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Final: Monterrey 3-2 Seattle

It was much better when we didn’t have hope. For 71 minutes, this match was Seattle’s to lose. And lose it they did, in a true meltdown that saw Monterrey score two goals in two minutes before Terry Boss’s foul on Humberto Suazo led to the penalty that gave Monterrey the lead.

While Seattle’s players were the ones that lost focus, not all blame can rest upon them. The choices Sigi Schmid made in this match were interesting, to say the least. When a club is leading 2-0 over tough competition, making like-for-like substitutions is not the answer. While it’s not very fun to watch a team park the bus, in some situations it’s absolutely necessary.

Tonight was one of those situations. When Miguel Montaño came off the pitch, it should’ve been Jeff Parke that came on, not Sanna Nyassi. The Sounders were without their strong holding midfielders and their trusted center backs. This, tonight, this was the time to change up a formation and make a defensively minded change. Would it have saved the win? There’s no way of knowing, but it would have given the Sounders more of a chance.

It’s time now for the Sounders to concentrate on finding their way into the CCL next year, when they’ll have a bit of experience under their belts, and perhaps have a better idea of what to expect from the tournament. By beating Columbus Crew to win the Open Cup, Seattle will be in the CCL next season. By making the final of the MLS playoffs, Seattle will be in.

The Seattle Sounders are out of the CONCACAF Champions League. Time to let the reserves show us what they can do, in games that don’t mean anything, and field the strongest starting XI in an attempt to win silverware.