FRISCO, Tex. — The Seattle Sounders advanced to the knockout stage in the Champions Division of the 2019 Generation adidas Cup, a year after winning the Premier Division, with a 1-0 victory over the Montreal Impact on Monday.
After defeating Flamengo, the defending champs, on Sunday to keep alive their hopes of advancing, it all came down to Monday’s match. The game was a physical affair, with Impact defender Oscar Marshall sent off in the sixth minute for a dangerous challenge. Both teams were playing chippy, knowing a win would help their chances to advance to the next round.
“It was a good game,” Seattle coach Ryan Faithfull told MLSsoccer.com “I think the boys played really well. It was a third game in a tournament group stage, so we were expecting a little bit of fatigue. Montreal are a good team and came out really physical, a little bit more than we expected.”
Seattle’s star prospects continued to shine in the match, with recent first-team signing Danny Leyva pushing the tempo in the midfield and Alfonso Ocampo-Chavez attempting to capitalize on the Impact’s man down. The team broke through in the 36th minute, as Ocampo-Chavez hit a ball in the box into the net for the game’s only goal. The two showed why they are highly touted with the Sounders not only with their play on the field but off of it as well.
“Danny and Fonz are very talented players with big futures ahead of them,” Faithfull said. “There’s different situations where players can come into the team and they can take it for granted but those boys work hard and they’re honest players and they’re humble people. They’re great to have in our team environment; they lift the standard totally to the next level. Everyone pushes the standard to that.”
The victory put the Sounders into second place in Group D, behind Spanish side Valencia. The team will now look to their quarterfinal clash against Argentine giants River Plate on Tuesday (6:30 pm ET | twitch.tv/mls), who won three editions in a row from 2015-17 and reached the final last year.
It’s a challenge that Seattle are eager to face. Their academy seems to be on the cusp of producing talent at a prodigious pace, starting with Leyva and Ocampo-Chavez and they want to be known across MLS, making matchups like this exciting.
“We’ve been taking each game game-to-game and taking it in our stride,” Faithfull said. “We’re excited to play against River Plate. They look like a very good team and that’s why we’re here. We’re here to play good teams and challenge ourselves against the best.”