Sounders open 2013 with 1-0 loss to Montreal

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SEATTLE — The fans, as always, came out in droves.

So did the rain.

But Sounders FC didn’t do its part in a perfectly Seattle-esque season opener, falling to Montreal 1-0 Saturday in front of 38,998 spectators in Major League Soccer action at CenturyLink Field.

The Impact, which beat the Sounders 4-1 at home last year, earned just its third road victory since joining the league as an expansion franchise in 2012, and it came behind a first-half goal by midfielder Davy Arnaud.

Sounders FC, which announced the expected buyout of designated player Christian Tiffert before the game, fell to 3-2 in season openers, all at home. Things won’t get any easier with a tough CONCACAF Champions League quarterfinal coming next against arguably the top team in Mexico, Tigres UANL of Monterrey.

“This team will bounce back,” Seattle coach Sigi Schmid said. “There’s enough quality in that locker room, there’s enough pride in that locker room. It’s a difficult opponent, difficult place to play in Monterrey, but we’re a proud team and there are a lot of proud guys over here that are disappointed.”

Seattle (0-1) pressed hard for an equalizer, and came within inches of tying the game in the 81st minute, but forward Eddie Johnson slammed a shot off the cross bar from just in front of the goal.

The goal frame wasn’t kind to the Sounders in the 66th minute either, as a long-range shot by midfielder Brad Evans slammed hard off the post and was cleared.

Frustrations grew late in the game when numerous fans threw items onto the field, apparently in reaction to Impact defender Hassoun Camara needing medical attention for the third time in the game.

The Sounders controlled most of the action in the first half, outshooting the visitors 8-4 at the break, but surprisingly fell behind in the 35th minute. Montreal took advantage of a turnover at midfield to seize possession and turned it into to a goal on two delicate chips — first a pass from midfielder Felipe Martins over the defense to Arnaud, then a shot that just floated over the outstretched fingers of goalkeeper Michael Gspurning.

“It was a great goal,” said Gspurning. “I have to congratulate him on this because to chip the ball over (someone) 6 foot 6 is not easy.”

Seattle had most of its chances through Johnson, who was off target on a trio of quality first-half looks.

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