Although there wasn't a full list of traveling players given to the press, Seattle Sounders head coach Sigi Schmid did give one somewhat surprising name: Marco Pappa. The Sounders midfielder has not made an appearance since being arrested on suspicion of DUI on July 19 and subsequently undergoing a league-mandated substance-abuse program. Pappa rejoined Sounders training last week.
Pappa will be among a group of mostly reserve players making the trip to Tegucigalpa, Honduras for Wednesday's CONCACAF Champions League group stage match against Olimpia.
While admitting Sunday's game against the Portland Timbers is being viewed as the more important of the two matches this week, Schmid said the team will effectively be split into two parts. One will remain in Seattle, train with conditioning coach Dave Tenney and assistant Ante Razov and form the core of the group that will start against the Timbers. Schmid will travel with the other group, first spending Monday night in Houston, arriving in Tegucigalpa on Tuesday and then flying straight back to Seattle on Thursday.
"We're trying to split up the travel day, because if you make it one day it becomes really long, it's really arduous then. This way there's a hotel at the Houston airport, so we just check into that hotel and we just walk to our gate the next morning and complete the rest of the journey on Tuesday. But at least that way the guys get a good night's sleep, and it breaks up the travel day."
- Sigi Schmid, via Tacoma News Tribune
Olimpia apparently rested most of their starters in this week's league match in anticipation of Wednesday's CCL game, which is almost do-or-die for them at this point. The Sounders, meanwhile, would be perfectly happy with a tie as that would set up a scenario where they likely advance with a win over the Vancouver Whitecaps in their group stage finale on Sept. 23.