SEATTLE, WA – A goal by captain Davy Arnaud in the 35th minute lifted the Impact to a 1-0 win against the Seattle Sounders FC, Saturday, at CenturyLink Field, in Seattle, in its opening game of the 2013 season.
From the central part of the pitch, Marco Di Vaio pivoted before laying the ball off to Felipe, who lobbed the ball over the Sounders defenders, finding Davy Arnaud on the run. The Impact captain took one touch and chipped it with the outside of the foot over Sounders’ keeper Michael Gspurning, who was too far off of his line. Arnaud was also the author of the first Impact goal last season.
Goalkeeper Troy Perkins and Matteo Ferrari collided in the 10th minute, but finished the game and earned his fifth career shutout with the Impact, making three saves.
“I tip my hat to the team tonight, as we played a really good side and we did very well defensively,” said Impact head coach Marco Schällibaum. “We had some difficult moments, but we were ready to battle all game and this win is very good for the team morale. Not many teams win here.”
“The result is huge for us,” said Arnaud. “We have a good group of guys who have played a lot of tough games together now, so it’s a good feeling.”
“We kept our focus, even during difficult minutes like we did in camp, and we showed our character,” noted midfielder Bernier. “We did well despite the pressure by Seattle. We managed a win on the road and that will give us confidence for next week.”
The home team controlled much of the play in the first ten minutes, but the rest of the first half was heated, despite a slight advantage for the Sounders on the stats page, notably with 7 corners.
Then in the 25th minute, Sounders midfielder Mario Martinez played a long ball to forward Eddie Johnson, but his shot with the outside of his foot missed to the left of goal.
In the 64th minute, midfielder Sanna Nyassi, who came on at halftime, crossed the ball from deep down the left flank towards the penalty spot, where Davy Arnaud came close to getting his second of the game, but his header bounced off the turf and then deflected out of bounds off of the cross bar. A few seconds later, midfielder Brad Evans hammered a low shot that bounced off the post to Perkins left.
In the 81st minute, Johnson hit the crossbar with a shot from just inside the six yard box.
Since the team’s inaugural season in 1993, the Impact has a record of seven wins, nine losses and four ties in 20 season opening matches (20 GF, 20 GA).
The Impact will remain on the west coast for the entire week as it prepares for its second game of the season in Portland against the Timbers on Saturday, March 9, at 10:30 pm (ET). The game will be broadcast live on TVA Sports and 98,5FM.
Then the team heads back to Montreal to host Toronto FC in its home opener at Olympic Stadium on Saturday, March 16 at 4pm (ET).
MTL – GK-Troy Perkins; D-Jeb Brovsky, Matteo Ferrari, Alessandro Nesta, Hassoun Camara (Dennis Iapichino 84′); M- Patrice Bernier, Justin Mapp (Sanna Nyassi 46′), Felipe, Davy Arnaud, Andrea Pisanu (Calum Mallace 69′) ; F-Marco Di Vaio
Unused Subs: G-Evan Bush; M-Andrés Romero, Collen Warner; F-Andrew Wenger
SEA – GK-Michael Gspurning; D- DeAndre Yedlin, Jhon Kennedy Hurtado, Zach Scott, Leo Gonzalez (Servando Carrasco 84′); M-Mario Martinez, Brad Evans, Andy Rose (Alex Caskey 62′), Steve Zakuani (Sammy Ochoa 69′); F-Mauro Rosales, Eddie Johnson
Unused Subs: G-Marcus Hahnemann; D-Dylan Remick, Djimi Traore; F-Eriq Zavaleta
MTL – Arnaud (Felipe) 35′
SEA – Evans 17′
MTL – Pisanu 64′