Montreal opens Saputo against Seattle
Montreal, QC (Sports Network) - The Montreal Impact and Seattle Sounders FC both entered the two-week Major League Soccer break on winless skids, and will attempt to get back on track Saturday when most of the league resumes.
Just two MLS matches were played over the last two weekends, one each week, as the league took an break for international matches.
Seattle (7-3-3) entered the break winless in four matches and Montreal (3-7-3) entered the lull winless in three games.
Sounders FC will hope to continue its impressive road form against the Impact, who open the Stade Saputo this weekend. Montreal played its first five matches at home at Olympic Stadium.
The Impact, in their first season in MLS, played well at Olympic Stadium as it managed two wins and two draws in five matches.
Saputo sits right next to Olympic Stadium, and will provide a cozy atmosphere in comparison. But the most important thing for Montreal is to end its winless skid.
Montreal lost to the Colorado Rapids, 3-2, in its last match before the break, and sit just eighth in the Eastern Conference with 12 points from 13 matches.
"We have to start to learn from our mistakes," Impact coach Jesse Marsch said. "We are playing well but we shoot ourselves in the foot.
"Our mistakes kill us."
Rookie Andrew Wenger, the No. 1 overall pick in the 2012 SuperDraft, made his first start against Colorado, and scored his second goal. But Wenger was still focused on the team after the loss.
"It's disappointing because we worked hard, we came back in the game, we scored nice goals, but we allowed goals that should have never happened," said Wenger.
Montreal goalie Donovan Ricketts left the match against Colorado with injury, then left an international match for Jamaica with injury. He could be replaced by Greg Sutton or Evan Bush against Seattle.
"Donovan's fine; it was precautionary more than anything else," Marsch said. "We have to evaluate where he's at and also decide whether he'll be ready to go or we go another direction."
Seattle tied Chivas USA, 1-1, in its last match. But the Sounders are unbeaten in 10 straight on the road dating back to August of last season, and can move within one of the league record against the Impact.
"We feel very confident on the road, we feel we're going to do well ... we don't change how we play all that much," said Sounders FC coach Sigi Schmid.
David Estrada scored against Chivas USA, but he was lost for six to 12 weeks with a broken foot this week.
"He's had a great impact on us this year," Schmid said. "He always gives you that tremendous work rate when he's on the field and we're certainly going to miss that until he gets back onto the field. We just keep plugging away.
"I try not to dwell on the injuries and just focus on what we need to do."
Despite the four-game skid, midfielder Andy Rose believed it was important to focus on the season with the Sounders third in the Western Conference.
"If you look at the record, we still have seven wins and we're still in third place in the West. I don't think it's any moment to think we're in a crisis," said Rose. "Obviously we need to get back to winning ways.
"It's just a matter of getting back to scoring goals early and finishing teams off. And getting back to defending really well like we can."