Jul 11, 2012; Tukwila, WA, USA; Seattle Sounders FC midfielder Osvaldo Alonso (6) chips in a goal during a penalty shot against the Chivas USA during the 2nd half at Starfire Sports. Seattle defeated Chivas USA 4-1. Mandatory Credit: Steven Bisig-US PRESSWIRE

Sounders Drop Caledonia 3-1, Take Five Point Group Lead

In a short group stage where away wins are hard to come by, the Sounders can put qualification to the knockout round in their own hands if they can manage to take three points in Malabar.

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Seattle Sounders Roll Over Caledonia, Open Up Five-Point Lead In Group Stage

The Seattle Sounders have taken control of their CONCACAF Champions League group after bouncing Caledonia AIA from the tournament and taking a five-point lead back to Seattle. Second-place Marathon will have an opportunity to cut into the Sounders lead before the two meet in Honduras, but by sweeping Caledonia Seattle have put qualification into their own hands as only a loss in one of the final two group stage matches can prevent them from qualification.

In what was a sloppy and quite frankly unattractive game due in large part to long, heavily water-logged grass, Seattle's superiority was clearly evident. Seattle dominated from start to finish, but it wasn't until Alex Caskey's opener just seconds before half time that they were able to take the lead. Sammy Ochoa appeared to have put things away at the hour mark with an emphatic finish from the edge of the box, but a quite CONCACAF-ian penalty call allowed the home side to pull one back just seven minutes later. Any fears of a Caledonia comeback were put to rest in two short minutes as Fredy Montero scored for the fifth consecutive game to round out the scoring in a 3-1 Seattle win.

Though several players were well below par and no performances stand out as particularly strong, there's not much sense in dwelling on this game; CONCACAF Champions League games are notoriously sloppy and the surface was among the worst on which the Sounders have ever played. Next up for Seattle is a trip to FC Dallas for a Sunday evening meeting where game-time temperatures are expected to be in the upper 90's. Seattle's next CCL match takes place in Honduras on September 19th. The Sounders were able to hold several key players in reserve this evening and should be close to full-strength on Sunday, and thanks to the result they should be able to field a similar lineup against Marathon in two weeks. All in all, about as well as an away match in CONCACAF can go for the Sounders.

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