldn’t. When Seattle could find their way around, over or through Montreal, the finishing touch simply wasn’t there.

On the other side of the ball, for any difference in the quality or number of chances that the two sides created the final score came down to Montreal capitalizing on mistakes in the back from Seattle. The first goal came from Nouhou forcing an unnecessary back pass that put Jackson Ragen in a difficult position, so when Ragen got his pocket picked by Kei Kamara there wasn’t much the centerback could do to recover. Kamara found Mason Toye in front of goal, and Toye finished confidently.

On the other side of halftime, it was Kamara once again setting up Toye. This time Toye moved into space in the center of the 6-yard box with Yeimar in front of him taking up a spot that did little to cut down passing angles and less to defend Toye, and Nouhou behind him making little effort to get goal-side of the forward. When Kamara played the ball into the box, it was a relatively easy finish over Stefan Frei for Toye.

The Sounders had plenty of opportunities to get back in the game, with 6 of their 11 shots coming in the final 15 minutes, but Montreal goalkeeper Sebastian Breza never had to work too hard to keep Seattle from finding the equalizer. The loss ended Seattle’s 5-game home stand with a record of 3-1-1, +7. The Sounders now head on the road to face Toronto FC on Saturday, July 2 at 4:30 PM.

Key moments

3’ — Jordan Morris gets things started early! Cristian Roldan finds him running through early, then Morris shows some nice hold-up play and gets a great shot off. 1-0 Sounders

15’ — Cristian Roldan looks to play Morris through again, with Morris winning a header just inside Montreal’s half and driving towards goal, but his pass back to Roldan is off the mark.

18’ — Jackson Ragen gets his pocket picked by Kei Kamara, who feeds the ball to Mason Toye for a quality finish beyond Stefan Frei to level the score. 1-1

36’ — Alex Roldan nearly puts one on a platter for Ragen following a free kick near midfield, but the cross just misses and is put out for a Sounders corner.

46’ — Cristian Roldan nearly gets things started quickly in the second half, as he cuts inside from the right wing and unleashes a left-footed shot that’s just kept out by the goalkeeper.

48’ — Another close look for the Sounders as Ragen flicks a Kelyn Rowe throw for Cristian Roldan, but the header just misses.

58’ — Frei makes a point-blank save on a header at the near post, denying what looked like a sure goal for Montreal that’s then cleared away by the defense.

62’ — Mason Toye ghosts into the middle of the 6-yard box completely unmarked and dinks his finish over Frei. 1-2 Montreal

73’ — Nico Lodeiro finds Cristian Roldan over the top running into the box, but the attempted volley is shanked and goes wide without troubling the ‘keeper.

Quick thoughts

Jorstan Mordan: Jordan Morris and Cristian Roldan connected on Seattle’s opener today, something that seems to have become somewhat commonplace at this point. Coming into the game, the Sounders had a three-way tie for most goal contributions in league play for 2022, with Morris, Roldan and Raúl Ruidíaz all level with 7 combined goals and assists. That goal pushed Morris and Roldan into shared possession of first with 8 combined goals and assists for each (Morris has 5 goals, 3 assists, while Roldan has 3 goals, 5 assists in MLS play). With both players working to earn a spot on the USMNT squad for the World Cup, and helping to lift the load on a team trying to live up to the title they earned by becoming the first MLS team to win Concacaf Champions League — especially with Ruidíaz not always available — that kind of attacking output is going to be key.

So you had a bad day: No one on the Sounders back line is likely to go home tonight and feel particularly good about their performance. None of them were without blame on the two goals, and they were often tasked with finding a way to bypass the press when Montreal pressed or unlock a solid block when Montreal sat off and let them pass around the back. While we’ve seen all of Nouhou, Ragen, Alex Roldan and Yeimar shine in all of those areas at times, there was little more than glimmers tonight. Montreal deserves credit for how difficult they made the job, but it’s fair to expect this group to be up to the task. They’ll have a chance to rebound quickly, so it’s time to put this game behind them.

Wanted, conductor: The Sounders have a tempo issue. It came up a few times early in the season when Seattle dropped results to Nashville SC and Real Salt Lake, but since then the issue has at least been overshadowed by a productive attack and improved defense. But against Montreal, when Seattle needed to dictate the game and make their opponent chase the ball, the timing just wasn’t right. At times the movement was too slow, the defense like a drum section just lagging a bit behind and struggling to drive the team forward. Sometimes it was the attack moving too quickly, a brass section so excited to wail on their horns that they forget the rest of the band behind them. The Sounders have players capable of conducting, of keeping everyone on the same tempo, but they’ve got to impose themselves, and their teammates have to find them. Nico Lodeiro and Albert Rusnák are more than up to the challenge, but in a game like this one, they’ve got to be more involved one way or another.

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One stat to tell the tale

2:28 — Jordan Morris’s goal in the 3rd minute was the fastest goal to start a game in MLS so far this season.


Poll

Man of the match

This poll is closed

  • 73%
    Jordan Morris
    (194 votes)
  • 20%
    Cristian Roldan
    (55 votes)
  • 1%
    Alex Roldan
    (4 votes)
  • 4%
    Nico Lodeiro
    (11 votes)
264 votes total Vote Now

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