SOUNDERS FC AT SANTOS LAGUNA
5 p.m., Estadio Corona, Torreon, Mexico.
TV: Fox Soccer. RADIO: None.
NOTES: This is the resolution game of a home-and-away, aggregate-score semifinal series in CONCACAF Champions League, the club championship of North America, Central America and the Caribbean. Santos won the opener 1-0 in Seattle. Therefore, Santos advances with a win or a draw. Because road goals are the first tie-breaker, Seattle would advance with a win by any score other than 1-0. A 1-0 win by the Sounders would send the series to extra time and then penalty kicks, if necessary. … Seattle and Santos reached the knockout rounds by sweeping their four matches in group stage. In the quarterfinals, Seattle advanced with 3-2 aggregate win over Tigres, while Santos came from behind to eliminate Houston, 3-1. … Sounders goalkeeper Michael Gspurning is eligible again after missing the first leg due to yellow-card accumulation. … The Sounders will be without forwards Obafemi Martins (knee) and David Estrada (eye), while forward Eddie Johnson (toe/hamstring) and midfielder Brad Evans (calf) are questionable. … In domestic league play, Seattle is last in the MLS Western Conference with a 0-3-1 record. Santos is fourth in Liga MX at 6-2-5.
ABOUT SANTOS: The club was founded in 1983. This is Santos’ fourth CCL appearance, and it reached the final in 2012. Santos has won the Mexican Primera Division four times, Interliga once and Copa Independencia once. Key players are forwards Herculez Gomez and Oribe Peralta and goalkeeper Oswaldo Sanchez. The club features 11 present or former international players, including seven Mexican internationals. Seattle and Santos split two meetings in the 2012 CCL quarterfinals with Santos advancing on aggregate score, 7-3, including a 6-1 win at home.
QUOTABLE: “It’s nice to do unexpected things, things that people don’t expect you to do. I know Santos probably in the back of their minds doesn’t expect us to do it, so that might give us a little bit of an edge.” – coach Sigi Schmid on the Sounders as underdogs.
NEXT: The series winner meets the Los Angeles-Monterrey winner the CCL final round, starting April 24. The loser is eliminated. The Sounders return to MLS play at 1 p.m. Saturday, meeting New England at CenturyLink Field.
Here’s a take from MLS on its two teams in the semifinal series:
The road to a CONCACAF Champions League title got a lot tougher for the Seattle Sounders FC and Los Angeles Galaxy last week when both suffered defeats in the home legs of their semifinal series against Mexican rivals.
The Sounders fell 1-0 to Santos Laguna at CenturyLink Field while the Galaxy surrendered a pair of late goals in a 2-1 defeat to Monterrey at the Home Depot Center.
Seattle and Los Angeles now have to win their away legs by two or more goals in order to advance to the final of a competition that has eluded MLS teams since the Galaxy captured the title (then known as CONCACAF Champions Cup) in January of 2001.
On Tuesday the Sounders return to the site of their 6-1 drubbing last year to face Santos (8 p.m. ET, Fox Soccer), while the Monterrey vs. LA Galaxy match will be on Wednesday at 10 p.m. ET on Fox Soccer.
Galaxy goalkeeper Carlo Cudicini says his team should “not be afraid of anything” and go for the win.