I guess that depends on how you view a two-legged aggregate series. Are these two separate matches, counted like a 3-5-7 game series in American sports? If it's that, do you care if a team competes and doesn't advance? Or do you see this as a 180-minute match played in two separate stadiums, so essentially it's halftime Seattle?
I tend toward the halftime side of the equation, as I don't really care that Seattle competed and won against Real Salt Lake in leg 2 of the playoffs last year. Nor do I care that they lost to San Francisco of Panama in leg one of the CONCACAF Champions League Preliminary Round.
D.C. United didn't care when they won leg two against Pachuca in the 2008 CONCACAF Champions Cup Semis and didn't advance. The Columbus Crew won leg two in 2003, but Morelia advanced. In 2002, Morelia passed the Chicago Fire, but the Fire were valiant in leg two. Also in 2002, the San Jose Earthquakes pulled a leg two win out against Pachuca. In 1999, the Colorado Rapids beat Leon in leg one, but didn't advance. Didn't advance, didn't advance, didn't advance, didn't advance, didn't advance.
If there's a team that proves that it is halftime, it is the Kansas City Wizards of 2002. They advanced past Santos Laguna by winning leg two. They advanced. Does anyone care that they lost on the road in leg one? No. People care about that team because it is the only one in Champions League/Cup knockouts two leg series that has advanced.
It’s halftime. Both teams are in their locker room discussing what they can do to win this game in the second half.
Not really. Santos Lagnua is sitting at home trying to figure out how to crush the Seattle Sounders, because they know that Seattle is both the second team to win the first leg (hello Houston Dynamo v Pachuca in 2007) in knockouts and the second team to win in Mexico in a competitive match. Seattle is taking a detour to Dallas to train, as Sigi Schmid said Saturday, "We think this works best for us for the guys to get appropriate sleep is important in their recovery and preparation for the game. What we try to do is go halfway into Dallas, get a training session in, get a full night's sleep the day before the game. So what we do is try to avoid the airport layover and not being able to get off our feet and the super long travel day. It splits it into two travel days, but on the same token it allows us to get an appropriate night's sleep."
It’s halftime in Seattle, too. People are leaving work early getting read to party.. And they’re all wondering what they’re going to do when they see history. And we’re all scared, because we've seen losses before.
1995 Sonics. 1995 Mariners. 2001 Mariners. That damned Super Bowl.
The people of Puget Sound know a little something about this. They've seen a lot of losses. But we all pulled together, we're ready for history.
Seattle Mariners of the 21st century. The Huskies under Willingham. The Cougs post-Price. Clay Bennett era Sonics. The Sonics. Oh, the Sonics.
But after those trials, we all rallied around what was right, and acted as one. Because that’s what we do. We find a way through tough times, and if we can’t find a way, then we’ll make one.
2009 we get a new team. 2009 we get an Open Cup. 2010 we get another Open Cup. 2011 we get a third Open Cup. 2011 we beat Monterrey in Monterrey.
All that matters now is what’s ahead. How do we come from behind? How do we come together? And, how do we win?
Fans gather. They celebrate. They travel. The team takes 20 men down to give everything they have for one goal.
This Sound can’t be knocked out with one goal. We get right back up again and when we do the world is going to hear us.
OK, they could be knocked out with one goal. The Sounders need to score and lose by one goal (but not 2-1) or tie or win to advance. That's the disadvantage of the goal they gave up last week. But lose 3-2 and the Seattle Sounders still move on, or 4-3 etc. The result matters, but it doesn't have to be a win to be a win.
Yeah, it’s halftime Seattle. And, our second half is about to begin.
/end Clint Eastwood voice.