The Impact were all smiles on Saturday after unveiling their new stadium in perfect fashion with a thumping 4-1 win over the Seattle Sounders.
MONTREAL - A convincing 4-1 win against the Seattle Sounders was more than any Montreal Impact fan could have asked for, but that’s exactly what they got on Saturday night in the inaugural match of the newly expanded Saputo Stadium.
“That’s the way you open a new stadium, to show your fans that you’re excited to be in a new home and that you’re ready to go,” said head coach Jesse Marsch in the post-game press conference. “A lot of good performances tonight and against a good team, to get four goals and a win like that, I think is a very good performance for us.”
One of the many positives of the game was the Impact’s ability to hold on to their advantage. The Impact have been notorious this season for squandering leads – they’ve done so on nine occasions – and Marsch explained that he was really pleased that the team got the job done this time, especially against a difficult Seattle side.
"When we got the one goal lead it felt like we were going to need two because at the end of the first half Seattle was pushing and they have a lot of talented players on that team," said Marsch. "The second goal was going to be important and it proved to be".
But the real highlight of the night was the electric atmosphere of the new Saputo Stadium. One of the features of the upgraded venue is a second roof that goes round the east, west and south ends of the field. Club president Joey Saputo spoke a lot in recent weeks about how the roof would keep the noise inside the stadium. It did just that and the atmosphere more than lived up to its expectation. Even though the 17,112 in attendance at the match was petty in comparison to earlier matches at the Olympic Stadium that had 50,000 to 60,000, this game was by far the loudest to date.
“It is very loud,” said defender Jeb Brosvky. “With Lamar [Neagle] and Justin Mapp in front of me, it was tough to sometimes yell. But that’s our advantage, we love our fans and they went all out.”
The win is the Impact’s fourth of the season and puts the team three points behind the fifth and final playoff spot, but Marsch insisted that his team couldn’t get carried with the result and had to stay focused and keep its foot on the pedal.
“We can’t stop, that’s the key” Marsch concluded. “All year long, we cannot stop for one second to pat ourselves on the back or to be sorrowful for bad performances. We just got to keep going, that’s the only way were going to make progress.”
The Impact play Chivas USA on the road Wednesday night before welcoming the ever unpopular Brian Ching and the Houston Dynamo in Montreal on Saturday.
Marco Di Vaio, the club’s first ever Designated Player, was introduced to the fans during half time; he will be eligible to play on the June 27 when the team hosts Toronto FC.