April 8, 2013 - Major League Soccer (MLS) - Seattle Sounders FC
Off to Mexico for Champions League Semis, then Home to Host New England
With 90 minutes remaining in the two-game series, Seattle Sounders FC heads to Torreon, Mexico to take on Santos Laguna in the second leg of the CONCACAF Champions League Semifinals on Tuesday night. Kickoff is set for 5 p.m. PT from Estadio Corona.
Tuesday's match will be broadcast live on FOX Soccer with John Strong and Keith Costigan calling the action. Fans can also follow live on SoundersFC.com and on Twitter @livesounders.
Sounders FC will then return to the Pacific Northwest to resume MLS play with a Saturday afternoon meeting against the New England Revolution. Kickoff is scheduled for 1 p.m. PT on the Xbox Pitch at CenturyLink Field.
Saturday's match will be televised on KONG 6/16 with Ross Fletcher and Kasey Keller on the call, and can also be heard on KIRO Radio 97.3 FM. Spanish broadcasts are available on Univision and La Gran D 99.3 FM.
The third MLS team to reach the Champions League Semifinals, Sounders FC will go for history on Tuesday night as they attempt to become just the second American side to reach the final.
Seattle is currently one goal down after dropping the first leg, 1-0, at CenturyLink Field last Tuesday. Sounders FC will need to win while scoring at least two goals to advance in regulation, or win by a 1-0 scoreline to force overtime. A draw or a loss would result in elimination.
The LA Galaxy trail in the other semifinal series after two-time defending champions Monterrey earned a late 2-1 win at The Home Depot Center last Wednesday. The series will conclude on Wednesday in Monterrey, Mexico.
The semifinal winners will advance to the two-leg final, to be played on April 24 and May 1. The winner of the 2012 - 13 CONCACAF Champions League will earn a berth to the 2013 FIFA Club World Cup in Morocco.
The focus then shifts to league play as Sounders FC (0-3-1, 1 point) will look to take all three points for the first time this season against a New England (1-2-1, 4 points) side that has not won since its season opener. It will be the lone meeting between the two teams this season, with the all-time series level at 3-3-1.
Following the regular-season contest, the Sounders FC reserve squad will travel to Los Angeles to play the Galaxy in a MLS Reserve League match on Monday, April 15.
Seattle will continue MLS action on April 20 with a road trip to Colorado. Kickoff is set for 3 p.m. PT from Dick's Sporting Goods Park in Commerce City, Colo.
Uncharted Territory: Seattle in the Semis
The series against Santos Laguna marks the first CONCACAF Champions League Semifinals in club history. A spot in the semis has been difficult for MLS clubs since the redesign of the tournament in 2008, and just three other teams - Real Salt Lake (2010-11), Toronto FC (2011-12) and LA Galaxy (2012-13) - have reached the semifinals. Salt Lake is the only team to advance to the finals, falling to Monterrey in the 2010-11 tournament. Two teams won the previous version of the Champions League. DC United won the Champions Cup in 1998, and Sigi Schmid's LA Galaxy hoisted the trophy in 2000.
Second Time Around
Over the past four years, Sounders FC has shown its ability to learn and adapt in Champions League play. Following Group Stage elimination in its first CCL run, Seattle returned a year later to advance out of group play. And following elimination from last year's Quarterfinals, Sounders FC advanced to the semis this year. The Seattle squad has also had success against familiar foes, falling to Monterrey 3-2 in the first trip and winning 1-nil in the second visit. The trend continued this year as Seattle avenged a 2-1 loss at Marathon in 2010 with a 3-2 win last September.
It's Been Done Before; Not on the Road
There have been three instances in the Champions League Semifinals when the team that lost the first leg advanced to the final. It has not happened since 2009-10, and all three instances involved a Liga MX side who hosted the second leg at home. In 2008-09, Cruz Azul lost to the Puerto Rico Islanders in the first leg, 2-0, but returned home to level the aggregate score at 3-3, and then advanced 4-2 on penalty kicks. That same year, Atlante lost the first leg to Santos Laguna, 2-1, and won the second leg at home, 3-1, to advance 4-3 on aggregate. Cruz Azul accomplished the feat again in the 2009-10 semifinals, losing 1-0 in the first leg at Pumas, but advanced 5-1 on aggregate following a strong home leg.
