The Sounders are in Trinidad for their second group-stage game in the 2012-13 CONCACAF Champions League. Kickoff between Seattle (1-0-0) and Caledonia AIA (0-1-1) is tonight at 5 p.m. PT. You can watch on the FOX Soccer Channel or follow a live chat here during the game.
There will be no radio coverage.
Earlier this week coach Sigi Schmid was asked about a couple challenges unique to the competition — travel and unpredictable refereeing — and here was his response:
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“It’s as far south as we can go in our confederation. I thought we were going to play in the Sudamericana Cup because we’re right there. What we did last year is we broke up the travel. So like this one, a Thursday game, on Tuesday we’d travel halfway and then we’d have a flight of anywhere from one to two-and-a-half hours on gameday or on the day before the game, which is similar to flying to L.A. before the game or something like that. The problem with Trinidad was the second leg ended up being so long. The only way we could get to Miami and make that second leg shorter was to take a redeye, which we didn’t want to do, or to charter, which wasn’t a possibility, and so we’re doing it all in one day. That’s going to be a long travel day, so we’ll see how we react from that because our experience the first time around in CONCACAF wasn’t real good doing that. It’s something that we have to accept though, and we have to work through and deal with.
“The refereeing is always a little bit different when you go into a CONCACAF tournament because these are the referees that have been selected by their federations and then the confederation is looking at them. So these are the guys — what’s the best way to say it? — they’re auditioning for higher opportunities. They’re auditioning for chances to referee international games between national teams. They’re auditioning for opportunities to go to the Youth World Cup, to go to an Olympics, to go to World Cups, so they’re always a little more cognizant of being evaluated, maybe, and so as a result they’re a little more strict or structured in their approach to refereeing the game. So we’ll see, but we’ve got Caribbean referees again when we play a Caribeean team. When we play a Central American team, we usually get Central American referees. I don’t quite understand that, but it is what it is.”