This CONCACAF Champions League semifinal offers a rematch of the quarterfinal last season: Sounders FC vs. Santos Laguna.
Last season, Seattle jumped to a 2-1 lead in the home leg before being mauled 6-1 in Mexico and ousted by 7-3 aggregate.
We asked coach Sigi Schmid today what he thinks about the rematch:
“It will be fun,” he said. “It’s obviously the same scenario where we play at home first and go down there second. I think we’ve learned from that experience. I think we showed when we played at Tigres that we’ve learned from that. So we need to implement what we’ve learned. We have to do a better job at home than we did the first time. The last time we played them we scored two. If we can get two again and not give one up, then that’s a good thing for us. They’re a little bit of a different team than they were last year. The coach has had a little bit of an influence, you know a coaching change, so their style is maybe a little different. But still, when you have a guy like Peralta and Gomez and those guys, and Quintero, you’re pretty dangerous up front.”
Los Angeles and Monterrey will meet in the other semifinal, marking the first time two MLS teams have lasted this deep into the competition.
“That’s a good thing for the league,” Schmid said. “Obviously there are two Mexican teams and there are two MLS teams. I think it shows that our two countries are the two strongest countries in this confederation. So they are going to be head-to-head duels and it will be interesting. Hopefully both MLS teams will get through and that will make it nice. But if definitely shows that the gap is closing.”