By Money Mike
The Seattle Sounders open up Group D of the 2011-2012 CONCACAF Champions League at home against Guatemalan side Comunicaciones. The Sounders qualified for the Group Stage having knocked out San Francisco F.C. 2-1 on aggregate in the Preliminary Round. Last year in Group play, the Sounders finished 1-5 with their only win coming against Marathon on Matchday 5. I think Seattle will do a lot better this year than they did last year. As a matter of fact, they have a good shot at finishing 2nd and earning a spot in the quarterfinals, which will take place in February. The match tomorrow kicks off at 7pm and will be televised on Fox Soccer Channel and streamed online at concacaf.com. If you don't have Fox Soccer and are just too damn lazy to watch the game online, then you can listen to it on 97.3 KIRO fm.
Who are Comunicaciones?
Founded in 1949, Comunicaciones are a team from Guatemala City, Guatemala. But even though they haven't existed for that long, they have won 24 league titles. In the 1990's they've enjoyed some great success, bringing in players like Costa Rican's Maurico Wright and Rolando Fonseca, Milton Nunez from Honduras, and they brought in some highly-esteemed local players like Martin Machon, Edgar Estrada, Jorge Rudas and Julio Rudas.
I tell you what, this investment paid off as Comunicaciones won four league titles in a row, starting in 1996-97. So this team has quite a bit of history.
What to look out for in this game:
- We're gonna have clear skies tomorrow and the temperature is going to be around 73° F which is perfect weather for soccer. This will help with the speed and the tempo of this match, especially since we are playing on turf.
- Osvaldo Alonso will be suspended for the opener because he picked up two yellow cards in the Preliminary series against San Francisco, which is the max. in club football tournaments as well as country.
- Again, we've had some injury problems, not only with Steve Zakuani and O'Brian White but also Brad Evans and Jhon Kennedy Hurtado. Evans has been suffering from a strained hamstring and Hurtado sprained his MCL in the Cascadia derby against the Portland Timbers. Both players are expected to play tomorrow in the opener. As for O'Brian White, well I don't know what's been going on, he's still not 100%. This guy's a big big loss, we need him up top.