The Sounders must defeat Tigres, Mexico’s top club, by a one-goal aggregate margin to advance to the Champions League semis against either Houston or Santos Laguna. The Sounders trail 1-0.
MATCH: Tigres (10-6-3, 21 points, Mexican Premier League) at Seattle Sounders FC (0-1-0, 0 points,T7, MLS West; 0-1-0 CCL). TYPE: CONCACAF Champions League quarterfinal. WHEN: Tuesday, 7 p.m., CenturyLink Field. MEETING: 2nd match of two-legged series (Tigres leads 1-0). TV: FOX Soccer. RADIO: KIRO AM, 97.3.
The Sounders, who are goal-less (two matches), need to outscore Tigres by two or more goals when the sides meet Tuesday night in the second leg of their Champions League quarterfinal. Having lost the first leg 1-0 last week in Monterrey, Mexico, Seattle requires that margin to advance to the semifinals against either the Houston Dynamo or Santos Laguna. A 1-0 result would force overtime, and any other result would end Seattle’s CCL run.
By allowing just one goal in the first leg against Tigres (despite being outshot 18-3) instead of two or three, their usual pattern in a two-legged series, the Sounders do not have a substantial deficit to overcome in the second leg.
“We’re just happy that we’re in a position that we can win this thing in Seattle,” said Sounders head coach Sigi Schmid. “I thought it was important that once we took that goal (Tigers’ goal), we maintained our defensive integrity and made sure that we didn’t take another goal. That was a mistake that we made in the past games.
“I feel good about where we are. We’re still at the beginning of our season, so I don’t think we’ve played our best soccer. I think our best soccer is ahead of us, and being at home in front of our fans with a good chance to advance in this tournament is where we wanted to be.”
The Sounders reached this point in the 2012-13 CCL competition by recording an aggregate 6-3 victory over Marathon Sept. 19 (3-2) and Oct. 24, 2012 (3-1). If the Sounders win, they not only will advance to the CCL semifinals for the first time, they will become the first MLS club to oust a Mexican club from the CCL tournament.
The winner of the tournament will advance to the FIFA Club World Cup to be held in December in Morocco.
The Sounders won their last three CCL home matches, outscoring opponents 8-3 in that span. Overall, the Sounders are 7-4 at home in CCL play with a +14 goal differential. The Sounders average 1.73 goals per home CCL match while yielding just 0.45.
The Sounders won every second leg home match in franchise history, beginning with a victory over San Francisco FC two years ago. Seattle also beat Real Salt Lake in the 2011 MLS Cup playoffs, 2-0, and the LA Galaxy in the Western Conference championship last season, 2-1.
There have been 42 home-and-home series in MLS Cup playoffs history and home teams have gone 24-9-9 in the second leg.
Since facing the Sounders last week, Tigres defeated San Luis, 2-1. Coach Ricardo Ferretti made two changes to the starting lineup from Wednesday’s match, re-inserting goal scorer Alan Pulido and second-half substitute Danilinho into starting midfield roles. Lucas Lobos and Luis Garcia scored the Tigres goals against San Luis.
PROBABLE LINEUP (Seattle): Goalkeeper — Michael Gspurning.Defenders — Zach Scott, Djimi Traore, Jhon Kennedy Hurtado, Leo Gonzalez. Midfielders — Mario Martinez, Osvaldo Alonso, Steve Zakuani, Brad Evans. Forwards — Mauro Rosales, Eddie Johnson.
2013 Sounders CONCACAF Schedule
Sounders All-Time Champions League Results (11-10-2)
|8/3/10||El Salvador||Metapan||D||1-0-1||Draw 1-1|
|9/14/10||Costa Rica||Saprissa||L||1-3-1||Saprissa 2-0|
|7/26/11||Panama||San Francisco||L||2-6-1||San Francisco 1-0|
|8/3/11||Seattle||San Francisco||W||3-6-1||Sounders 2-0|
|9/14/11||Costa Rica||Herediano||W||6-6-1||Sounders 2-1|
SOUNDERS STATS / NOTES
HEAD COACH: Sigi Schmid became first head coach of Seattle Sounders FC Dec. 16, 2008, and is in his fourth year. Born in Tübingen, Germany, Schmid relocated with his family to the U.S. in 1956, and to Torrance, CA., in 1962. He was a four-year starter at UCLA (1972-75) and graduated with a B.S. degree in economics in 1976.
Schmid later earned a M.A. in business administration from Southern California. A certified public accountant, Schmid coached the Los Angeles Galaxy from 1999 through 2004, winning four major competitions: 2002 MLS Cup, 2002 MLS Supporters Shield, 2001 U.S. Open Cup and the 2001 CONCACAF Champions Cup. He coached the Columbus Crew from 2006-08, winning the MLS Cup in his final season.
In 2009, under Schmid’s direction, the Sounders became the first expansion team to reach the MLS playoffs since the 1998 Chicago Fire. The Sounders also won the U.S. Open Cup in Schmid’s first season. They added their second and third U.S. Open Cup titles in 2010 and 2011.
The Confederation of North, Central American and Caribbean Association Football is one of six continental confederations of FIFA. CONCACAF serves as the governing body of soccer/football in this part of the world and is composed of 40 national associations, from Canada in the north to Guyana, Surinam and French Guyana in the south.
The winner of the CONCACAF tournament becomes eligible to play in the FIFA Club World Cup. Monterrey is the defending CCL champion, having defeated Santos Laguna 3-2 on aggregate goals in the 2011-12 tournament (Santos eliminated Seattle from the tournament in March).
Tigres is in San Nicolás de los Garza, a city in the Monterrey metropolitan area. Founded in 1960, the club has spent most of its history in Liga MX. Tigres has won the Liga MX three times, in 1977-78, 1981-82, and Apertura 2011.
Tigris one of the two professional football teams of the state of Nuevo León. The team plays home games at the Estadio Universitario. Tigres is also the official team of Nuevo Leon’s public university, the Universidad Autónoma de Nuevo León.
The team’s nickname is Felinos — Felines.
COMING UP: The Sounders return to MLS play Saturday for a Cascadia Cup match against the Portland Timbers, the Cup defending champions.
Seattle Sounders FC 2013 Schedule / Results
(0-1-0, 0 points, MLS; 0-1-0 CCL; 0-0-0 U.S. Open Cup)
|3/6||*at Tigres||7:00||Fox Soccer||L||1-0||0-1-0|
|3/23||^at San Jose||7:30||KING/KONG||—||—||—|
|5/26||^at LA Galaxy||8:00||ESPN2||—||—||—|
|7/13||^at San Jose||7:30||KING/KONG||—||—||—|
|9/21||^at LA Galaxy||7:30||NBCSN||—||—||—|
|10/19||^at FC Dallas||1:00||NBCSN||—||—||—|
*=CONCACAF; ^=Major League Soccer