Photo by Stephen Brashear/ISIphotos.com
By JOSE M. ROMERO
Good thing for the Seattle Sounders that they started off CONCACAF Champions League group play with a bang, because they ended it with a whimper.
The Sounders dropped their Group D finale to Monterrey Tuesday night at CenturyLink Field, 2-1, and in so doing allowed defending CCL champions from Mexico to leapfrog them in the final standings and win the group. Monterrey finished with 12 points over six games while Seattle, which had already clinched a spot in the knockout stage that starts early next year, ended up with 10.
Dario Carreño opened the scoring in the third minute for Monterrey, and after Fredy Montero tied it for the Sounders before halftime, Cesar Delgado's 60th-minute rebound goal proved to be the winner.
Humberto Suazo had a hand in both goals. The Chilean international assisted on the first Monterrey goal, his pass reaching Carreño ahead of Sounders defender Jeff Parke, who raised his arms to lobby for an offsides call. Carreño beat Bryan Meredith, the Sounders' second-round Superdraft pick this year who was making his Seattle debut replacing Kasey Keller.
The Sounders used a number of non-regulars in their starting 11, including David Estrada in the midfield and Sammy Ochoa, who scored the tying goal in the home regular-season finale days earlier, at forward with Montero.
Ochoa had an opportunity in the 10th minute but his header was stopped by starting goalkeeper Jonathan Orozco. Orozco left the match in 73rd minute after sustaining a left shoulder injury in a mid-air collision.
Osvaldo Alonso and Montero tried long shots in the first half that went wide and high.
Delgado's goal was the result of a giveaway by the Sounders in their end. Suazo tried a shot that defender Zach Scott blocked, but the rebound came to Delgado who beat Meredith.
Montero had a nice touch-and-turn shot in the 64th minute that was wide. The Sounders tried to infuse some energy by subbing in offensive-minded players Lamar Neagle and Mike Fucito, but the tying goal was not to be had. Monterrey, which needed only a draw to advance to the quarterfinals, got some revenge for its historic loss to Seattle in Mexico in August.
Again, “Wahl” and “fine” don’t belong in the same sentence.
Now, “Wahl” and “atrocious” … that works.
“Wahl” and “fine” should never be included in the same sentence.
Neither team wins a head-to-head against Seattle.
Is the tiebreaker in CONCACAF head to head, or goal difference? Because if Communicaciones beats Herdiano, that would put them on 10 points–the same as the Sounders. But everyone is saying Seattle is already qualified, so I guess the tiebreaker must be head to head?
Wahl was fine yesterday, it was Riley that decided to make that nice back pass that set up the winning goal.
Monterrey was playing without four starters and still bossed the majority of the game. Seattle didn’t look too interested but Vucetich was merely looking to give some fringe players a few minutes on the field with some of the starters.
Schmid didn’t seem to bothered about winning last night game. He just mostly sat around with his arms folder. Fucito and Neagle are good players but you cannot expect reliable goal scoring from them. If he really wanted to win he needed to sub on Fernandez and Rosales both of whom he left unused. That told me how much Sigi cared about winning the group.
Gonzo’s old and slow. He positions himself well defensively but rarely contributes offensively. Wahl is decent offensively and has mistakes on defense. I’d bet Gonzales would be better than Ianni at CB though.
Wahl, though unspectacular, has been fine of late in matches that matter. Ianni is shite, and everyone knows it. Parke and Hurtado start and have also been fine. Riley, too. No one is scared of SSFC’s back four, but they aren’t that bad either, so long as Ianni and the ghastly Zach Scott never see the pitch.
Agreed. Still don’t understand why Sigi prefers Wahl (who has absolutely no right foot) over Gonzo. I know our gpg is higher with Wahl in the game but that doesn’t mean he’s better than Gonzalez. The Sounders absolutely could not hold onto the ball tonight once Parke was removed for Ianni, due to yellow card accumulation.
True but every MLS team has weaknesses, that will be the case until the salary cap is higher, or until the academies have been around long enough to produce cheap homegrown players.
Every team needs a goofy white defender, and Tyson Wahl is our goofy white defender. Not only can he not defend one-on-one, but he’s also a giveaway machine who can’t pass to save his life. James Riley wasn’t much better on the other side tonight.
I mention this not because I care that much the Sounders lost tonight (they advanced anyway), but because I think Tyson Wahl, James Riley and Patrick Ianni are going to be liabilities in the playoffs.