This was not a must-win match for the Seattle Sounders. It wasn't even, technically, a must-result. Losing 1-0 on the road against Olimpia is not the end of the world, but it does mean the Sounders will need a little bit of help to advance out of this year's Group of Death.
Simply beating their Vancouver Whitecaps in the group stage finale on Sept. 23 no longer guarantees advancement. That's because if Olimpia manages to beat the Whitecaps twice themselves they'd finish with nine points to the Sounders' seven. Even if Olimpia gets only four points from those games, they'd still advance based on having an additional road goal against the Sounders. In other words, the Sounders just became fans of the Whitecaps whenever they play Olimpia.
Still, it's hard to find too much fault with the lineup decisions Sigi Schmid made. Although the Honduras media gave him a bit of a hard time about "underestimating" the opponents, the reality was the Sounders are still far from perfect health. Obafemi Martins is just back from injury, Nelson Haedo Valdez is still getting his legs under him, Roman Torres has already been traveling up and down the continent and Clint Dempsey and Osvaldo Alonso haven't played for weeks. Maybe Erik Friberg or Brad Evans could have been pressed into action, but they've been playing a ton and the reality is Sunday's game is more important than this one was.
Seattle Sounders FC 0 - CD Olimpia 1
Wednesday, August 26, 2015
Venue: Estadio Nacional
Referee: Sandy Vasquez
Assistants: Joriany Carvajal, Geovany Garcia
Fourth Official: Juan Carlos Hidalgo
Weather: Partly cloudy and 77 degrees
OLI - Alberth Elis 60'
SEA - Thomás (caution) 49'
OLI - Arnold Peralta (caution) 57'
SEA - Gonzalo Pineda (caution) 64'
LINEUPS & STATS
Seattle Sounders FC - Troy Perkins; Micheal Azira, Jimmy Ockford, Zach Scott - captain, Dylan Remick; Thomás (Andy Rose 67'), Gonzalo Pineda, Cristian Roldan, Aaron Kovar (Tyrone Mears 82'); Lamar Neagle, Darwin Jones (Marco Pappa 70')
Substitutes not used: Stefan Frei, Damion Lowe, Victor Mansaray
Total shots: 4 (Four players, 1)
Shots on goal: 1 (Pappa, 1)
Fouls: 21 (Remick, 4)
Offside: 3 (Jones, 2)
Corner-kicks: 1 (Kovar, 2)
Saves: 2 (Perkins, 2)
CD Olimpia - Donis Escobar; Bryan Johnson, Johnny Palacios, Fabio de Souza, Ever Alvarado; Carlos Mejia (German Mejia 87'), Bayron Mendez, Arnold Peralta, Oscar Salas (Oliver Morazon 80'); Romell Quioto (Javier Estupiñan 90+3'), Alberth Elis
Substitutes not used: Noel Valladares, Elmer Guity, Michaell Chirinos, Roger Rojas
Total shots: 12 (Three players, 2)
Shots on goal: 3 (Three players, 1)
Fouls: 14 (Peralta, 4)
Offside: 1 (Elis, 1)
Corner-kicks: 3 (Mendez, 3)
Saves: 1 (Escobar, 1)
- Sounders FC leads Group F of the 2015-2016 Scotiabank CONCACAF Champions League with four points (1-1-1), one point ahead of Olimpia, who has a game in-hand. The Rave Green conclude SCCL Group Stage action on Wednesday, September 23 at home against Vancouver Whitecaps FC.
- Marco Pappa made his first appearance for Sounders FC since July 18 when he came on for Darwin Jones in the 70thminute. It also marked the Guatemalan's first SCCL appearance for the Rave Green.
- Head Coach Sigi Schmid selected the same starting XI as last week's 2-1 home win over CD Olilmpia.
- Lamar Neagle started alongside Darwin Jones up top in Wednesday evening's match. Neagle has now appeared in each of Seattle's 30 matches across all competitions this season, the only Sounder to do so.