The Seattle's 10-game road unbeaten streak came to an abrupt end on Saturday after an embarrassing 4-1 loss to the Montreal Impact, but another-and far less positive-streak was extended as the Sounders are now winless in 5 consecutive MLS contests. Just about everything that could go wrong for Seattle did just that; a defense that has carried the team all season fell apart in spectacular fashion, the slick midfield passing game that has been the team's hallmark for quite some time was nowhere to be seen, and to add insult to injury defender Jhon Kennedy Hurtado was shown a very questionable red card in the 56th minute. Montreal made it 3-0 to put the game out of reach just two minutes after Hurtado's sending off, and though Eddie Johnson was able to give the Sounders a glimmer of hope just after the hour mark, old friend Lamar Neagle put the final nail in the coffin in the 87th minute to make it 4-1.
The Sounders looked off the pace from the start, and after steady pressure from the Impact Felipe Martins put the home side ahead in the 18th minute with a beautiful curled finish into the bottom corner of Bryan Meredith's net. The Impact would continue to press and Seattle had a great deal of difficulty maintaining possession or creating chances until the half hour mark, when the Sounders showed some improvement and began to assert themselves on the game. Though the Impact still held the lead heading into the break, Seattle seemed to be on the ascendancy. The positive feelings wouldn't last long, as the Sounders reverted to the poor form they showed at the beginning of the game at the beginning of the second half and Justin Mapp made them pay, putting the Impact ahead 2-0 just five minutes after the break with a mazy run through the entirety of the Seattle defense and easy finish past Meredith.
Things were already looking quite bleak at that point, but when Hurtado was show red for a high boot that appeared to have been at worst a borderline yellow card, any hope for a comeback disappeared. Andrew Wenger made it all but official, latching onto a through ball and beating Meredith at the near post just seconds after the free kick that was awarded as a result of Hurtado's foul. Seattle showed some resilience in pulling one back just three minutes after Wenger scored, with Eddie Johnson's chip at the end of the evening's best attacking move giving the Sounders faint hope of a comeback, but that would be it; the Impact clamped down and kept the Sounders from making a game of it. The result went from bad to downright humiliating in the 87th minute, when Neagle showed his former team what they've been missing with a vintage run to the inside and emphatic finish past Meredith.
In isolation, a result such as this would be cause for some concern. Coming as it does on the back of four consecutive games without a win and just one match removed from a 2-0 home loss to the Columbus Crew, it's downright alarming. Since a 2-0 win against FC Dallas on May 9th, the Sounders have not looked themselves at all. The fluidity has gone out of the passing game, the disciplined back line has been something beyond error prone and the individual quality of the Sounders star players hasn't been good enough to carry the team through a rough patch. It's not quite time to hit the panic button, but if this team can't begin to turn things around soon then it may well reach that point in the near future.