Seattle Sounders FC already picked up a great road goal in their draw against the Whitecaps. Now, CONCACAF Champions League action returns to CenturyLink Field with a 7 PM match on FoxSports 2 (or 97.3 KIRO--FM on radio.) The opponent is CD Olimpia who qualified by finishing at the top of the Clausura last year. This is their eighth trip to the CCL and they've twice made the quarterfinals. Last cycle they went 3-0-1 advancing past the Timbers on away goals in head-to-head matches.
They've left a couple of their best players at home, but here's a brief introduction to the talents that traveled. Jason from Black & Red United fills us in on the team that started league play with three straight losses and a negative five goal differential.
Arnold Peralta - Still often listed as a midfielder, but Peralta rose to prominence as a right back. He was linked with D.C. United briefly, and then far more strongly with TFC while at CSD Vida. He ended up going to Rangers, but things didn't work out. A semi-regular for the Honduran National Team at right back.
Johnny Palacios - One of the four professional soccer-playing Palacios brothers. He's a pretty decent center back with decent speed. Actually, there's a bit of Jhon Kennedy Hurtado to him (first few years, not the guy who struggled at Chivas USA.) He can tend towards being hyper-aggressive around midfield.
Fabio de Souza - Big, burly Brazilian center back. He's 35 now, and it shows when he has to cover open space. However, he's a good organizer and usually the calm head for Olimpia in the back. Great in the air.
Javier Portillo - Complete bastard. Maybe the most CONCACAF player in all of CONCACAF. Perfectly happy to provoke opponents, play-act, dive, or take cheap shots. He started out as a left midfielder but over the years has become a left back more than anything else. He is pretty smart about picking when to come forward, and his service is pretty good.
Carlos Will Mejia - Veteran right midfielder is pretty crafty and persistent, and he's seen as an important leader. He tends not to make too much of an impact on CCL games, though. He used to be considered a 50/50 winger/forward, but I haven't heard anything of him playing as a forward in a long time.
Rommel Quioto - Burst onto the scene as a forward, but has tended to play on the left side of midfield for club and country for the past 2 years. Decent speed, but no real standout skills that he can hang his hat on. He's more of a well-rounded, versatile attacker. He's smart enough with his duties helping out centrally that he can play wide midfield in a 4-4-2, but probably would be better in any sort of 4-5-1.
Alberth Elis - 19-year-old striker, Honduran soccer's "next big thing." Good off the ball, decent finisher and in the air as well. Still fairly raw in terms of technique and composure.
Javier Estupinan - Big, strong target man who tends to shoot with power. He looks like a classic battering ram, but he's a bit more graceful and skilled than he appears at first glance. If he weren't in his 30's already, MLS clubs might be interested. Given his long history of club-jumping, he may be a headcase.