Back to MLS, Wanting a Win
Sounders FC hopes to end the long wait for a league win on Saturday afternoon against New England. With three losses and one draw, Seattle has earned the fewest points through the first four games in club history. The latest Seattle earned its first win over the past four seasons was in 2010 when they did not take all three points until April 9. Sounders FC is 8-4-5 all-time in regular-season games in April, and have not lost since April 25, 2010 at Toronto FC
Record through First Four Games
Year Record after Four Games Record in Second Half of Season Overall Record
2009 3-1-0 (9 pts.) 7-4-4 (25 pts.) 12-7-11 (47 pts.)
2010 2-1-1 (7 pts.) 10-2-3 (33 pts.) 14-10-6 (48 pts.)
2011 0-2-2 (2 pts.) 12-3-2 (38 pts.) 18-7-9 (61 pts.)
2012 2-1-1 (7 pts.) 8-3-6 (30 pts.) 15-8-11 (56 pts.)
2013 0-3-1 (1 pt.) N/A N/A
On the Road
The trip to Torreon, Mexico kicks off a string of away matches for Sounders FC. Four of the next five games are on the road, including a visit to Colorado, and games at Philadelphia and Kansas City four days apart. Sounders FC dropped its first two road fixtures of the season at San Jose and Salt Lake. Seattle's all-time regular-season road record is 24-20-22, averaging 1.42 points per game.
Sounders vs. Mexican Opposition
Tuesday's match will be the 10th time Sounders FC has taken on a team from the Mexican first division, Liga MX. Seattle has played two-time defending champions Monterrey four times, last year's runners-up Santos Laguna three times and Tigres twice, going 3-6-0. Sounders FC has scored multiple goals on three occasions and has been held scoreless three times. Six of 10 goals scored have come in the first half, though the late outburst versus Tigres resulted in three second-half strikes. Twelve of 17 goals allowed were conceded in the final 45 minutes, including four at Santos last year. Sounders FC has also played three friendlies (2-0-1) against Mexican opposition.
Date Opponent Result Scoring Summary
08/25/10 vs. Monterrey L, 0-2 CFM: Cardozo (41), de Nigris (58)
09/22/10 at Monterrey L, 2-3 SEA: Fucito (44), Own Goal (27);
CFM: Nigris (74), Suazo (75), Perez (78)
08/23/11 at Monterrey W, 1-0 SEA: Fernandez (38)
10/18/11 vs. Monterrey L, 1-2 SEA: Montero (42);
CFM: Carreno (3), Delgado (61)
03/07/12 vs. Santos Laguna W, 2-1 SEA: Estrada (12), Evans (63);
SAN: Gomez (61)
03/14/12 at Santos Laguna L, 1-6 SEA: Fernandez (37)
SAN: Suarez (8, 76), Peralta (10), Gomez (46, 68), Ochoa (81)
03/06/13 at Tigres L, 0-1 TIG: Pulido (74)
03/12/13 vs. Tigres W, 3-1 SEA: Yedlin (53), Traore (60), Johnson (75);
TIG: Hernandez (23)
04/02/13 vs. Santos Laguna L, 0-1 SAN: Gomez (54)
Versus Mexican Opposition
Games Played - 9 (5 home, 4 road)
Overall Record - 3-6-0 (10GF/17GA)
Home Record - 2-3-0 (6GF/7GA)
Road Record - 1-3-0 (4GF/10GA)
How They Got Here
Sounders FC and Santos Laguna took similar paths to the Semifinals. As two of three teams to win all four Group Stage matches, both Seattle and Santos lost the first leg of the Quarterfinals on the road before winning the series at home.
Seattle started off the Group Stage with back-to-back 3-1 wins over Caledonia of Trinidad followed by two victories over Honduras' Marathon, winning 3-2 away and 3-1 at home. The team finished with a plus-seven goal differential and four of the five goals conceded came from the penalty spot. Sounders FC entered the knockout round as the No. 3 overall seed where they ousted Tigres, 3-2 on aggregate.
Santos won all four of their Group Stage games over Toronto FC and Salvadorian side CD Aguila by a combined score of 13-1. The No. 2 overall seed, Santos faced Houston in the quarters, falling 1-0 on the road and winning 3-nil at home to advance to the Semifinals for the second straight year.
