Sounders FC will meet Dallas on Saturday in the wake of the Hoops 1-0 win over Pumas last night — the first time an MLS team has won in Mexico.
“It was good,” coach Sigi Schmid said. “Obviously how each team approaches it is a little bit different. Dallas went down and when with their heavy team. You know first games in the group stage are important. Pumas obviously elected to play a different type of team: I think they started eight under-20 players. Hartman came up with some big plays. But I think at the end of the day it’s good for U.S. soccer. I think it’s probably to feel they could field an under-20 team and beat a pro team from up here. I think it’s good that Dallas went down there and made that statement that you’ve got to come up with something better if you want to beat us.”
Sounders and former U.S. national team keeper Kasey Keller was asked why it is so hard to win in Mexico.
“They’re good teams,” he said. “They have good budgets. They have probably 10 times the budget we have, so that kind of speaks for itself. It’s a tough place to play against good competition and that happens. Not many teams win at Barcelona, not many teams win against the best teams in the world. So when you go down and you’re matching up what we’ve done in our history compared to what some of the Mexican teams have done, you see why it’s a difficult task. But that tide is changing. The national team still hasn’t won in Mexico. It’s a tough task, so congratulations to Dallas to be the first.”
However, Keller doesn’t believe the Dallas win — or even the Sounders’ CCL win on Tuesday — will have much relevance on Saturday.
“I think it will be totally different,” he said. “Obviously that’s over, and hopefully they’ll have a little bit of a hangover from it. But at the same time, they did make some changes, we made some changes for our game, so I think both teams are going to be pretty fresh going into Saturday’s game. The weather’s supposed to be a nice cool 106 or something. Looking forward to that. But like I said, it will be a good occasion.”