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Video: Montreal opens refurbished Stade Saputo in style

Zarek Valentin; Felipe Martins;

Montreal Impact’s Felipe Martins (7) celebrates with teammate Zarek Valentin, right, after scoring against the Seattle Sounders during the first half of an MLS soccer game in Montreal, Saturday, June 16, 2012. (AP Photo/The Canadian Press, Graham Hughes)


The big-talker result of the night from MLS was in Montreal as the league resumed play after a short international break.

Montreal jumped on Seattle early and then built to an eventual 4-1 win. But the Impact men had to share the stage with new ground, Stade Saputo, which debuted last night after its expansion and renovation.

MLS commissioner Don Garber was there to help ooh and ah over the pretty facility. Here’s what he saw, and what you’ll see on the highlights below:

  • Montreal midfielder Felipe Martins continues to demonstrate that he’s a quality MLS midfielder, doing so with a neat, curling ball that turned into the historic first at refurbished Stade Saputo. Good for Martins.
  • Justin Mapp scores a fantastic goal, which is vintage Mapp – and “vintage” in the fact that it reminds us, again, that he can be a devastating presence at times, but one who shrinks too often into the ordinary.
  • It seems that some referees are getting the message; Mark Geiger showed a straight red to Seattle center back Jhon Kennedy Hurtado, who went in dangerously and recklessly on Collen Warner. That’s probably a yellow card in previous MLS seasons, but the MLS initiative to remove (by use of retroactive punishment) actions just like that one may be sinking in now to referees – even if it’s not yet sinking into the players.
  • Rookie Andrew Wenger, the No. 1 draft pick this year, struck again. It was good-enough shot and certainly a pretty feed from Patrice Bernier. But Seattle ‘keeper Bryan Meredith showed his inexperience, guessing on the shot instead of holding his ground a second longer. It was not a good goal to concede.