2012-13 CONCACAF Champions League - Semifinals Schedule
Tuesday, April 2 Sounders FC 0 vs. Santos Laguna 1 CenturyLink Field
Wednesday, April 3 LA Galaxy 1 vs. Monterrey 2 The Home Depot Center
Tues., April 9, 5 p.m. PT Sounders FC at Santos Laguna Estadio Corona
Wed., April 10, 7 p.m. PT LA Galaxy at Monterrey Estadio Tecnologico
First Leg Recap: Sounders FC 0 vs. Santos Laguna 1 - April 2, 2013
Herculez Gomez scored the lone goal as Sounders FC fell to Santos Laguna, 1-0, in the first leg of the 2012-13 CONCACAF Champions League Semifinals at CenturyLink Field.
In the 54th minute, Carlos Quintero's shot from the top of the box was stopped by a diving Marcus Hahnemann, but Gomez rocketed the rebound into the top right corner of the net to put Santos up 1-0. It was Gomez's fourth goal in three career games against Sounders FC after scoring three times in the 2011-12 CCL Quarterfinals.
Despite not scoring, Seattle finished with 13 shots - including nine in the second half - and held the majority of possession, finishing with an 11-1 advantage in corner kicks.
Marcus Hahnemann made his 2013 debut in goal for Sounders FC in place of the suspended Michael Gspurning. Shalrie Joseph made his Sounders FC debut with a start in midfield.
Flashback: 2012 CONCACAF Champions League Quarterfinals - Sounders FC 3, Santos Laguna 7
Second Leg: Sounders FC 1 at Santos Laguna 6 - March 14, 2012
Estadio Corona, Torreon, Mexico (Attendance: 14,278)
SAN - Christian Suarez 8'
SAN - Oribe Peralta (Daniel Luduena) 10'
SEA - Alvaro Fernandez (Fredy Montero) 37'
SAN - Herculez Gomez (Christian Suarez) 49'
SAN - Herculez Gomez (Oribe Peralta, Jorge Estrada) 67'
SAN - Christian Suarez (Jorge Estrada) 76
SAN - Carlos Ochoa 81.
Seattle Lineup: Michael Gspurning, Adam Johansson, Jeff Parke, Jhon Kennedy Hurtado, Leo Gonzalez (Christian SivebÃÂ¦k 77), Mauro Rosales, Osvaldo Alonso, Brad Evans, Alvaro Fernandez, Fredy Montero, David Estrada (Eddie Johnson 62, Roger Levesque 81).
Santos Lineup: Oswaldo SÃÂ¡nchez, Aaron Galindo, Felipe Baloy, Jorge Estrada, Osmar Mares, Daniel LudueÃÂ±a (Candido Ramirez 63), Juan Pablo RodrÃ-guez, Marc Crosas (Rodolfo Salinas 33), Herculez GÃ"mez (Carlos Ochoa 69), Oribe Peralta, Christian SuÃÂ¡rez.
About Santos Laguna
Club: Santos Laguna (MEX)
City: Torreon, Coahuila
Stadium: Estadio Corona
Manager: Pedro Caixinha
Qualification method: 2012 Mexican Clausura champion
Previous CONCACAF Champions League appearances: 2008-09 (Semifinals), 2010-11 (Quarterfinals), 2011-12 (Finals)
Honors: Mexican Primera Division champion - 4 (1996 Invierno, 2011 Verano, 2008, 2012 Clausura); Interliga champion - 1 (2004); Copa Independenica - 1 (2007)
Official website: http://clubsantoslaguna.com.mx
Santos Laguna is competing in its fourth CONCACAF Champions League, and third straight after losing to Monterrey in last year's final. Santos twice previously reached the semifinals, losing to Mexican squads Atlante in 2008 and Cruz Azul in 2010. The club's home is the 30,000-seat Estadio Corona, which was completed in 2009 at the cost of $100 million. The first match was a friendly between Santos Laguna and famed Brazilian club Santos FC on November 11, 2009. The sold-out crowd included Mexican president Felipe Calderon and Brazilian World Cup hero Pele. Santos captured the 2012 Clausura title in dramatic fashion, beating Tigres in the semifinals on a pair of late goals and then defeating Monterrey in the final 3-2 on aggregate.
