Sounders face Baby Sounders in Montreal

Jun 15, 2012, 9:00 AM | Updated: 10:34 am

When the Seattle Sounders face the Montreal Impact Saturday night in Canada they’ll see some very familiar faces. The MLS expansion club has a number of ex-Sounders dotting the roster.

Seattle lost a couple players in the expansion draft then made an offseason trade with Montreal to acquire forward Eddie Johnson. Sigi Schmid mentioned the Sounders influence in our Coach’s Corner interview.

“Definitely familiar guys to our organization,” he said. “Tyson Wahl has played a lot of minutes for them and found himself at left back, which is where he played for us.

“Lamar Neagle has played some good minutes off the bench. Miguel Montano has had some good games for them recently, and Sanna Nyassi is on the bench. I guess that’s why they call them the Baby Sounders,” Schmid joked.

There’s also an Italian influence for Montreal’s soccer club. The Impact open its new home field, Stade Saputo, against the Sounders. Half of the construction cost was covered by the Saputo family.

Montreal features several former Italian stars on the roster including the newly signed designated player, Marco Di Vaio. He’s not eligible to play until June 27 under MLS transfer rules.

Seattle is coming off a successful U.S. Open Cup run, scoring 10 goals in two victories. Schmid hopes the scoring barrage continues with resumption of Major League Soccer matches.

“Certainly players like Andy Rose stepped up and got a couple goals in the Open Cup games,” he said. “Alex Caskey got a couple of goals, and obviously Fredy Montero getting goals is always a good thing, because like all goal scorers, he’s a little bit streaky.”

Seattle is still without goalkeeper Michael Gspurning. Even with the three-week layoff, trainers have advised him not to push his hip injury too much. The Sounders defense is getting closer to full strength with Leo Gonzalez and Patrick Ianni doing more in practice.

Seattle’s leading scorer, David Estrada, is out eight to 12 weeks with a broken foot. Osvaldo Alonso will miss the game while serving a suspension for a reckless challenge.

Matt Johnson anchors the pre-game show at 4 p.m. Saturday, followed by Ross Fletcher and Kasey Keller’s play-by-play at 4:30 on 97.3 KIRO FM.

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