‘Tonight was a disappointment’ – How Montreal reacted to 5-0 defeat to Sounders

Seattle Sounders outmatched CF Montreal Saturday night at Lumen Field, winning 5-0 as the Canadian side lost their third straight game.

Montreal’s 2024 MLS season started off on the right foot with two wins and a draw in their first three games under new head coach Laurent Courtois. After their opening day draw with Orlando City, Montreal pulled off two narrow victories at FC Dallas and Inter Miami — with all three games on the road that were part of their six-game road trip to begin the season.

Montreal have yet to play a home match in 2024 because of freezing temperatures and snow in February and March that have a clear affect on the playing surface at Stade Saputo, which is an outdoor venue. The club typically plays games indoor at the Olympic Stadium when weather isn’t cooperating — but that stadium is undergoing renovations and won’t be ready until 2028.

But it’s been a rough three weeks for the Canadian outfit since their improbable victory over Miami on March 10. A trip to the Windy City saw the team lose 4-3 to Chicago Fire in stoppage time before traveling to the U.S. capital when Pedro Santos’s 85th-minute strike sunk Montreal 1-0 vs DC United. The good thing for Courtois’ side is that the two defeats to DC United and the Fire were only one-goal defeats.

However, it was the exact opposite scenario over the weekend against Seattle. The Sounders imposed their will to win their first game of the campaign, dominating the box score. The hosts recorded 59% possession, 24 total shots (11 on target), created five big chances and amassed an xG of 3.56. On the other side, Montreal mustered just five total shots over 90 minutes (two on target), created one big chance and posted an xG of 0.53.

Seattle got things started thanks to a first-half brace from Raul Ruidiaz while USMNT figure Jordan Morris added a third. As if it wasn’t bad enough, Nathan Saliba was shown a second yellow card just after the second half began — before the hosts added a fourth and fifth late on in the contest.

“Tonight was a disappointment beyond the result. There were some interesting sequences, but we lacked competitiveness, solidarity and humility,” Courtois said after the defeat. “Tonight was a real setback. We told ourselves after the meeting with the fans that we had to back up our intentions with real action on the pitch. Tonight, we didn’t do that. We want to be perceived in a certain way. We promised the fans certain things. We have to keep our word and tonight we lacked humility.”

Veteran center-back Joel Waterman — who’s started every game this season for Montreal — relayed some of the same sentiments as his coach, explaining that the team didn’t match Seattle’s effort and fight.

“Tonight wasn’t good enough. We didn’t compete or get second balls. That should never happen. This week will be about getting back to basics before talking about tactics. They outworked us and were better than us. We got some good results early in the season,” he said.

“No excuses about a long road trip. We have to come in Tuesday and be prepared to put in the work to put on a show for our fans Saturday. It is on us to be motivated and bring that with us to every match this season. We didn’t match Seattle’s intensity and desire to compete.”

Montreal’s three defeats saw them slide down to 11th place in the Eastern Conference table with seven points. Courtois’s side will finally play their first home game of 2024 at Stade Saputo. Saturday night when they look to get back on track against reigning Supporters’ Shield champions FC Cincinnati.


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