FULL-TIME: After scoring early and eventually taking a 2-0 lead, the Seattle Sounders were forced to settle for a 2-2 tie after losing control of the match in the second half. With away-goals being the tiebreaker, it’s not an awful result by any means, but it’s well short of what it easily could have been. The Sounders will return to Seattle for the second leg of their Concacaf Champions League Round of 16 matchup with Olimpia in one week.
OLIMPIA 2, SOUNDERS 2: Yustin Arboleda equalized after a scramble in front of goal, heading in a shot at a virtually empty net.
Gol de #Olimpia. 2-2.— Joga Bonito (@Jasoninho10) February 21, 2020
The home side find their equalizer, as Yustin Arboleda gets his brace. That goal has been coming, and the #Sounders are under significant pressure.#OLIvSEA #CCL #SCCL2020 pic.twitter.com/ydA0YIn6xu
OLIMPIA 1, SOUNDERS 2: Yustin Arboleda scored in the 63rd minute to cut the deficit, deflecting in a cross after Cristian Maidana beat Nouhou on the wing.
#Olimpia pull one back. #Sounders gave the ball away, and substitute Cristian Maidana (former MLS player) set up Yustin Arboleda for the goal.— Joga Bonito (@Jasoninho10) February 21, 2020
The game is very stretched now, as Seattle tire.
1-2. #OLIvSEA #CCL #SCCL2020 pic.twitter.com/76rdrg1H9a
OLIMPIA 0, SOUNDERS 2: Just as the Sounders were seemingly stuck in their own end, Jordan Morris gave them back control. Cristian Roldan started the sequence with a ball into the left channel that put Morris into space. He then found Joevin Jones on the opposite wing. Jones’ shot from the top of the box was saved, but Morris was able to put in the rebound.
This is how we do it. pic.twitter.com/WEkm5FMlLP— Sounder At Heart (@sounderatheart) February 21, 2020
OLIMPIA 0, SOUNDERS 1: The Sounders got off to a dream start, scoring in the 7th minute on a João Paulo goal. The sequence was made possible by a wonderful move from Joevin Jones, who then put Jordan Morris into space. Morris calmly let his teammates catch up and then put in a perfect cross to a late-charging João Paulo who headed it into the goal.
How good is this move and ball from Joevin to put Morris into space? Great goal. pic.twitter.com/PnZOsYQaMr— Sounder At Heart (@sounderatheart) February 21, 2020
LINEUPS: The Seattle Sounders’ depth is getting tested early. Nicolas Lodeiro (hamstring tendinitis), Gustav Svensson (calf strain) and Harry Shipp (illness) are all out, but the lineup still looks reasonably formidable with newly signed João Paulo and Yeimar Gómez Andrade both slotting in.
The Seattle Sounders officially start the 2020 season tonight. In their first game since winning MLS Cup last year, the Sounders will take on Olimpia in Concacaf Champions League action. This is the first of two legs.
This Sounders team will be a little bit different since the last time you saw them in action. Gone are key contributors like Roman Torres, Victor Rodriguez and Kim Kee-Hee. In their places are players like João Paulo and Yeimar Gomez Andrade. This will be the first competitive match for this Sounders squad, while Olimpia have already played eight games in league play and currently sit in third place.
The Sounders got here by winning the 2019 MLS Cup. Seattle is 16-5-5 all-time in CCL play, which includes one win and one loss against Olimpia during the 2015-16 group stage.
Absences: Injury, international duty and suspension
Seattle: OUT: Nicolás Lodeiro (M) - hamstring tendinitis, OUT: Gustav Svensson (M) - calf strain, QUESTIONABLE: Harry Shipp (M) - illness
Olimpia: OUT: Jorge Alvarez (M) - knee surgery, OUT: Michael Chirinos (M) - knee surgery
QUESTIONABLE: Harold Fonseca (GK) - undisclosed injury
Keys to the Game
- Keep it close: The Sounders don’t need to win this game or even pull out a tie (although either would be great), but it sure would be helpful if they could get at least one goal and not head home down by more than one.
- Let the game come: Not only is this the Seattle’s first competitive game in basically three months, but their preseason games were really more like scrimmages — they all had weird rules for substitutions and even allowed for red-carded players to return. This is the first time the Sounders will be facing an opponent who wants to win just as badly as they do. As such, keeping the game under control is probably preferable to starting quickly.
- Use the talent: Even if Nicolas Lodeiro is not fit to start, the Sounders should have the more talented side. You can pretty much go down the line position by position and make an argument the Sounders will have the better player at almost every spot. Olimpia is closer to top form and are playing in their home country, but there’s no reason the Sounders should be intimidated. If Olimpia is desperate as the game winds down, the Sounders need to take advantage.
How to Watch
Match date/time: Thursday, February 20, 7:00 PM PT
Venue: Estadio Olimpico Metropolitano — San Pedro Sula, Honduras
National English TV: FS2
National Spanish TV: TUDN
Local Radio: None
Local Spanish Radio: None
Highlights will be posted as the match progresses.
This is Seattle Sounders at Olimpia; watch with us
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