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Sounders head to Mexico City with CCL quarterfinal at 2-2

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Seattle had two excellent goals canceled out by Club America, who have the away goal advantage

Mike Russell/Sounder at Heart

For much of the first half of this CONCACAF Champions League quarterfinal first leg, both the Seattle Sounders and Club America produced solid chances without doing much with them. But the excitement came to a head in the final minutes as Clint Dempsey scored with an exquisite free kick that was immediately canceled out by Darwin Quintero's 45th minute equalizer just before halftime.

The second half was much of the same, as Clint Dempsey secured a brace after notching his second from an Andreas Ivanschitz corner. The second half continued to be end-to-end as Jordan Morris, Dempsey, and later Aaron Kovar created a number of solid chances for the Sounders. The Sounders' defense was consistently allowing pressure on the flanks, and were thus vulnerable to lots of counterattacking from Club America.

The Sounders couldn't hold onto or extend their lead as Oribe Peralta put Club America in the driver's seat with a 69th minute equalizer. Both sides continued to create chances in the final twenty minutes, but the match ended 2-2 as the Sounders head to Mexico City for the second leg next week.

Quick thoughts:

  • Despite what many expected, the Sounders burst out of the gate on offense and didn't let up for the entire match. Sigi Schmid went with the modified 4-3-3 formation that he used all preseason, and it worked rather well on offense.
  • Set pieces were a big part of today's game for the Sounders, both on offense and defense, and I think we can expect quite a few set piece goals in 2016.
  • While the offense was exceptional today, the defense came up short and should have done more on both of America's goals. The bright spot was new left-back Joevin Jones, whose speed allowed him to play higher up the pitch than usual.