Photo credit: Jim Bates / The Seattle Times
After an 0-4 start to the CONCACAF Champions League group stage, it comes as no surprise that Sounders FC won’t advance to the knockout round. It took a 2-2 draw between Costa Rican club Saprissa and Monterrey of Mexico elsewhere in Group C action on Tuesday night to make it official.
Coach Sigi Schmid said tonight’s result wouldn’t really affect his starting lineup for Wednesday night’s match against Honduran club C.D. Marathon, which now becomes meaningless really. The presumption is Seattle’s XI will be made up of mainly reserves. Had the Sounders remained mathematically alive after tonight, we were also made to assume this afternoon that some starters (e.g. Montero, Zakuani) would’ve made the 18-man lineup on the bench.
So yes, the first year in the international competition wasn’t a raving success. It wasn’t all bad either, as Seattle looked sufficiently competitive in what was deemed the “Group of Death.” And qualification to next year’s tournament might only be a week away with the final of the U.S. Open Cup (winning the USOC last year is how Sounders FC qualified for this year’s CCL).
Still I’m sure the 10,000 some fans that show up tomorrow night would like to see a win. Also on the line: team pride, individual pride and potentially future playing time.
Your thoughts on the CCL?