Sounders FC hosts Saprissa on Tuesday in CCL group finale
Though eliminated from advancing in the CONCACAF Champions League tournament, Sounders FC coach Sigi Schmid still wants to win the 7 p.m. game at Qwest Field. "It would be nice not to finish in last," he said.
Seattle Times staff reporter
Saprissa @ Sounders FC, 7 p.m.
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TUKWILA — The Sounders FC schedule will mercifully shrink to one competition after Tuesday's sixth and final game for Seattle in the CONCACAF Champions League group stage.
Already eliminated from advancement in the international competition, Seattle hosts Costa Rican club Saprissa at 7 p.m. Tuesday in its last home game at Qwest Field before the start of the MLS playoffs.
While the relative importance to Sounders FC is minimal, Saprissa (2-2-1) would clinch a berth in the knockout stage with a win.
Seattle coach Sigi Schmid said his team isn't focusing much on its role as a spoiler.
"Our obligation is to ourselves," he said. "Every time we step on the field we want to win."
That motivation will likely be played out with a second-string lineup, similar to the one Sounders FC used in a 2-1 win against Honduran club Marathon three weeks ago.
While rivals in Group C — in their attempts to advance — might frown on Seattle's fielding of reserves, Schmid said keeping his starters rested and healthy is a higher priority.
That doesn't mean the Sounders (1-4 in CONCACAF) want to finish at the bottom of the four-team group either.
"I know that's what the standings say but I don't think we are a last-place team," said Schmid of the CCL misfortune. "It would be nice not to finish in last."
Sounders FC will have a chance to redeem its recent CCL disappointment next year; winning the U.S. Open Cup final earlier this month granted the team a berth to the 2011-12 tournament.
"All that matters is that we learn from this year and incorporate our lessons into next year," said Schmid.
• The game will not be televised live, but a replay will air at 1 a.m. Wednesday on the FOX Soccer Channel. Sounders FC broadcaster Arlo White will call the game live on KIRO (97.3 FM) radio.
• With a goal and an assist in Friday's 2-1 win against Chivas USA, midfielder Steve Zakuani was named MLS Player of the Week for the second time this season.
• Schmid said the team's 5 p.m. home playoff game on Halloween isn't ideal, but joked he would wear a costume on game day to ensure more fans show up. "I don't think I want to be a ballerina and I don't think I'll be Lady Gaga," he said, "but whatever it takes."
• Defender Pat Ianni (ankle) was limited in training as a precaution.
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