By Money Mike
The Seattle Sounders have chance to do what no MLS team has done since the Champions League was formed in 2008, and that is eliminate a Mexican opponent in the knockout stages of the Champions League. The Sounders host Tigres in the second leg tomorrow night at 7pm. Tigres won the first leg 1-0 on a 74th minute goal by Alan Pulido. It could've easily ended 3-0 Tigres, or worse, but the Sounders backline led by Djimi Traore did very well to stand their ground and hold them to a single goal. But now there's no excuse here, the Sounders need to win the second leg by multiple goals or at least 1-0 to force overtime if they want any chance of advancing.
Now as many of you heard, Tigres is bringing in a squad full of reserves to SeaTown and I gotta admit, they're nuts. The fact that it's only 1-0 on aggregate, they should've rested their starters last Saturday, but they didn't and now they're tired which means that most of players in the squad will be reserves and I'm pretty sure it includes a bum who goes by the name of Jonathan Bornstein. God that guy sucks. I'm still not over his shit performance for the U.S. in the 2011 Gold Cup. I'm not going to use a reserve squad as an excuse to say the Sounders will win this one easily. I'm not gonna say that. It's still a tough task, and the Sounders need to be equal to it. Speaking of the Sounders, they did have a bye week in League play so they didn't have to worry about shuffling their lineup. One of the guys that was left out last week, Steve Zakuani is expected to be named to the squad tomorrow. David Estrada, Shalrie Joseph and Adam Johansson are a no go. There were also injury concerns for Mario Martinez, but he should be available tomorrow.
Key to the game:
Being on Mexican soil the first leg. The key was to at least try to keep the score at a minimum. Keep it close at least. They did that. Now the Sounders are back on their home turf for the second game. Now it's time to attack. Put pressure on the Tigres backline. Everyone has gotta be on the same page here and not get caught out of position like they did in the opener against the Montreal Impact. No sloppy giveaways, no getting caught out of position, none of that crap. Direct play, get the crosses in. As for Eddie Johnson, he needs to be in the box to get on the end of them. Hopefully they can pull it out and move on to the semifinal. I'm gonna be there to catch every single minute of it and remember, I have a perfect record attending Sounder games, so hopefully that'll help (lol).