Despite absences of their two national team stars, Clint Dempsey (suspension) and Brad Evans (calf injury), following a wrenching home loss and a one-day weather postponement, the Sounders delivered a strong performance Sunday afternoon in Montreal, downing the Impact 2-0 in its seasonal home debut at Olympic Stadium.
Montreal put up a steady flurry of attempts, outshooting the Sounders 25-9, barely missing on two. But the remade Sounders defense cleared the ball and GK Stefan Frei delivered a clean sheet in Seattle’s first road game of the season.
In the eighth minute, the Sounders broke through off a free kick from Gonzalo Pineda. He found Lamar Neagle, whose header hit the crossbar and dropped down abruptly and skimmed off goalie Troy Perkins. The score was officially an own goal.
In the 58th minute, Neagle, who played with the Impact in its 2012 inaugural season, beat the defense down the left flank, although his cross nearly went over the end line before Kenny Cooper rescued it. His cross was perfect service to Obafemi Martins in front of the goal. His header went off Perkins’ glove into the back of the net.
The Sounders (2-0-1) seemed well recovered from their 2-1 home loss to Toronto TC, which which they fell behind quickly 2-0.
The Impact played without its best player, forward Marco Di Vaio, who sat out the last of his three-game suspension dating to the 2013 playoffs. Di Vaio led Montreal with 20 goals last season, but the Impact is 0-3 so far this season, after a 14-13-7 season that was good enough for a playoff berth.
It was the Sounders’ first win in three tries against the three-year-old team.
The game was postponed for 24 hours after heavy snow in the area threatened the fabric roof of Olympic Stadium, the old home of the Montreal Expos, where 27,207 showed for the opener. The Impact has two more indoor games before returning to its outdoor home of Saputo Stadium.