Photo by Jane Gershovich/JaneG. Photography
By JASON MITCHELL
Apparently you can go home, even if you show up a day late.
Lamar Neagle, whose promising career with the Seattle Sounders has bookended a mostly forgettable 2012 season with the Montreal Impact, keyed the Sounders’ 2-0 road win over his former team. The match, at Montreal’s Olympic Stadium, was delayed a day due to inclement weather.
In just the seventh minute, Neagle flicked a header off the left post. Goalkeeper Troy Perkins gloved the rebound back into his own net for an own goal and a 1-0 Seattle lead.
In the 58th minute, Neagle rolled a pass into the penalty area that found Kenny Cooper, who sent a far-post cross to Obafemi Martins for the Designated Player’s first goal of the season. The 2-0 advantage more than held up against an Impact team that didn’t show much urgency until late.
“Every game you want to score and get some points, especially for an attacker,” Neagle said after the match. “To do it against your old team and your old friends, it’s always good for talking up later. It was a nice way to start off, especially when you’re away.”
Montreal’s best chance came on an 84th minute Blake Smith volley that beat goalkeeper Stefan Frei, but defender Djimi Traore preserved the clean sheet with an acrobatic clearance at the line. Less than a minute later rookie right back Eric Miller sailed a close-range shot into the stands.
That was as close as Montreal (0-3-0) would come to scoring. While the Impact are winless in three matches, Marco Di Vaio will return from suspension next week.
The Sounders (2-1-0) picked up the road win despite missing Clint Dempsey to suspension and Brad Evans to a calf bruise.
In addition to being involved in both goals, Neagle threatened throughout the match, sending in a 17th-minute cross to Obafemi Martins for a one-touch shot that Perkins barely gloved away. Fifteen minutes later the Federal Way, Wash., native hit the post from 20 yards out, ripping a shot that would have easily beaten Perkins.
Montreal’s chances were few and far between. In the 29th minute Andrew Wenger volleyed a shot to the near post, but Stefan Frei dove for the reaction save. The Impact wouldn’t threaten again until the game’s waning moments.
“It was a brutal and harsh game,” said Montreal veteran Justin Mapp, “two untimely goals against us and they didn’t have too many other chances to score. We really pushed the play and we just didn’t have that killer instinct to find that first goal and push it from there.”
Both teams are back in action Saturday. The Sounders host the Columbus Crew (2-0-0), while Montreal travels to Philadelphia to face the Union (1-1-1).
Check out the video highlights below: