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Herediano hands short-handed Sounders first CCL loss

SeattleHerediano (Getty)


SEATTLE – The Seattle Sounders went into Tuesday night's CONCACAF Champions League match boasting a perfect record in group play, but badly needing rest for a squad feeling the fatigue of a full fixture list. With that in mind, the Sounders trotted out a team of mostly reserves to try and keep their group stage record undefeated.

It wasn't enough.

A bit of set-piece brilliance and a stellar night in the net for goalkeeper Daniel Cambronero were just enough for CS Herediano to escape Seattle with a 1-0 win in CONCACAF Champions League group play Tuesday night. 

Herediano (1-3) earned a free kick from about 25 yards out in the midst of an open but disjointed first-half featuring a only a smattering of chances for either side. Midfielder Yosimar Arias sent the ball over Seattle’s four-man wall and past Keller’s outstretched hands to put the visitors up 1-0 in the 25th minute.

“It was a good free kick,”  said Sounders head coach Sigi Schmid, “Arias hit it well. I didn’t think our wall jumped, but he still hit the free kick well.”

Seattle fielded its most reserve-heavy lineup of the season. Jhon Kennedy Hurtado and Kasey Keller were the lone regulars to start for a Seattle side laden with injuries, coming off two days rest, and playing in Vancouver Saturday.

Seattle’s potent 2011 attack has been ignited by the international quartet of Mauro Rosales, Alvaro Fernandez, Erik Friberg, and Fredy Montero. Without any of those four on the pitch—not to mention holding midfielder Osvaldo Alonso—the Sounders (3-1) struggled to possess or link up well, especially in the first half.

“I think offensively our struggles were simply that there were too many incomplete passes,” said Schmid. “Not enough rhythm into our game. We weren’t holding onto the ball. Sometimes we knocked it in the back four, but we really didn’t hold onto the ball through midfield and in the wide areas.”

That all changed when Montero and Alonso came on early in the second half, helping Seattle dominate possession for the rest of the night.

“The game certainly changed when they came in," said Schmid. "They’re quality players. Alonso allowed us to get a little quicker to our marks in midfield, which is what I asked him to do. Montero was able to hold the ball a little for us upfront and allowed people to join in.”

But the Sounders couldn't find the back of the net despite sending cross after cross into the box over the match’s last half-hour.

Less-than-perfect crossing and finishing cost them, but Cambronero finished them off. The 24-year-old dove to his left to deny a blistering Lamar Neagle header in the 82nd  minute, then leaped to his right to stop a Nate Jaqua header just seven minutes later.

Herediano coach Jafet Soto called Cambronero a “great goalkeeper," adding, "He’s just 24 years old, and he has a great future."

Despite the loss, the Sounders still sit atop Group D, poised to advance to the knockout stage with either a win or a tie when hosting Guatamelan side CSD Comunicaciones next Wednesday.


  • Amadou Sanyang, the 20-year-old Gambian signed at the end of July, earned his first start and played 55 minutes or the Sounders. Signed at just 17 by Toronto FC, Sanyang played in 20 matches over two seasons for the Reds.
  • Rosales was diagnosed with a small tear in his right medial collateral ligament Tuesday and is likely out 2-to-4 weeks.
  • Mike Fucito and James Riley were both unavailable due to injury.
  • Attendance: 10,163


  1. (Sigi on Amadou Sanyang…) “Sanyang is more of a defensively midfielder. Carrasco probably wasn’t the best pairing, but we didn’t have a lot of choices.”

    Worst half of soccer this year.

  2. According to the Telefutura announcers Herediano was mostly starting a back-up team since they have decided to prioritize their league games over the CCL games.

    So Seattle may have been the team closer to full strength.

  3. Ignoring the tournament? Are you high? He basically took a mulligan on the game, considering the state of the squad and the fact that they’ve actually gotten two results away.

  4. Yeah, you brainwaves know better than a coach who took an expansion club and won two Open Cups (in the final for a third), are a legitimate contender in their third season, and has won more games than any other coach in MLS.

    Fucito was hacked to pieces Saturday night, btw.

  5. ‘Amadou Sanyang, the 20-year-old Gambian signed at the end of July, earned his first start and played 55 minutes or the Sounders.’

    Although most of the starters were poor, Sanyang was more so, completely lost in defense and attack. He probably needed a more experienced mid next to him.

  6. Watching Asian Olympic Qualifiers this morning – Japan leading Malasia 1-0. Very entertaining match. It looks like all the asian countries have adopted the technical passing style shown by Korea and Japan. Very nice to watch.

  7. Way to go Sigi! This game was a sure three points and would have put them in a very strong position. You don’t lose at home against a week team! If you’re going to rest players at least do it in an away game where the ref will make it almost impossible for you to win anyway.

  8. Ps I would like to thank Noonan and Jaqua for their contributions to SoundersFC. Hopefully that is the last we see of you in the rave green.

  9. While the Herediano keeper played well I wouldn’t use the word stellar to describe his performance of laying on the turf for 5 minutes on two seperate occasions when no one touched him. The Sounders May have lost but I’m glad they didn’t need to resort to such blatant time wasting in order to win their first 3 matches


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