by Charles Therrell (DISK DOKTOR)
Greetings to my brothers and sisters in Green. After last week’s howler in Dallas, our Sounders FC return to the friendly confines of the Evergreen to plot the way back to victory in the league. This week sees Montreal Impact headed out west to be our honoured guests under the lights at Royal Brougham Park.
The Sounders traditionally get off to a slow start in the league, so that’s nothing out of the ordinary. However, a rash of injuries has generated a situation where we are testing our squad depth. To date, the squad hasn’t been up to the challenge.
These circumstances should change nothing about us. We are the supporters and fans of this club, and it takes more than some injuries and a couple of crap results to get us down. So we wear the Blue and the Green with pride and press on to another matchday. We gather our Green Family where we may, at the ground, at the pub, in the vast array of locations that we have come to call our own, and in the numberless houses where those that can’t get out follow the team.
There will be no lack of faith. Only staunch support. Voices loud. Eyes Bright.
Before kick-off, join me in the auld toast: TO THE SEATTLE SOUNDERS FOOTBALL CLUB…AND VICTORY!!!
The Good News
Montreal has been having a tough time in the league as well, only winning the most recent of their three league matches. Montreal are averaging less that one goal scored per match.
Montreal’s defence is not too much better than ours in the league conceding 1.67 goals/match.
Montreal’s line-up seems to consist of star striker Ignacio Piatti and a cast of footballers that I would charitably refer to as obscure.
Over the last five matches, Seattle are 2-0-3 to Montreal’s 1-1-3.
Montreal lost both of their two previous road matches, and have yet to win away.
Of all of Montreal’s transfers in, I have heard of none of them.
All-time, the Sounders are 2-1-3 against Montreal, which is all-in-all a reasonably even record.
There are young players in the squad who have shown promise, such as Bwana, Alex Roldan, and Wingo. Should the new boys be able to match their upside with consistency, this could be helpful in shoring up the ship until the top players return to fitness.
We have quality veteran rotation players in the squad in Svensson, Francis, and Eikrem. Hopefully, they will play up to or exceed expectations tonight.
When at their nominal level of sharpness, we have perhaps the best goalkeeper and back four in the league (Frei, Marshall, Torres, Nouhou Tolo, and Leerdam). If we can’t build some counter-attacks out of that, I will be deeply disappointed.
An evening match at Royal Brougham Park is often the stuff of nightmares for MLS opposition. A sound argument could be made that we were hard done in our 0:1 season-opening loss against LAFC. If it weren’t for former Sounders’ goalkeeper, Tyler Miller making two top-shelf saves, it might have been a very different narrative.
The Bad News
Our guests sit at 16th place at 1-0-2, whilst we are bottom of the MLS table at 23rd place having lost both our league matches so far.
The Sounders have yet to score a goal in their two matches of league play.
Although Morris is out for probably the entire season with a torn knee ligament, it’s also likely that Alonso and Rodriguez will miss this match. Dylan Butler of MLS.com predicts that Bruin and Lodeiro will return to the team tonight, although they are listed as “questionable”.
Due to his complete and total inability to control his temper, Dempsey’s sending off in Dallas will see him miss this match in addition to the lengthy list of the injured mentioned above. The absent players constitute attrition of over half of Brian Schmetzer’s first-team selection.
The team we fielded in Dallas seemed strong enough to compete on paper but were bulldozed 3:0 by a rather ordinary team.
The Sounders are purportedly considering the signing of a Spanish winger who was unable to hold his place in the team at RSC Anderlecht. Alicia Rodriguez has reported that Diego Capel was spotted at a Sounders training session. It seems he is a trialist looking to sign a contract. The 30-year-old Spaniard has played with Anderlecht, Genoa, Sporting Lisbon, and Sevilla. He has been out of contract since August of 2017 when he was released by Anderlecht. A decade ago, Spurs valued Capel at £12.5M.
Montreal’s manager had most recently been employed by Aston Villa of the English Premier League. We will face a challenging and well-prepared opponent.
Know Thine Enemy
Bush, 32, has been the starting goalkeeper for Montreal since the 2015 MLS season. The native Ohioan is a product of Akron (NCAA) and has played in 113 MLS league matches, all with Montreal.
