Seattle Sounders vs. CS Herediano, CONCACAF Champions League: Sounders Beaten For First Time In CCL Play 1-0

A very sub-par performance from Seattle and a brilliant free kick by Herediano midfielder Yoismar Arias give visitors a 1-0 victory.

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Seattle Sounders 0-1 CS Herediano, CONCACAF Champions League: Sounders Poor In Loss To Costa Rican Side

The Seattle Sounders put on an appallingly bad display in losing to CS Herediano, a side that they were completely dominant against exactly one week ago in Costa Rica. Even the weakened side the Sounders put out this evening should have been expected to at least pick up a point, but there was very little danger on display until Fredy Montero and Osvaldo Alonso came on early in the second half, but even then it was late until Sammy Ochoa came on before the Sounders made Herediano sweat. Seattle's performance on the evening could perhaps best be described as embarrassing and with Monterrey winning against Communicaciones the Sounders road to the knockout stage now looks significantly more difficult than it did prior to kickoff.

Nate Jaqua looked hopeless all evening and Pat Noonan, the other half of Seattle's forward pairing, didn't inspire a great deal more confidence. Until Alonso was brought on there was little if any organization and fluidity in the midfield and even then the connection between the wings and the forwards left a great deal to be desired. Despite the defense being one that wouldn't be out of place in league play the back line looked haphazard all evening and the Sounders are lucky Herediano didn't score more than once.

One bright spot on the evening was the play of Sammy Ochoa; though he was only on for the final 20 minutes, Ochoa was lively and forced Herediano keeper Daniel Cambronero to make the best of his numerous excellent saves just before extra time. Ochoa is still a ways from full fitness, but if he can move ahead of Nate Jaqua on the substitute's depth chart that will be an improvement for Seattle. Still, since the newcomer was unable to fire Seattle into a draw that's going to be little consolation. The sooner this game is forgotten the better; now Seattle will need to take care of business against both Communicaciones and Monterrey, or hope for some help from the other teams in the group.

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Seattle Sounders 0-1 CS Herediano, Half Time: Stunning Yosimar Arias Free Kick Has Visitors On Top

The Seattle Sounders go into the locker room after a very unconvincing first half trailing to Costa Rican side CS Herediano with a fantastic curled free kick from midfielder Josimar Arias the difference on the scoreboard. The Sounders are lucky to trail by just one after a defensive miscommunication led to an earlier shot hitting the post for the visitors, and aside from one Nate Jaqua shot that was deflected in front of goal the Sounders have not looked at all like scoring. Seattle has been sloppy at the back, disjointed in the midfield and completely toothless up top and though Sigi Schmid is not typically one to make halftime substitutions this is as good a game to make an exception.

Seattle biggest problem has been a complete lack of creativity, allowing Herediano to invite pressure with little fear of being unlocked. Seattle only real idea in the attack has been to cross aimlessly into the box, and Herediano's defense has had little trouble dealing with the service. What's perhaps most concerning for the Sounders is that Herediano, sensing that Seattle presents little danger in the final third, has continued to press and look dangerous even after going ahead. If the visitors can grab another goal, the Sounders likely don't have enough substitutions at their disposal to conjure up a winning comeback.

Still, despite Seattle playing as poorly as they have all season, the gap hasn't been large enough to think that they're incapable of winning this game. They'll likely need some personnel changes and a bit of a tactical shift, but they're clearly the more talented club. But with Monterrey getting a win tonight a loss would make things very uncomfortable for the Sounders as it would put their next two opponents within three points and something of a nightmare three-way-tie scenario a distinct possibility.

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