Score: Seattle Sounders 2 (0-1-1), Montreal Impact 2 (0-1-1)
Seattle Starting XI: Stefan Frei; Gustav Svensson, Chad Marshall, Roman Torres, Joevin Jones; Osvaldo Alonso, Cristian Roldan; Nicolas Lodeiro, Clint Dempsey, Harry Shipp; Jordan Morris
Substitutes: Oniel Fisher for Svensson in the 58th minute, Henry Wingo for Shipp in the 72nd and Will Bruin for Roman Torres in the 85th
Down 2-0 with 10 minutes remaining, the defending MLS Champions appeared to be closing in on two consecutive losses to open the 2017 campaign. Brian Schmetzer's substitutes of Oniel Fisher and Will Bruin flipped the script.
Fisher earned a penalty, converted by Nicolas Lodeiro, in the 82nd minute and Will Bruin hammered home the equalizer in the 94th minute, seconds before the match ended, off a Cristian Roldan cross into the Montreal box.
"We're never out of it," Bruin said. "Even if we are down 2-0, we don't change our style...that's great momentum to build on going home."
According to Bruin, Schmetzer told the new Sounders forward, who came on for Roman Torres in the 85th minute, to chase everything and put Impact defenders under pressure.
"It's the spirit of a championship team..to fight back, two goals away from home, in any stadium away is pretty incredible," Schmetzer said.
Montreal Strikes Twice:
By the time Montreal scored their first goal in the 17th minute, the score could have easily been 3-0 Impact, if not worse. The duo of Ignacio Piatti and Matteo Mancosu connected on the first goal and never stopped attacking for the first 45 minutes, with multiple near misses.
Montreal's second goal featured Piatti eluding teammates and defenders after a Lodeiro turnover. Seattle invested too many bodies in their attack, leaving Piatti the ability to take the ball half the length of the field by-himself in a scoring effort.
Unlike the opener in Houston, the Sounders attack did not stall off the line. Seattle saw their own share of chances in the exciting first half, which featured six total shots, including two Jordan Morris rockets that barely missed late in the opening 45.
Great ball from Lodeiro springs Morris who strikes the post. pic.twitter.com/L8wIrs1pSI— Total MLS (@TotalMLS) March 12, 2017
One lineup change for Seattle featured Harry Shipp, making his Sounders debut, in the high midfield. Alvaro Fernandez started at the same position in Houston before Bruin subbed on in the 76th minute. Fernandez, however, did not see any playing time against Montreal. Shipp, meanwhile, played 71 minutes before Henry Wingo made his second appearance of the season.
Gustav Svensson, a defensive-midfielder in China before coming to Seattle, started out-of-position at right back for the second consecutive week after struggling against Houston in the club's MLS opener. While Svensson appeared more comfortable in the back four, Piatti and Mancosu both got behind Svensson multiple times before Oniel Fisher took over at the same position early in the second half.
The draw, which Bruin said feels more like a victory, gives the Sounders momentum as the team returns to Seattle for their home opener next Sunday when the MLS Cup Championship banner will be raised.