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Sounders Open CCL Play With 3-1 Victory Over Caledonia

The Seattle Sounders started off slow and finished even slower, but a 25 minute burst of activity midway through the first half was all that was needed to see off Trinidad and Tobagan side Caledonia AIA in the first match of the 2012-13 CONCACAF Champions League. With a heavy premium placed on goal difference in this year's CCL the Sounders might be a bit disappointed with winning by just two goals against a team that looked heavily outmatched, but it's difficult to complain about such a dominant performance; Andy Rose was an especially bright spot for the Sounders, scoring one goal and notching two assists.

After spending the first few minutes of the game on the back foot and the next few minutes establishing control of the game, Seattle took the lead in the 19th minute after Sammy Ochoa came into possession of a loose ball in the area and curled a low shot past Caledonia keeper Glenroy Samuel. The goal was set up by a lovely pass into the area from Alex Caskey, who put in one of his better shifts in recent memory. Fredy Montero added another in the 30th minute, but his part of the job was easy; Cordell Cato danced his way through the Caledonia defense and slid a clever through ball into the area for Andy Rose to cross along the turf to an unmarked Montero, who knocked a back-heeled shot into an open net.

Rose would put things away in the 43rd minute; after finding Osvaldo Alonso at the edge of the area to start a nice attacking move, the 22-year-old midfielder cleaned up Samuel's deflected save of Fredy Montero's curling effort. Caledonia would make things moderately interesting after Kareem Joseph converted a very CONCACAF-ian penalty in the 50th minute, but from there the Sounders were content to shut things do and ride out the victory ahead of a very busy ten days.

Seattle will host the LA Galaxy on Sunday, defend the US Open Cup final in Kansas City on Wednesday, and return to Seattle to face the Western Conference-leading San Jose Earthquakes on Saturday the 11th. Though a bigger win would have been nice from a narrow perspective, in terms of the bigger picture an easy win coupled with as well-rested a squad as could be expected and a lack of injuries is a very fine outcome indeed.