Santos Laguna sits fourth in the Liga MX standings at 6-2-5 (23 points) after playing to a scoreless draw last Saturday at Tijuana. Santos is unbeaten in its past seven league outings (4-0-3), including a stretch of four straight wins. Oribe Peralta leads the team in scoring with seven goals in Liga MX and Herculez Gomez has added three goals. Darwin Quintero leads all players with six assists and has added three goals.
The club is captained by famed goalkeeper Oswaldo Sanchez, who has 99 caps for El Tri. The attack features U.S. international Herculez Gomez, whose career has enjoyed a resurgence in the Mexican Primera Division. He is the first player to win both an MLS Cup and a Primera Division title. Mexican forward Oribe Peralta was the co-leading scorer in last year's Champions League with seven goals and scored 43 goals in all competitions, all from the run of play. The team features 11 present or former international players, including seven Mexican internationals.
Santos forward Herculez Gomez played for the LA Galaxy in 2003 under Seattle head coach Sigi Schmid. Gomez was loaned to the USL Sounders in 2003, making 17 appearances with one goal before joining the Colorado Rapids (2007-08) and Kansas City Wizards (2008-09). Seattle forward Sammy Ochoa played with Santos defender Oswaldo Alanis at Estudiantes Tecos from 2009-11. Argentine midfielder Mauro Cejas played for Newell's Old Boys from 2005-2007, joining the team the year after Mauro Rosales left for Ajax. Seattle centerback Jhon Kennedy Hurtado and Santos forwards Carlos Quintero and Andres Renteria are from Colombia. Two Santos players grew up in Northern California. Midfielder Benji Joya is from San Jose, Calif. and played youth soccer for DeAnza Force and forward Daniel Cuevas is from Sacramento and has played for the US U20 National Team.
CCL Format Notes
The Semifinal Round is structured in a two-leg, aggregate goal series. The second leg will be played at the higher seed's home stadium. The winner of the series is determined by most total goals over the two matches. If the score is tied at the end of regulation of the second leg, away goals will be used as the tie breaker. Therefore, unless the score of the second leg is exactly the reverse of the first leg, a winner will be named in regulation. If, considering away goals, the score is still tied the teams will play an overtime period followed by penalty shootout, if necessary.Red cards or two yellow cards in the same game result in a one-game suspension. Yellow card accumulation resets at the beginning of the Final.
New England Series Notes
Sounders FC is unbeaten in the previous three meetings, including a late 2-2 draw at Gillette Stadium last year, and will look to take the advantage in the all-time series, which is level at 3-3-1. Seattle struggled against the Revs in the first two years of the series, dropping three out of four meetings from 2009-10. The two sides have had similar unsatisfactory starts to the 2013 campaign with the Revolution winning the season opener on the road followed by two losses and a draw since, tallying one goal but conceding just twice. Much like Seattle, the match will be the first in two weeks for the Revolution, who lost at FC Dallas in their last outing on March 30. Sounders FC most recently met New England in the 2013 FC Tucson Desert Diamond Cup, besting the Boston side 2-0 on goals from U.S. internationals Brad Evans and Eddie Johnson.
The Revolution attack is led by Honduran forward Jerry Bengston. In his first full season with the Revs, Bengston has scored the team's lone goal in three outings. He score twice after joining the club midway through the 2012 season. A fixture on the Honduras National Team, Bengston recently scored the winner against the U.S. in a World Cup Qualifier in February. His strike partner, French forward Saer Sene, has not played a match this season due to knee injury. The Revs midfield features several creative players, including former U.S. international Lee Nguyen, Colombian Juan Toja, and Washington native Kelyn Rowe. Rookie Andrew Farrell - New England's first-ever No. 1 draft pick - has played every minute at right back. Veteran keeper Matt Reis and Bobby Shuttleworth have split time in goal with both players starting two games.
