MATCH: Seattle Sounders FC (13-6-9, 48 points, 2nd, MLS West; 2-0-0 CCL) at Club Deportivo Marathon (National League of Honduras). TYPE: CONCACAF Champions League. WHEN: Wednesday, 7 p.m., San Pedro Sula, Honduras. MEETING: 3rd (series tied 1-1). TV: FOX Soccer. RADIO: None.
The Sounders take yet another break from MLS action Wednesday when they play the first of two 2012-13 CONCACAF Champions League (CCL) matches with Club Deportivo Marathon of Honduras. This marks the second year in a row the Sounders have drawn CD Marathon in the group stage of the tournament.
In 2011, the Sounders lost at Honduras 2-1 and beat the Hondurans at CenturyLink Field 2-0.
For this tournament, held annually, CONCACAF has slotted the Sounders into the three-team Group Four. After two rounds, Seattle (2-0-0, 6 points) is in control of the stage. The Sounders defeated Caledonia home and away by identical 3-1 scores, giving Seattle a group-best plus-four goal differential.
Caledonia (0-2-1, 1 point) has been eliminated with one match remaining. Seattle’s final two matches will be against CD Marathon (0-0-1, 1 point) Wednesday and Oct. 24 in Seattle.
Overall, five of 24 teams have earned six points in the first two group-stage matches: Mexico’s Santos Laguna (which eliminated Seattle from last year’s tournament) and Monterrey, Costa Rica’s Herediano, the Sounders and L.A. Galaxy. Seattle’s plus-four goal differential is tied for fourth-best in the tournament.
The semifinals of the 2012-13 tournament will be played in March, 2013.
The Sounders, Galaxy and Toronto FC are the only MLS teams to play in the CONCACAF tournament in each of the past three years.
2012 Sounders CONCACAF Schedule (2-0)
- Thursday, Aug. 2: Sounders FC 3, Caledonia 1 (CenturyLink)
- Thursday, Aug. 30: Sounders FC 3, Caledonia 1 (Trinidad)
- Wednesday, Sept. 19: Sounders at CD Marathon (Honduras)
- Wednesday, Oct. 24: CD Marathon at Sounders (CenturyLink)
Fredy Montero tops the Sounders with six goals and six assists in Champions League play, sharing the club lead in this year’s tournament with Sammy Ochoa (two goals, one assist). Alex Caskey and Andy Rose have tallied a goal and two assists this year.
Sounders Champions League Results
|8/3/10||El Salvador||Metapan||D||1-0-1||Draw 1-1|
|9/14/10||Costa Rica||Saprissa||L||1-3-1||Saprissa 2-0|
|7/26/11||Panama||San Francisco||L||2-6-1||San Francisco 1-0|
|8/3/11||Seattle||San Francisco||W||3-6-1||Sounders 2-0|
|9/14/11||Costa Rica||Herediano||W||6-6-1||Sounders 2-1|
SOUNDERS STATS / NOTES
- Seattle is 9-9-2 all-time in Champions League play, including 6-4-0 at CenturyLink Field.
- Seattle has played the second-most Champions League games (20) of any MLS team since qualifying for the 2010-11 tournament. Seattle’s 20 CCL games re two fewer than Toronto FC (22). LA Galaxy is third with 18 and Real Salt Lake is next at 14.
- Michael Gspurning leads MLS with a 0.76 goals against average.
- Mauro Rosales leads MLS with 13 assists and five game-winning assists.
- Eddie Johnson, who will have to sit out Saturday’s MLS match with San Jose, is fourth in the Budweiser Golden Boot Race with 13 goals, and Fredy Montero is fifth with 12.
- Sounders have won their past four home MLS matches and are unbeaten in their past five (4-0-1) overall.
- Sounders are 6-3-4 all-time in the month of September, outscoring opponents 20-12.
- Sounders are 12-0-3 when scoring first. Seattle’s current 29-game unbeaten streak (23-0-6) when scoring first is the second-longest active streak in MLS (New York, 55).
- Seattle’s average attendance of 42,379 is on track to set the league record. The biggest attendance for an MLS game this season was 60,908 when the Sounders hosted the L.A. Galaxy at CenturyLink Field Aug. 5. The 2012 season attendance total is 550,930. Seattle’s record from 2011 was 654,431.
