Seattle Sounders Visit El Salvador To Tackle Metapan

Bill HareCorrespondent IAugust 3, 2010

SANTA CLARA, CA - JULY 31:  Fredy Montero #17 of the Seattle Sounders FC celebrates after he scored a goal against the San Jose Earthquakes at Buck Shaw Stadium on July 31, 2010 in Santa Clara, California.  (Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)
Ezra Shaw/Getty Images

Coach Sigi Schmid and his Seattle Sounders have been traveling so far and often that premium frequent flyer miles would be a seemingly deserving reward.

Seattle Sounders FC plays matches 3,000 miles apart this week. Sounders FC can clinch a place in the CONCACAF Champions League group stage with a win or draw at El Salvador's AD Isidro Metapán on Tuesday night at 7 p.m. PT in a match carried on the Fox Soccer Channel.

Seattle then returns home to seek to continue its climb up the Western Conference of MLS when it hosts the Houston Dynamo on Sunday night at 8 p.m. PT.

The Metapan match is a return engagement of the Seattle meeting last Wednesday won by the Sounders 1-0 on a 40-yard second half missile by striker Fredy Montero seconds after he came off the bench.

In a postgame press conference, Metapan coach Edwin Portillo conceded that his club would face a daunting task the following week against a Sounder squad whose personnel impressed him.  Given the 1-0 loss, Portillo acknowledged that it would be tactically necessary to play more aggressively to compensate for the one goal to nil defeat.

Portillo acknowledged that his strategic intention in the Seattle contest was to play for a tie, after which home pitch advantage could assist his team in holding off the visitors.

Conversely, Coach Schmid is looking at a situation where, given Metapan’s necessity to take chances, the risky play will render it more potentially vulnerable in the scoring department.  On the surface, the Sounders look to be in a good position to move on to the next competition stage by scoring one goal.

With the Sounders playing their soundest defensive soccer of the season, and having already shut out Metapan at home, it would be unlikely for Seattle to give up more than one goal at best.  Hence, should Seattle be able to score once and hold the home team to no more than one score, the Sounders would then advance.

All eyes will be on Fredy Montero to see if he can continue his streak.  The Colombian has gone eight games in which he has garnered a goal or an assist.

On Sunday the Sounders host a team in Houston that has been encountering problems.

Hence, Schmid should remind his team about the D.C. United match at home earlier in the season.  Coming off an impressive win over the New England Revolution, the Sounders were upset by the D.C. team 3-2 as Chris Pontius scored two goals and was close to a hat trick, the third prospective score being ruled an on goal instead.

After the Houston Dynamo game it will be back on the road for the Sounders the next week for an August 14 contest against Chivas U.S.A. in Carson, California.

Considering how much traveling the Sounders have been doing recently, a flight to Los Angeles is a short trip indeed.