Friday, August 3, 2012
Sounders open up Champions League Group play with a 3-1 win over Caledonia AIA
The Seattle Sounders kicked off another big month on a good note. Last night, the Sounders kicked off CONCACAF Champions League group play on a winning note as they defeated Caledonia AIA of Trinidad and Tobago 3-1 at home. With a huge home match on Sunday against the Los Angeles Galaxy and an Open Cup final match next Wednesday at Sporting Kansas City, that win should boost the teams confidence as we near the late stages of the 2012 MLS season.
In the opening minute of the match, the Sounders nearly scored on a set piece opportunity. Alex Caskey took the corner kick from the far side and found Andy Rose at the near post, but his header just sailed high. A few minutes later, the Sounders had another corner and Caskey this time found Jeff Parke at the near post, but again the header was a little too high.
A couple minutes later, Caledonia had a chance to pull level. Jamaal Gay slid the ball across to Kareem Joseph who had plenty of space on the left side of the box. With Marc Burch backtracking, Joseph hesitated before cutting to his right foot and shooting for the far corner, but Andrew Weber got a piece of it to keep it out.
In the 30th minute, the Sounders doubled their lead. Cordell Cato made a nice cut inside and sent Andy Rose away down the right hand side with a brilliant through ball and Rose slid the ball right across to the six yard area where Fredy Montero was there for an easy tap in for his eighth goal in all competitions this season and more importantly to put the Sounders ahead 2-0. Seconds later, Ozzie Alonso took the ball away and had a go from distance which forced a save from Glenroy Samuel.
Five minutes into the second half, Jhon Kennedy Hurtado got whistled for a foul in the box and Caledonia were awarded a PK. A long throw in was intended for Jamaal Gay in the box and Hurtado had his arms around him as he tried the clear the ball away. Normally the officials don't see those in the box so I was a little surprised that the referee saw that, but he saw it and he pointed to the spot which I believe was the correct decision. Kareem Joseph stepped up to take the PK and he went top right as Andrew Weber guessed incorrectly and Caledonia got on the board in this match. However they couldn't create any real chances in the second half and the Sounders walk away 3-1 winners in the Champions League Group opener.
With the change of the format for the 2012-13 CONCACAF Champions League, with eight groups of three and the winner of each group advancing, the pressure in the first match of group play is usually on the home team.Seattle took it to their opponents and got a much deserved win to kick off the month of August. The question is can they play with that same enthusiasm against an LA Galaxy side that has been on a roll lately? That's for everybody to find out on Sunday.
Seattle Sounders FC - Sammy Ochoa (Andy Rose, Alex Caskey) 19'
Seattle Sounders FC - Fredy Montero (Andy Rose, Cordell Cato) 30'
Seattle Sounders FC - Andy Rose (unassisted) 43'
Caledonia AIA - Kareem Joseph (penalty kick) 50'
Caledonia AIA - Keyon Edwards (caution; foul) 39'
Seattle Sounders FC - Fredy Montero (caution; dive) 56'
Caledonia AIA - Glenroy Samuel; Aubrey David, Radanfah Abu Bakr, Nuru Abdullah Muhammad, Walter Moore; Kareem Joseph, Stephan David, Keyon Edwards, Trayon Bobb (Trevin Caesar 58'); Jamaal Gay (Sheldon Holder 83'), Conrad Smith (Cornelius Stewart 58')
Seattle Sounders FC - Andrew Weber; Brad Evans, Jeff Parke, Jhon Kennedy Hurtado, Marc Burch; Cordell Cato, Osvaldo Alonso (Servando Carrasco 46'), Andy Rose, Alex Caskey (Leo Gonzalez 75'); Sammy Ochoa, Fredy Montero (Adam Johansson 92'+)