As Group D of the CONCACAF Champions League settles in it has become quite clear that the Seattle Sounders learned quite a bit from last year's dreary international journey. They travel differently, stopping in Dallas on the way south now. They play differently, taking advantage of different defensive styles of Latin ball. They think differently, playing with a swagger and forceful desire to win against any team at any time. Tonight they get their first second look of the reinvigorated CS Herediano. The Costa Rican club has charged to the lead of their league table by becoming a goal scoring machine, and those are the players they brought to CenturyLink Field for the game tonight. The potential for them to threaten the net is there, though it wasn't apparent last week.
As if they were trying to play to stereotype they were a floppy, divey bunch. There was little reason to think that they would threaten in run-of-play. Let's be clear, they are better than they looked. Seattle can not just waltz into this game thinking that they will win, but instead need to play like they must. A victory here goes a long way in mitigating the stress of two match weeks. It would instead lead to the final two Group D matches being preparation for the MLS Cup Playoffs rather than qualification for the CCL Championship Round.
Sigi Schmid's lineup will likely be even stranger than ever, and without the speed option on the right side we should expect to see a more patient, maybe even RSL style diamond with fullbacks mimicking wingbacks providing the width and a box flooded with attacking options. Herediano struggled with height and is likely to do so again.
The game is on Fox Soccer (National Play-By-Play), CONCACAF.com (British PbP) and 97.3FM with Arlo White on the call at 7PM
- Patient Passing in Build-Up
- Strike Quickly
- Communicate Defensively
- Beware the Flop
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Scarf: Nos Audietis
Kit: '10 Electricity
Where I'm Watching: Home
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Since the Monterrey v Comunicaciones result matters this thread is open early. CONCACAF is streaming it.