Recently acquired midfielder Shalrie Joseph spent the first nine and a half years of his career with the Revs. He has played a big role in the Seattle-New England series, leading all players with three goals scored. Joseph has also taken the most shots (12) and shots on goal (seven) of any player in the seven regular-season meetings. Sigi Schmid coached New England goalkeeper Matt Reis (1994-97) at UCLA. The pair was also together with the L.A. Galaxy from 1998-2002. Midfielder Kelyn Rowe is from Federal Way, Wash. Rowe was selected third overall by the Revs in the 2012 MLS SuperDraft. Marc Burch played with Revs' midfielder Clyde Simms with D.C. United (2007-11). Servando Carrasco and AJ Soares played collegiately at Cal from 2007-10. Zach Scott and Stephen McCarthy were both born in Hawaii. Eriq Zavaleta (2011-12) and Revs midfielder Lee Nguyen (2004-05) and defender Kevin Alston (2006-08) attended Indiana. Djimi Traore and Saer Sene were both born in Paris.
MLS Reserve League Continues Next Week
Sounders FC will play three MLS Reserve League games over the next four weeks. After dropping the first contest of the season against Portland, Seattle's reserve squad will travel to Carson, Calif., on April 15 to take on the LA Galaxy reserves. The following week, Sounders FC will host San Jose in a reserve match at Starfire Stadium in Tukwila, Wash. Seattle's Reserve League season consists of 12 matches, playing each Western Conference opponent at least once as well as a home and away series against Orlando City (USL).
Academy Goes 3-0-1 at Home
The Sounders FC Academy squads continued their successful 2012-13 campaigns with an unbeaten (3-0-1) home series with San Juan Soccer Club and Real Salt Lake. The U18's exploded for six goals in a 6-1 win over San Juan before drawing Sunday against RSL, while the U16's picked up two wins, giving them four straight.
U18 leading goal-scorer Jordan Morris scored three goals and an assist over the weekend, including a brace on Saturday against San Juan. The Stanford-commit now has 21 goals and 12 assists on the season. The U18's have just one loss (7-2-1) in their past 10 games and have outscored their opponents 31-9 in that span. The U16's saw four different goal scorers as they won 2-1 and 2-0 over San Juan and RSL, respectively, extending a strong run of form in which they have lost just once (8-1-3) in their past 12 games. Both teams are second in the USSDA Northwest Division.
Sounders FC U18 (USSDA) (12-4-6, 42 points)
Sounders FC vs. San Juan SC (April 6) - W, 6-1
SOUNDERS FC GOALS (ASSISTS): Jordan Morris, Jordan Morris (Ike Crook), David Olsen (Jordan Morris), Jason McGlothern (David Olsen), Jason McGlothern, Kenny Sweet
Sounders FC vs. Real Salt Lake (April 7) - D, 2-2
SOUNDERS FC GOALS (ASSISTS): Jordan Morris, Henry Wingo (Ike Crook)
Sounders FC U16 (USSDA) (13-3-6, 45 points)
Sounders FC vs. San Juan SC (April 6) - W, 2-1
SOUNDERS FC GOALS (ASSISTS): Abdi Abdullah, Sean Bowman
Sounders FC vs. Real Salt Lake (April 7) - W, 2-2
SOUNDERS FC GOALS (ASSISTS): Marcus Machado, Jose Ramos
The referee crew on Tuesday will be led by Salvadorian Joel Aguilar with assistants William Torres and Juan Francisco Zumba, and fourth official Elmer Bonilla...Sounders FC will wear Cascade Shale at Santos Laguna. It will be the fourth time this season with a record of 1-2-0. Santos will wear green with white stripes...DeAndre Yedlin and Mauro Rosales are the only two players to appear in all seven matches across all competitions this season. Yedlin leads all players with 549 minutes played...With their starts last Tuesday, Osvaldo Alonso and Leo Gonzalez overtook Fredy Montero as the club's all-time leader in CCL games played at 19. Alonso, Gonzalez and Zach Scott lead the club with 15 starts in CCL play...Sounders FC has played the most CCL games (25) of any MLS club since 2010...The referee for Saturday's match is Chris Penso. His assistants are Mike Rottersman and Baboucarr Jallow. The fourth official is Tyler Ploeger...Come to the Downtown Pro Shop next Tuesday, April 16 from 6-7pm to meet Brad Evans - bring your MatchPass and earn 500 points...Seattle Academy products Michael Gallagher, Darwin Jones, Aaron Kovar and Ian Lange will play for the Sounders U-23 team this summer. Academy goalkeepers Connor Adkisson (Regis) and Trevor Larson (Highline) recently committed to collegiate programs for next fall.