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(Not so) Quick Review: Sounders advance to CCL Group Stage

UPDATE: Just got this email from Sounders media folk, "Preliminary round ends tonight so we expect CCL to release a schedule in the next 24-72 hours. Once we get the dates, we will release ticket info asap." Stay tuned.

In just his second match as a Sounder, Alvaro Fernandez made sure his place in our lore was secure. Fernandez's header in the 73rd minute tied the score in the road half of Seattle's two-leg CCL preliminary stage series with Metapan, and gave the Sounders a 2-1 aggregate score victory.

The goal assured the Sounders of no fewer than six more CCL matches, including two home matches against Costa Rican powerhouse Saprissa and Mexican side Monterrey. 

Fernandez was a second-half substitute in the match and scored off a cross from James Riley. His whipped header into the far post was an absolute beauty and gave fans a glimpse of the kind of talent they now get to watch with increasing regularity.

The match was much closer than when the two teams met at Qwest, with Metapan holding its own in the first half and even taking a 1-0 lead on a defensive breakdown.

The Sounders outshot their opponents again, but this time only 9-7. They did have an apparent goal waved off when Roger Levesque was flagged for being offside earlier in the second half.

It's pretty late, so I don't have much else to say other than this was a relief. The wet conditions certainly seemed to counteract the Sounders' many physical advantages and the field looked nearly unplayable at times.

Now the Sounders can turn their attention to MLS play for the next couple weeks, specifically toward Sunday's meeting with Houston.

Stats and quotes after the jump.

Goals by Period




Seattle Sounders FC




AD Isidro Metapán




Scoring Summary:

MET - Anel Canales (Rodolfo Suarez) 17

SEA - Alvaro Fernandez (James Riley) 73

AD Isidro Metapán -- Jose Gonzalez,  Jose Alvarado, Erick Prado, Ernesto Aquino, Oscar Jimenez (Andres Flores 87), Hector Mejia, Emerson Umana (Mark Lester Blanco 72), Rodolfo Suarez, Anel Canales, Josue Flores, Milton Molina.

Substitutes Not Used: Misael Alfaro, Moises Menendez, Jorge Luis Moran, Carlos Carrillo. 


Seattle Sounders FC -- Kasey Keller, James Riley, Tyrone Marshall, Patrick Ianni, Leo Gonzalez, Sanna Nyassi (Alvaro Fernandez 64), Osvaldo Alonso, Nathan Sturgis, Steve Zakuani (Nate Jaqua 64), Roger Levesque (Michael Seamon 84), Fredy Montero.

Substitutes Not Used: Taylor Graham, Zach Scott, Terry Boss, Tyson Wahl 


Misconduct Summary:

SEA - Sanna Nyassi (caution; Reckless Tackle) 22

MET - Ernesto Aquino (caution; Reckless Foul) 26

SEA - Roger Levesque (caution; Reckless Foul) 75

SEA - James Riley (caution; Unsporting Behavior) 81

Referee: Jose Pineda

Referee's Assistants: Rafael Beltran; Oscar Velasquez

4th Official: Marlon Mejia

Time of Game: 1:50

Weather: Heavy Rain


Sigi Schmid – Sounders FC Head Coach
(On Alvaro Fernandez . . .) "He didn’t score his first game so he needed to score this game. But no, it’s not just the goal. It’s how he has fit in with the team, how he is part of the group already and how comfortable the group feels with him."
(On difference between two games . . .) "For us a different game and for sure when Metapán scored early that put us back on our heels a little bit. But after that I thought we kept possession better and I knew we would get a chance to score. The field was heavy. It demanded a lot from our condition. But I was very happy with our team physically."

(On Metapán . . .) "The most difficult part tonight was certainly the first 20 minutes of the game because they did a good job of keeping possession. They ended up scoring the goal. They are technically a good team. They spread the field very well. They play, more or less, a 3-5-2, which is different than a lot of teams play in the States so it’s a different system. They are a well-coached team. They are very disciplined in their style of play and they are a very difficult team to beat."

(On the second half . . .) "It’s all about the character of our team. I think our character is good. The team works hard for each other. If we make mistakes, we fight and try to get the ball back again. Our character right now is exemplified by Fredy Montero because the effort he is putting in game after game. He is leading the way for us but everyone is stepping up to the opportunities that get presented

and nobody is letting anybody down."

(On substitutions . . .) "I thought our team played better in the second half than it did the first. I thought it took us 20 minutes to get into the game. I was more concerned with our changes. When we brought on Alvaro [Fernandez], when we brought on [Nate] Jaqua, I think that helped change the game for us because we were able to keep possession better and we had a physical presence up front."


Kasey Keller – Sounders FC Goalkeeper
(On the win . . .) "One of the most important things about it, irrespectable of going and making sure we have six more games in this competition, is that we never should have lost to that team over two legs. I think what that shows is we are finding ways to get results now where ten, twelve games ago we were finding ways to lose games or draw games and now we are finding ways to get the results we need. A great team spirit. We make a mistake, give up a goal and we don’t panic. We have decent chances. Then Alvaro [Fernandez] is able to come off the bench and score a great goal for us. We were pretty comfortable after that, I think. I am very happy with the way team responded, obviously we are disappointed with the way we played in the first half. But let’s be honest, not the best conditions to play a game under. We have got a young team and these experiences we need to learn from. Hopefully we learned a bit today."

(On the goal allowed . . .) "I think we fell asleep a little bit. We let them play the ball quickly and then the ball got chipped in, we got pulled out of the middle. The one guy who basically is going to head the ball in for them we didn’t mark. We are disappointed. We will have to obviously look at it on tape and dissect it and try to learn from it and make sure that doesn’t happen again. But those kinds of things do happen and I’m just proud of the response."

Fredy Montero – Sounders FC Forward
(On playing with Alvaro Fernandez . . .) "I enjoy playing with him. It gives me more opportunities to score and he is the perfect guy to have on the team."

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