SEATTLE, WA — (club release) A second-half set-piece header from forward Clint Dempsey propelled Seattle Sounders FC (1-3-0, 3 points) to a 1-0 victory over the Eastern Conference-leading Montreal Impact (2-2-0, 6 points) on Saturday evening at CenturyLink Field. A crowd of 39,705 witnessed Seattle’s first MLS win of 2016, pushing the longest sellout streak in MLS history to 129 consecutive matches. With the win, Seattle looks to claim consecutive matches for the first time this season, as Sigi Schmid’s side heads to Houston for a nationally-televised contest with the Dynamo on Sunday, April 10 (1:00 p.m. PT / ESPN, KIRO Radio 97.3 FM, El Rey 1360 AM).
Despite an array of first-half chances – including a firm strike from Homegrown winger Aaron Kovar and a free-kick blast from Dempsey that was barely pushed over the crossbar by Montreal goalkeeper Evan Bush – Seattle could not find the back of the net heading into the halftime intermission.
Match Photos: A Gallery by Jeff Halstead
(Cover photo by Jeff Halstead)
However, Sounders FC broke the deadlock in the 79th minute, as Andreas Ivanschitz delivered a trademark corner-kick into Montreal’s area, finding Dempsey at the far post. The Seattle forward headed the home side into a late lead, marking his first MLS tally of 2016 and his third overall goal in all competitions this year (two goals on February 23 vs. Club America in Scotiabank CONCACF Champions League play).
Demsey’s goal was enough to close things out for the Rave Green, cementing Seattle’s first victory of the 2016 MLS season. It was also Seattle’s first win against Montreal at CenturyLink Field.
Midfielder Aaron Kovar and defender Dylan Remick each made their first starts of the season, while forwards Jordan Morris, Oalex Anderson and defender Joevin Jones all came on as second-half substitutes after returning from international duty.
Seattle Sounders FC 1 – Montreal Impact 0
Saturday, April 2, 2016
Venue: CenturyLink Field
Referee: Baldomero Toledo
Assistants: Jeff Hosking, James Conlee
Fourth Official: Baboucarr Jallow
Weather: Partly cloudy and 54 degrees
SEA – Clint Dempsey (Andreas Ivanschitz) 79′
MTL – Hassoun Camara (caution) 64′
SEA – Andreas Ivanschitz (caution) 68′
MTL – Lucas Ontivero (caution) 75′
MTL – Donny Toia (caution) 78′
LINEUPS & STATS
Seattle Sounders FC – Stefan Frei; Tyrone Mears, Brad Evans – captain, Chad Marshall, Dylan Remick (Joevin Jones 74′); Osvaldo Alonso, Cristian Roldan, Clint Dempsey; Aaron Kovar (Jordan Morris 57′), Nelson Valdez (Oalex Anderson 68′), Andreas Ivanschitz
Substitutes not used: Tyler Miller, Zach Scott, Oniel Fisher, Herculez Gomez
Total shots: 12 (Dempsey, 4)
Shots on goal: 3 (Dempsey, 3)
Fouls: 8 (Alonso/Dempsey, 2)
Offside: 1 (Valdez, 1)
Corner-kicks: 3 (Ivanschitz, 3)
Saves: 4 (Frei, 4)
Montreal Impact – Evan Bush; Hassoun Camara, Victor Cabrera, Laurent Ciman, Donny Toia; Eric Alexander, Kyle Bekker, Harry Shipp (Patrice Bernier 72′), Ignacio Piatti – captain, Lucas Ontivero (Johan Venegas 78′); Dominic Oduro (Anthony Jackson-Hamel 69′)
Substitutes not used: Eric Kronberg, Wandrille Lefevre, Calum Mallace, Maxim Tissot
Total shots: 12 (5 players, 2)
Shots on goal: 4 (5 players, 1)
Fouls: 16 (Ontivero, 6)
Offside: 1 (Oduro, 1)
Corner-kicks: 2 (Bekker/Ontivero, 1)
Saves: 2 (Bush, 2)
- The win marked the first result of the 2016 MLS campaign for Sounders FC (1-3-0, 3 points), who started winless in its opening three matches for the first time in club history. It was also the first win across all competitions (1-4-1) after a draw and loss against Club America in the 2015-2016 Scotiabank CONCACAF Champions League Quarterfinals.
- Clint Dempsey scored his first MLS goal of the season in the 79th minute when he headed in an Andreas Ivanschitz corner kick. Dempsey now has three goals across all competitions – including a brace against Club America – all at home and all via set pieces.
- The Rave Green are now 2-3-0 all-time against Montreal, including a 1-1-0 mark at CenturyLink Field. The club’s previous win against the Impact came in 2014 at Olympic Stadium in Montreal.
- Sounders FC earned its first clean-sheet of the season after allowing five goals in its first three matches. Goalkeeper Stefan Frei made four saves to earn the shutout, bringing his goals against average to an even 1.00 for the season in three league appearances.
- Saturday’s win kicked-off a busy April, with Sounders FC set to play five matches this month, including home fixtures against the Philadelphia Union (April 16) and Columbus Crew SC (April 30). The Rave Green are now 16-5-7 all-time in the month of April.