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Montreal Impact vs Seattle Sounders: What do the numbers tell us?

Estrada might be missing but Seattle has options to switch things around and still be dangerous.
Estrada might be missing but Seattle has options to switch things around and still be dangerous.

With all the talk around the Seattle Sounders, you would think that the Montreal Impact are facing one of the ten founding clubs of Major League Soccer. The Sounders have only been in the league since 2009 and have made the MLS playoffs since. You could say that it wouldn't be a bad idea for any current or future MLS team to follow the Seattle model, if it can figured out and translated into something concrete.

Let's take a look at team stats for both and see how they compare:

Club

GP

G

A

SHT

SOG

FC

FS

OFF

CK

PKG

PKA

Seattle Sounders FC

13

16

15

175

53

156

165

25

62

1

1

Montreal Impact

13

15

12

180

61

183

161

43

49

4

4

Difference (SEA minus MTL)

0

+1

+3

-5

-8

-27

+4

-18

+13

-3

-3


It's all numbers and stats but it's interesting to see a few things
  • Known for its offensive armada, the Seattle Sounders have not been winning games with a 5 -goal margin every time and are in the middle of the pack as per goals scored in MLS.
  • With 27 less fouls committed than Montreal, it doesn't necessarily means that the Sounders are not an aggressive team but might have more of the ball: 53.37% of ball possession for Seattle VS 43.80% of ball possession for Montreal (in the month of May in MLS)
**** Montreal has had 2 games with less than 40% of ball possession and 2 games with over 60% of ball possession in May.

Follow us for some number crunching as we compare some sectors of both teams against each other...

Deep Blue Sea vs Green Offensive Monster

Seattle

With 16 goals , 1 more than the Impact, the Sounders offense would seem disappointing with the likes of Fredy Montero, Eddie Johnson and Alvaro Fernandez lined up on a regular basis.

Sounders_may_shots_medium

As we can see, in most MLS games in May 2012, the Sounders are shooting a lot from inside the box but still have peripheral shooting options. Inside the box shooting has included (on and off target) : 25 headers and 61 shots.

Montreal

Those who continue to talk about Montreal having a porous defense should stop just watching highlights and look at box-scores and actually watch the games. Yes, late goals have been conceded by the team but as a whole, this expansion team has solid soldiers at the back with an interesting depth to pally injuries.

Imfc_defense_stats_may_2012_medium

These chalkboards show the defensive stats for the Montreal Impact defense (back four at that game) including Tackle Wons, Interceptions, Clearances and Recoveries.The Impact defense does not mind the physical battle and Nelson Rivas and Matteo Ferrari enjoy going up high to meet the ball away from the box. This will sometime backfire if mistimed and it has happened a few times where the opponent`s center forward beats his marker for the header and creating gaps behind the Montreal defense.

With Estrada out of a few months, his versatility will be missed but the Sounders have options. Eddie Johnson can continue to pay upfront as the lone striker with Montero playing behind him as a link between the midfield and Johnson. These independent runs by Montero might create more gaps between the Montreal lines and this is where the midfield comes into action.

The Midfield Battle

Even without Estrada, the options are there for Seattle. Known to be strong on the side, that tradition continues with Mauro Rosales and Alvaro Fernandez running up and down the sides with some technical abilities that can make any team suffer. Evans and Alonso will take care of the ``defensive `` aspect of the midfield but we are not talking about pure defensive work as both can actually play soccer and just recover the ball and give it to Rosales and Fernandez.

This is where the battle starts. With the re-shuffling of the midfield after the positive performance of the trio of Felipe Martins - Patrice Bernier - Collen Warner against the Colorado Rapids. Bernier and Warner can take of the defensive grunt work but offer excellent starting block to begin to attack as both offer a good first pass, excellent vision and intelligence in their game. This combination will liberate Felipe Martins to play in a more forward position and hopefully do some damage. That experiment was very interesting and many Impact fans want to see it again.

This game will be very interesting and the numbers tell a story but only the pitch will show the truth and speak it.