MLS Preview: Montreal Impact - Seattle Sounders

Ives Galarcep
March 21, 2014
The Northwest Passages: The reinvention of Obafemi Martins

The Montreal Impact have struggled mightily without the services of suspended striker Marco Di Vaio, but the team is getting a reprieve of sorts as Saturday's opponent will also be without a suspended star forward.

The Seattle Sounders will visit Stade Saputo on Saturday, and will do so without U.S. national team star Clint Dempsey, who was suspended for two matches for striking Toronto FC defender Mark Bloom in the groin during last week's loss to TFC.

Dempsey's absence won't keep the Sounders from being favorites against a Montreal side still trying to find its form. The Impact defense has allowed four goals through two matches, but did show improvement in last week's 1-0 loss to Houston.

MORE: Champions League draw results | Transfer Talk

The Impact defense will still face a tough test from Seattle even without Dempsey. Obafemi Martins has the speed to trouble Montreal's back line, and Lamar Neagle could be chosen to partner with him in Dempsey's absence.

The match should offer a good battle between Impact winger Justin Mapp and Sounders youngster DeAndre Yedlin, who is off to a strong start to the 2014 season. Mapp has been one of the few bright spots for the Impact his season.

Montreal coach Frank Klopas will be hoping forward Andrew Wenger can finish his chances this weekend after several misses in the team's loss to the Dynamo. The former No. 1 overall pick has struggled playing in place of the suspended Di Vaio, who is serving the final match of a three-match suspension for a red card incident in the 2013 playoffs.

The match is under threat of snow, and could wind up being postponed if weather conditions worsen in Montreal.

Follow GOAL.COM on Twitter