Lovitz, 26, is a veteran of 69 MLS matches played for Toronto FC and Montreal. He has never scored a goal in a league match. The Pennsylvanian is a product of Elon (NCAA).
Raitala, 29, is a Finnish national with 31 MLS matches to his name. 2018 marks Raitala’s first season with Montreal, having played 28 times for Columbus last season. Before coming to MLS, his career was a bit of a tour of Northern Europe with notable stops at Hoffenheim and Osasuna. His longest tenure was between 2007-09 with HJK Helsinki where he played 66 times. Raitala has 39 caps for Finland.
Fanni, 36, is a French national who has just joined MLS and Montreal this season. His career has seen notable stops at Lens, Nice, Rennes, Marseille (127 matches/five goals), and Charlton. Fanni was capped five times for France, before his retirement from the national team in 2010.
Cabrera, 25, is an Argentinian national with 67 matches of MLS experience. Cabrera signed with Montreal in 2015 on loan from River Plate, the club that produced him. Cabrera only appeared one time for the first team at River Plate.
Petrasso, 22, is a Canadian national enjoying his first season with Montreal. Petrasso left Queens Park Rangers in January of this year signing with Montreal six days later. Petrasso played 11 times for QPR, alongside short loan spells at Oldham, Coventry, Leyton Orient, and Notts County. Petrasso has nine caps for Canada.
Taider, 26 is a French national who signed just this season with Montreal. Previously, Taider had played at Grenoble, Bologna (two tenures totalling 110 matches/six goals), Inter Milan, Southampton, and Sassuolo. Taider has 38 caps and five goals for Algeria.
Piette, 23, is a Canadian national in his second season with Montreal. Piette has a total of 14 matches of MLS experience. Before signing with Montreal in 2017, Piette played at Fortuna Dusseldorf and the reserve side of Deportivo La Coruna. Before signing with Montreal, Piette most recently played for Izarra of the Spanish third tier. Piette has 38 caps for Canada.
Krolicki, 22, is a dual-citizen of United States and Japan. Krolicki is playing in his first season with Montreal. His last club was K-W United of the Premier Development League. He was produced by Michigan State (NCAA).
Piatti, is an Argentinian national playing in his fifth MLS season, all with Montreal. Piatti has played in 95 MLS league matches scoring 48 goals. He moved from San Lorenzo to Montreal in 2014. Notable stops on Piatti’s career include stints at Saint-Etienne and Lecce, before signing with San Lorenzo (63 matches/19 goals) in 2012. Beyond doubt, the most lethal finisher in the entire Montreal side.
Vargas, 20, is a Chilean national produced by Universidad Catolica. Vargas began his career with Universidad Catolica in 2014, playing 33 matches and scoring nine goals. Vargas moved in 2016 to Bologna where he remained for two seasons despite not once playing in the league. He was lent from the Italian club to Estudiantes and back to Catolica before signing with Montreal in 2018.
Montreal goalkeeper, Evan Bush, was a trialist for Seattle Sounders FC in 2009 but failed to earn a contract.
Sounders FC from: Frei, Meredith, Brown, Alfaro, Francis, Kim, Leerdam, Marshall, McCrary, Nouhou Tolo, Torres, Alonso, Bwana, Delem, Eikrem, Lodeiro, Neagle, Rodriguez, Cristian Roldan, Alex Roldan, Shipp, Svensson, Wingo, Adekoya, Bruin.
Montreal from: Bush, Beaulieu, Diop, Pantemis, Cabrera, Camacho, Duvall, Fanni, Fisher, Lovitz, Petrasso, Raitala, Beland-Goyette, Choiniere, Donadel, Edwards, Krolicki, Piatti, Piette, Shome, Silva, Taider, Vargas, Jackson-Hamel, Mancosu, Oduro.
Sounders FC –
OUT: Morris (ACL).
MATCHDAY DECISION: Alonso (quadriceps), Rodriguez (knee), Bruin (concussion), Lodeiro (foot).
OUT: Diallo (Achilles).
MATCHDAY DECISION: Fisher (tibia).
Sounders FC: Dempsey (Sent Off).
Montreal: none suspended.
Neither the Sounders FC nor Montreal have any player who has scored more than one goal against the other side all-time in the league.