The way Sounders FC coach Sigi Schmid sees it, there is no such thing as a meaningless game.
That goes for the club’s CONCACAF Champions League match at Qwest Field tonight against Marathn of Honduras.
The game was rendered moot by conventional standards Tuesday night when Saprissa and Monterrey played to a 2-2 draw. That single standings point for Saprissa pushed the team beyond the reach of the Sounders, meaning Seattle has no chance of advancing out of Group C, even if it sweeps its two remaining games.
“I don’t think it’s an issue,” Schmid said Tuesday before Saprissa and Monterrey kicked off. “(Even if we can’t advance) guys are out there playing saying, ‘Hey, Coach, look at me: I want you to notice me. I want to be the guy you can rely on as you move forward and who you can look to.’
“You look at a kid, for example, like (Michael) Fucito, who scored that early goal against (Kansas City) and then was out injured for the longest time. And now Fucito obviously drew a lot of attention to himself by being the main guy involved in those two goals down there in Monterrey. It’s like, ‘Hey, Coach, you have to look at me, I’m an alternative for you.’ ”
That Monterrey game last week was just the latest of four consecutive unhappy endings for the Sounders in Champions League.
Seattle held a 2-0 lead deep in the game, and then watched it slip away as Monterrey rallied for three goals over a four-minute span for a 3-2 victory.
“We’ve just been disappointed,” Schmid said. “We’ve played four games, and we’ve had to play three games away, and every game we felt we were there to win the game: red card; five-minute meltdown; giving away a questionable penalty kick in Honduras. Our luck hasn’t broken for us there.”
Schmid said early Tuesday that he had a starting lineup in mind regardless of the Saprissa-Monterrey outcome, although he acknowledged the stakes of the game could shape the reserves on this 18-man roster.
The Sounders will conclude their run in Champions League on Oct. 19 when Saprissa visits Qwest Field.
Many good tickets remain available with just over 10,000 sold as of Tuesday. … Seattle midfielder Pat Noonan underwent hip surgery Tuesday in Colorado. He is out for the season. … Reserve goalkeeper Terry Boss has been called in by the Puerto Rico national team for Caribbean Championship Stage One matches against Anguilla on Saturday and Monday versus Saint-Martin. Both games will be played in Bayamon, Puerto Rico. Seattle will select an emergency goalkeeper from the MLS pool in time for the Saturday league game against Toronto. Boss has made four previous appearances with the Puerto Rican team. His eligibility comes from residency while playing the 2006-07 seasons with the USL Puerto Rico Islanders. … It’s the final day of registration for the James Riley 7-A-Side Youth Tournament on Sunday at Arena Sports in Redmond. Proceeds benefit the Renton/Skyway Boys & Girls Club. There will be U10 and U12 divisions for both boys and girls. Register by phone at 425-885-4881 or online at www.arenasports.net.
Don Ruiz, 253-597-8808 firstname.lastname@example.org blog.thenewstribune.com/soccer
CD MARATHN AT SEATTLE SOUNDERS FC
7 p.m., Qwest Field.
TV: Fox Soccer Channel. RADIO: 97.3 FM.
ABOUT THIS COMPETITION: CONCACAF Champions League is a tournament involving top clubs from North America, Central America and the Caribbean. Seattle qualified for the preliminary round by winning the 2009 U.S. Open Cup and advanced to group play with an aggregate-score win over Metapn of El Salvador. Marathon qualified by winning the Honduran 2009-10 Apertura. Seattle and Marathn are in Group C, along with Monterrey (Mexico) and Saprissa (Costa Rica). Group play consists of six games, each team playing the other three home and away. The top two finishers in each group will advance to the knockout rounds. Seattle is 0-4, Marathon is 2-2.
ABOUT MARATHN: The club was formed in 1925 as Club Deportivo Marathon. It is now sometimes called “El Monstruo Verde” (the Green Monster). Marathn also competed in the Champions League in 2008-09 and 2009-10. The club has won eight Honduran league titles and one Honduran Cup (1994).
PREVIOUS MEETING: Marathn came from behind for a 2-1 win on Aug. 19 in Honduras. Seattle’s goal was scored by Roger Levesque, Marathn’s by Orvin Paz and Nicolas Cardozo.
SIGI SCHMID SCOUTING REPORT: “They say they play four in the back, but they play more three in the back. … There are a lot of spaces for us to attack wide. … We just have to keep certain guys in check for them and take care of our business.”
NEXT: The Sounders will return to MLS play at 12:30 p.m. Saturday, when Toronto F.C. visits Qwest Field.
Don Ruiz, staff writer