Certainly a 4-0 start in the CONCACAF Champions League would be enough to advance Sounders FC past the group stage and into the knockout...
TUKWILA — Certainly a 4-0 start in the CONCACAF Champions League would be enough to advance Sounders FC past the group stage and into the knockout rounds, right?
Well, most likely.
But coach Sigi Schmid is wary of premature celebration, even if Seattle beats CS Herediano of Costa Rica in Tuesday’s 7 p.m. game at CenturyLink Field.
“We will wait to make sure the appropriate result happens on the other end before we talk about clinching,” said Schmid cautiously.
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Complicated qualification scenarios are the reason he is guarded.
The Sounders will know by kickoff whether a win would be enough to move on to the CCL quarterfinals. Monterrey of Mexico (1-2) hosts Comunicaciones of Guatemala (2-1) at 5 p.m. Seattle (3-0) will advance if the Sounders win and Comunicaciones wins or ties.
But a Monterrey win will throw a kink in the plans.
Only two of the four teams in CCL’s Group D will advance. Even if Seattle wins Tuesday to go to 4-0, the Sounders, Comunicaciones and Monterrey could each finish 4-2, meaning one team would be eliminated via tiebreaker (starting with goal differential).
“Even though (4-0) seems like a great start, and mathematically you don’t expect that to happen, I’ve seen stranger things happen,” Schmid said.
Despite an 0-3 start, Herediano won’t be a pushover. The Costa Ricans haven’t been eliminated yet and are believed to have traveled with a first-team lineup.
“All along we’ve said we wanted to win our games at home,” Schmid said. “We felt that was important in the competition. (We’ve won) two games on the road, which is to me a bonus. Now we’ve got to take care of business at home.”
2 to 4 weeks
An MRI revealed that midfielder Mauro Rosales has a slight tear in the MCL in his right knee. He suffered the injury in Saturday’s win over D.C. United and he is expected to miss two to four weeks.
• More than 27,000 tickets have been sold for the U.S. Open Cup final on Oct. 4 at CenturyLink Field, where two-time champion Sounders FC will host the Chicago Fire. Tickets for the 7 p.m. kickoff are available through SoundersFC.com, Ticketmaster, the CenturyLink Field box office and by calling 800-745-3000.
• Midfielder Alvaro Fernandez, who leads Seattle with eight league goals, is suspended Tuesday because of yellow-card accumulation.
• Forward O’Brian White, who had a second surgery in August to remove a blood clot in his left leg, could start progressing with his rehab this week.