The team can clinch a playoff spot simply by winning Saturday in Kansas City.
Osvalso Alonso has rejoined the team and participated today at Starfire. Leo Gonzalez was an unused sub in Costa Rica’s World Cup qualifier win Saturday and remains with the Ticos for Wednesday’s match. It’s a big one for Costa Rica — win and it gets the last (third) automatic World Cup bid from CONCACAF. If it loses to the U.S. in Washington D.C. and Honduras wins in El Salvador, Honduras gets the third spot and doesn’t have to, as CONCACAF No. 4, play the two-game playoffs against CONMEBOL (South America) No. 5 team for a World Cup slot.
Costa Rica can’t afford a draw and a Honduras win, as Honduras would win the goal-differential tiebreaker.
Big game for U.S. too. Mexico plays Trinidad & Tobago, which is already eliminated, and if it wins and the U.S. loses or draws, Mexico gets the No. 1 seed from CONCACAF and U.S. gets No. 2
So there is much at stake on Wednesday.
But back to Sounders FC. Gonzalez should be back with the team — he’s only coming from D.C. and not flying all the way from Costa Rica this week — and the team is at full strength after getting a couple of days off over the weekend.
“We’ll back off tomorrow,” coach Sigi Schmid said after a long practice today.