by Charles Therrell (DISK DOKTOR)
Greetings to my brothers and sisters in Green. As it was in the second leg at Seattle against Santa Tecla in the Round of 16, so it is now in the Quarter-Finals against the Chivas in Guadalajara. The 2nd leg will determine who advances to the Semi-Finals. The trick is that our Sounders will have to get through the Chivas at their fortress of a stadium to win the cup tie.
The Sounders have flown to Guadalajara, Mexico for one of the toughest away matches they will play this season. At stake: a place in the CONCACAF Champions League Semi-Finals. Two teams enter. One team will advance.
Gather your Green Family where ye may. The match will be televised on Univision, with streaming video available on go90.com. A fraction of our number will no doubt represent the Blue and the Green, making the trip down to Jalisco to support our boys. For those who remain here in the Evergreen, as well as in our other corners of the country, find a pub that will screen the match or fill the bathtub with ice and beer and invite your mates over to watch the stream. Wherever ye may be, be loud, be heard, and be kind.
Before kick-off, join me in the auld toast: TO THE SEATTLE SOUNDERS FOOTBALL CLUB…AND VICTORY!!!
The Good News
Sounders, first-choice right-back Kelvin Leerdam has returned to training and should be available for selection.
The Chivas are struggling in the Liga MX, even against inferior opposition. They edged second from bottom BUAP in an away match four days ago 0:1. Chivas sit 15th in a table of 18 clubs in the Torneo Clausura.
We bested the Chivas 1:0 in Seattle last week, winning the first leg. Chivas’ failure to score an away goal, means the only way for Chivas to advance is to have the higher aggregate total at the end of tonight’s match. With a one-goal lead going into the second leg, it is the Chivas, not the Sounders who must show urgency in attacking. Where there is attacking football, there is the opportunity for counter-attacking. If Chivas push too many players forward, they could be exposed at the back.
In their last six home matches, the Chivas have only won one time, losing three, and drawing twice.
If he so chooses, Brian Schmetzer can select his best team, as there would be three days for recovery, before our match in the league at Dallas on Sunday.
Pulido is suspended as he picked up his second booking in Seattle last week. Pulido is one of the best strikers in the Chivas team. Although there are other players in their squad capable of scoring goals, it is a disadvantage that he is unavailable for selection.
The Bad News
Alonso and Rodriguez may not be available for selection. Every day Morris continues to be out is bad news.
In six matches played in Mexico in the CCL, the Sounders have a record of 1-1-4. The only win Sounders FC have managed in Mexico in the CCL was against Monterrey, and that was six or seven years ago.
In all competitions (including pre-season), Seattle have only managed to win one of their last five matches on the road this season.
With both sides scoring better than a goal per match and conceding less than a goal per game, the form comparison sees both clubs in a very even light. In situations like these, intangibles such as home ground advantage tend to play a more prominent role.
Regardless of the football, the looming shadow of spotty refereeing in CONCACAF could be the game-breaker in a hotly contested cup tie. This match is likely to get more chippy and angry the longer the Chivas are held scoreless.
The Chivas’ home ground has been a fortress over the years. As we were over 40,000 strong in Seattle, voices raised, so will it be in Guadalajara, but this time the cheers will not be for us and the deafening sound around our boys this night will be the angry sounds of frustration and damaged pride.
Simply put, this cup tie is too close to predict. It’s a crapshoot, and any sudden edge could decide the result.
Know Thine Enemy
Cota, 30, has been on loan at Chivas since 2015 from Pachuca. He was meant to be competition with Chivas’ then first-team goalkeeper Jose Rodriguez. Cota proceeded to displace Rodriguez and is now first choice for Guadalajara. During his time in Zapopan, he has played 77 matches. He has played 184 matches in his professional career, previously playing for Pachuca and Puebla. Cota has earned two caps for Mexico.
Alanis, 28, has played 47 times for the Chivas scoring four goals. He has 21 caps for Mexico scoring two goals. His career league numbers are 199 matches and nine goals scored. He previously played for Tecos and Santos Laguna before his move to Jalisco.
Salcido, 37, has played over 200 times for the Chivas. He has 124 Mexico caps, scoring 10 goals. He also played over 120 matches for PSV Eindhoven between 2006-2010, and over 20 matches at Fulham FC. He’s played over 400 matches of top-level club football in his career and wears the Captain’s armband for Guadalajara.
Mayorga, 20, has played 46 league matches for the Chivas this season.
Lopez, 23, is playing in his fifth season for the Chivas. This season, he has played 28 times scoring three goals. Lopez has 90 matches and eight goals in his five-season career, all with Chivas.
Godinez, 21, has played 11 times for the Chivas this season, scoring two goals. This season is only the second professional season of Godinez’ career. His total experience amounts to 12 league matches over two seasons.
Perez, 25, has played 18 matches with Chivas this season, scoring one goal. In his career, he has played 91 matches with two goals scored.
Pineda, 21, is playing in his third season for the Chivas. He has played 25 league matches this season. He has 130 matches of Mexican league football under his belt, scoring 14 goals. Pineda has nine caps for Mexico, scoring one goal.
Carlos Cisneros, 24, has played 15 matches for the Chivas this season, scoring two goals. He’s played nearly 100 professional matches scoring 10 goals, all with the Chivas save for 29 matches and three goals with Atletico Zacatepec.
Jose Macias, 18, has played 12 matches for the Chivas this season, scoring two goals. It’s his first season in professional football. I estimate that he will be the suspended Pulido’s replacement.
Brizuela, 27, has played 22 times for the Chivas this season scoring one goal. Brizuela has played four seasons with Guadalajara, previously having played for Toluca, Atlas, and Atletico Mexiquense. His career numbers are 288 matches played scoring 26 goals. Brizuela has nine caps for Mexico. Brizuela wore the captain’s armband in the 2nd leg against Cibao.
Not a one.
CD Guadalajara from: Cota, Jimenez, Antonio Rodriguez, Antonio Torres, Aguayo, Alanis, Salcido, Pereira, Marin, Hernandez, Mayorga, Gurrola, Galindo, Pineda, Edson Torres, Lopez, Pizarro, Perez, Cervantes, Beltran, Oscar Macias, Brizuela, Sandoval, Benitez, Carlos Cisneros, Basulto, Ronaldo Cisneros, Godinez, Jose Macias, Zaldivar, Sanchez.
Sounders FC from: Frei, Meredith, Brown, Leerdam, Nouhou Tolo, Marshall, Alfaro, Kim, Roman Torres, McCrary, Francis, Svensson, Alonso, Cristian Roldan, Alex Roldan, Victor Rodriguez, Lodeiro, Shipp, Delem, Eikrem, Wingo, Bwana, Dempsey, Adekoya, Bruin, Neagle.
CD Guadalajara –
MATCHDAY DECISION: unknown.
Sounders FC –
OUT: Morris (ACL).
MATCHDAY DECISION: Alonso (quadriceps), Rodriguez (quadriceps).
CD Guadalajara: Pulido picked up his second booking of the tournament in Seattle. He is suspended for this match. Godinez, Cota, and Carlos Cisneros are each carrying one booking.
Sounders FC: None suspended. Delem, Svensson, Dempsey, Roman Torres, and McCrary are carrying bookings into this match.
The Chivas have never been relegated to the second division since their founding in 1906.