Thursday, September 23, 2010

2 More CCL Road Games

Another pair of CONCACAF Champion League games for MLS teams tonight (and a pair of league games, but we'll get to those in a later post). This time both were on the road as Seattle Sounders went down to play at Monterrey and Real Salt Lake looked to move to the top of group A on their trip down to Arabe Unido.

Seattle showed up to their game as most of us expected; starting players like Miguel Montano, Michael Fucito, Terry Boss, etc. They are focused on their MLS and US Open Cup campaigns, as they should be. The only issue: no one told these subs they weren't supposed to be good enough.

Seattle came out strong, scoring 2 goals in the first half including one by Michael Fucito in the 44th that seemed to really take the spirit out of Monterrey heading in to halftime. However, if we've learned anything about MLS teams in Mexico it's that no 2-0 lead is safe.

The Sounders did well through the first 30 minutes of the second half, playing strong defense and attacking when they got the chance. It was a 4 minute spell of awful that doomed them. When I say awful, I mean AWFUL. Like, Awful Plastic Surgery awful.

If you were flipping back and forth between the game and some other channel it wouldn't have taken more than a commercial break. Seriously, you could've left Modern Family, watched Seattle squander their lead and fall behind, and then get back without missing a second of Sofia Vergara.

The collapse was highlighted by a trio of awful plays. First Zach Scott was about as lazy as possible, standing on the endline 20 yards from the action and allowing Aldo De Nigris to stay onside and tap in a rebound off of Terry Boss for the first goal. Chilean striker Humberto Suazo scored the second goal in what can only be described as "a total defensive breakdown."

Then came the real coup-de-grace. It started with an unbelievably poor decision by a midfielder (David Estrada, I believe) to head the ball 25 yards backwards under no pressure. That godawful "pass" allowed Suazo to run on and take the ball with Tyrone Marshall a step behind. Marshall actually managed to close him down and start pushing him out wide, but then Terry Boss came sliding in out of nowhere and took out Suazo with a stupid and reckless challenge that earned the hosts a penalty.

And that was that. 4 minutes, 3 goals, and 0 points for the Sounders.

Real Salt Lake did better, taking advantage of a weaker opponent and coming out 3-2 victors. With this win they move to first place in Group A and I would consider them the odds-on favorite to win the group. Well done, RSL. Thank you for playing 90 minutes of soccer to win a game.

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