Sounders FC are no closer to knowing the identity of their CONCACAF Champions League quarter final opponents despite beating Marathon 3-1 tonight in Seattle.
There are still four possible opponents, two of them fellow MLS sides.
Should Los Angeles Galaxy lose in Metapan tomorrow, Sounders FC will meet Dominic Kinnear’s Houston Dynamo in the quarter finals.
If the match is drawn then Galaxy themselves will provide Sounders opponents.
A Galaxy win would push Tigres of Monterrey into sixth and the Mexican side would then provide third seed Seattle’s opposition.
All that is making the assumption that Xelaju lose in Mexico to Guadalajara tomorrow.
If they don’t the permutations increase threefold. If Xelaju and Galaxy both win, even Herediano could be Sounders opponents. There is no way Sounders can play Xelaju or Guadalajara but nothing else is assured.
On a wet night in Seattle, goals from Sammy Ochoa, Steve Zakuani and Davuid Estrada eased Sounders to a win with Mitchell Brown scoring for the visitors. Mario Martinez notched two assists against his compatriots.
Martinez began the match along with Zakuani starting having fought off an abdominal strain. Ex EPL goalkeeper Marcus Hahnemann made his first team debut. Zach Scott captained the side starting at left back unusually for him. Mike Seamon made a rare appearance starting at right back.
The temperature was a full 37 degrees lower than the Marathon players had left behind in San Pedro Sula. Marathon, fittingly wearing emerald green in the Emerald City, arrived unbeaten in all competitions since they last played the Sounders.
After 22 minutes Sammy Ochoa scored for the fourth consecutive CCL game. A Mario Martinez cross from the right confounded his compatriots and Ochoa secured a clean enough connection to beat Jose Mendoza in the Marathon goal.
Steve Zakuani beat the offside trap four minutes later leaving Quiarol Arzu chasing his shadow after receiving a visionary pass from Jeff Parke. For show the winger left Luis Castro flat on his derrière before comprehensively netting Seattle’s second goal.
Shortly after Zach Scott rose above all to meet a Martinez corner, but could only glance his header narrowly the wrong side of the post. Sounders domination was not quite whole but Rose harshly but needlessly fouled Reinieri Mayorquin anyway and was lucky to escape caution.
Nevertheless Marathon were enjoying their best spell and it paid dividends when Marco Vega wide out right found Mitchell Brown being played onside by Mike Seamon.
Back at the north end, Scott continued to be a threat at set pieces forcing the goalscorer Brown into a hurried clearance. At one of them Quiarol Arzu picked up the game’s first yellow for some penalty area jostling.
At the interval, Marc Burch resumed the centre back role he filled at reserve level to relieve Parke who is expected to play in Sunday in Los Angeles.
The opening ten minutes of the second half was quiet.
But Mitchell Brown forced Hannemahn into his first meaningful save in 65 minutes whe he was fortunate the striker fired close too him, albeit with pace. Alex Caskey entered for Andy Rose in the Seattle midfield.
Alexander Aguilar replaced Mariano Acevedo as the visitors went in search of an equaliser. But the goal was to come at the other end. David Estrada failed to control a Martinez pass the first time, but was more alert than the defenders and pounced on the loose ball first to score from close in with 14 minutes left.
Steve Zakuani had suffered a knee knock and despite persevering left for Cordell Cato after the third goal. Wilmer Fuentes also entered replacing Mauricio Sabillon.
None of the late changes had any effect, leaving the score at 3-1 and Sounders waiting nervously for the identity of their next CCL opponents.
There were two home wins for Mexican sides. Santos Laguna extinguished Toronto’s faint hopes with a 1-0 win and Tigres thumped Alajuelense 5-0 to secure their own passage.
Seattle Sounders FC – Marcus Hahnemann, Mike Seamon, Jeff Parke (Marc Burch 46), Jhon Kennedy Hurtado, Zach Scott, Mario Martinez, Servando Carrasco, Andy Rose (Alex Caskey 67), Steve Zakuani (Cordell Cato78), David Estrada, Sammy Ochoa.
Substitutes Not Used: Andrew Weber, Christian Tiffert, Brad Evans, Fredy Montero.
TOTAL SHOTS: 15; SHOTS ON GOAL: 6; FOULS: 12; OFFSIDE: 0; CORNER KICKS: 7; SAVES: 4.
CD Marathon – Jose Mendoza, Luis Castro, Quiarol Arzu, Mauricio Sabillon (Wilmer Fuentes 79), David Meza, Reiniey Mayorquin, Mariano Acevedo (Alexander Aguilar 73), Mario Berrios, Cristhian Altamirano, Tulio Vega (Randy Diamond 65), Michel Brown.
Substitutes Not Used: Shane Orio.
TOTAL SHOTS: 10; SHOTS ON GOAL: 5; FOULS: 10; OFFSIDE: 4; CORNER KICKS: 3; SAVES: 2.
|Updated Combined CCL Standings|
|RSL * (E)||4||2||1||1||3||1||2||7|
|Municipal * (E)||4||2||0||2||4||6||-2||6|
* These teams are already eliminated due to not finishing top of their group.
Santos Laguna 1 : 0 Toronto
Tigres 5 : 0 Alajuelense
Guadalajara v Xelaju (Thu)
Isidro Metapan v LA Galaxy (Thu)