HEAD COACH: Sigi Schmid became first head coach of Seattle Sounders FC Dec. 16, 2008, and is in his fourth year. Born in Tübingen, Germany, Schmid relocated with his family to the U.S. in 1956, and to Torrance, CA., in 1962. He was a four-year starter at UCLA (1972-75) and graduated with a B.S. degree in economics in 1976.
Schmid later earned a M.A. in business administration from Southern California. A certified public accountant, Schmid coached the Los Angeles Galaxy from 1999 through 2004, winning four major competitions: 2002 MLS Cup, 2002 MLS Supporters Shield, 2001 U.S. Open Cup and the 2001 CONCACAF Champions Cup. He coached the Columbus Crew from 2006-08, winning the MLS Cup in his final season.
In 2009, under Schmid’s direction, the Sounders became the first expansion team to reach the MLS playoffs since the 1998 Chicago Fire. The Sounders also won the U.S. Open Cup in Schmid’s first season. They added their second and third U.S. Open Cup titles in 2010 and 2011.
The Confederation of North, Central American and Caribbean Association Football is one of six continental confederations of FIFA. CONCACAF serves as the governing body of soccer/football in this part of the world and is composed of 40 national associations, from Canada in the north to Guyana, Surinam and French Guyana in the south.
The winner of the CONCACAF tournament becomes eligible to play in the FIFA Club World Cup. Monterrey is the defending CCL champion, having defeated Santos Laguna 3-2 on aggregate goals in the 2011-12 tournament (Santos eliminated Seattle from the tournament in March).
Formed in 1925 by Eloy Montes, Club Deportivo Marathon is one of the most prestigious clubs in Honduras and will be making its fourth CONCACAF Champions League appearance. In its three previous appearances, Honduras reached the quarterfinals (2008-09), quarterfinals (2010-11) and Group Stage (2010-11).
In 2008-09 “El Monstruo Verde” (The Green Monster) won its group, but was upset by the Puerto Rico Islanders in the knockout stage. In 2009-10, Marathon fell to Pumas UNAM of Mexico in the quarterfinals. The only Honduran team to beat Argentine powerhouse River Plate, Marathon is coached by Manuel Keosseian, who led the club to three titles from 2007-2009 and replaced Ramon Maradiaga just before the start of the Champions League.
Marathon is led by Honduran defender Jerry Palacios, who competed in the 2010 World Cup with brothers Johnny and Wilson. They became the first trio of siblings to represent a single nation in the same World Cup. Veteran defenders Mario Beata and Mauricio Sabillon also highlight the squad.
HEAD COACH: Manuel Keosseian is a former Uruguayan-Armenian professional footballer who most notably played as a midfielder and manager of Uruguayan side C.A. Peñarol. He has managed Honduras since 2011.
COMING UP: Sounders return to CenturyLink Field for a Saturday match with the league-leading San Jose Earthquakes.
Seattle Sounders FC 2012 Schedule / Results
(13-6-9, 48 points, MLS; 2-0 CCL; 4-1 U.S. Open Cup)
|4/7||^at DC United||4:30||KING||D||0-0||2-1-1|
|5/9||^at FC Dallas||5:30||KONG||W||2-0||7-1-1|
|6/26||&at San Jose||7:30||Webcast||W||1-0||3-0-0|
|6/30||^at New England||4:30||KONG||D||2-2||7-5-5|
|7/15||^at New York||1:00||ESPN||D||2-2||8-5-7|
|8/5||^vs. LA Galaxy||6:00||ESPN2||W||4-0||10-5-7|
|8/8||&at Sport KC||6:00||GolTV||L||2-1||4-1|
|8/11||^at San Jose||7:30||KONG||L||2-1||10-6-7|
|9/2||^at FC Dallas||4:00||KING||D||1-1||12-6-8|
|10/21||^vs. FC Dallas||6:00||ESPN||—||—||—|
|10/28||^at LA Galaxy||6:00||ESPN||—||—||—|
*=CONCACAF; ^=Major League Soccer; #=International friendly; &=U.S. Open Cup