Sounders FC loses first CONCACAF game, falling to CS Herediano 1-0
Seattle remains in first place CCL Group D despite loss to Costa Rican team
Seattle Times staff reporter
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Sounders FC's perfect run in the CONCACAF Champions League group stage came to a disappointing end Tuesday as Seattle, fielding a lineup of mostly reserves, lost 1-0 to CS Herediano of Costa Rica in front of 10,163 fans at CenturyLink Field.
Despite the loss, the Sounders (3-1) remain in first place in CCL's Group D.
"We certainly had chances in the last 30 minutes of the game, but overall I didn't think it was one of our best matches, one of our best games," said coach Sigi Schmid. "Obviously, we're dealing with injuries ... and a heavy schedule, so we had to make some lineup decisions based upon that, but at the end of the day our quality tonight wasn't good enough."
The Sounders' best chance to tie the game came in the 89th minute, but goalkeeper Daniel Cambronero made a tremendous diving save on a header by forward Sammy Ochoa..
"In the corner of my eye ,I didn't see the goalie and I thought it was in," said Ochoa. "Out of nowhere his hand showed up."
Seattle forward Nate Jaqua headed a cross on the ensuing corner kick just wide.
With help from second-half substitutes Fredy Montero and Osvaldo Alonso, the Sounders' offense picked up the pressure with nine shots after halftime. Nothing could get past Cambronero, however, who made four saves and several other fine plays in the shutout.
"He's a great goalkeeper," said Herediano coach Jafet Soto, through a translator, of Cambronero. "He's been on the national team. He's just 24 years old and has a great future."
Herediano (1-3) took the lead in the 25th minute after Sounders FC defender Zach Scott committed a foul 25 yards away from his goal to set up a free kick. Midfielder Yosimar Arias brilliantly curled the shot over the wall and away from goalkeeper Kasey Keller for the game's lone goal.
The Costa Rican visitors had nearly scored earlier, but a 14th-minute shot by forward Jorge Barbosa was denied by the post.
Seattle's best first-half scoring chance came in the 21st minute, but Jaqua's shot in front of the goal was deflected away by defender Francisco Calvo. The Sounders managed just three shots in the first half.
"It took until we were down 1-0 and chasing the game late in the second half in order to start playing," said forward Pat Noonan, who noted the team's careless passing and poor possession early in the game.
Even with a win Tuesday, Sounders FC could not clinch a berth into the CCL quarterfinals after Monterrey of Mexico's 3-1 win against Guatemala's Comunicaciones in the other Group D game.
Seattle's next CCL game is at Comunicaciones (2-2) on Tuesday.
"If we go down to Guatemala and get a result, a win or a tie, that will put us through," said Schmid. "Now it's about that."
• Sounders FC next plays three straight road games, starting in Vancouver for a 7:30 p.m. league game Saturday at Empire Field. Seattle can clinch an MLS playoff berth with a win or tie.
• Monterrey and Comunicaciones are 2-2 in the group stage.
• Ochoa, who joined the team in August, made his Sounders FC debut in the 74th minute.
• Seattle came into the game 9-1-1 since August and 13-2-3 at home since April, including MLS, U.S. Open Cup and CCL games.
Joshua Mayers: 206-464-3184 or firstname.lastname@example.org
CS Herediano 1, Sounders FC 0
|CS Herediano (Costa Rica)||1 0 — 1|
|Seattle Sounders FC||0 0 — 0|
CD Herediano — Daniel Cambronero, Cristian Montero, Erick Sanchez (Jose Cubero 77), Francisco Calvo, Marvin Obando, Pablo Salazar, Jose Luis Cordero, Yosimar Arias (Olman Vargas 71), Junior Alvarado, Jorge Barbosa, Anderson Andrade (Marvin Angulo 86). Substitutes not used: Ronny Fernandez, Oscar Gonzalez, Jean Carlo Sanchez, Jose Cancela.
Sounders FC — Kasey Keller, Zach Scott (Sammy Ochoa 74), Patrick Ianni, Jhon Kennedy Hurtado, Leo Gonzalez, Roger Levesque (Fredy Montero 56), Servando Carrasco, Amadou Sanyang (Osvaldo Alonso 56), Lamar Neagle, Nate Jaqua, Pat Noonan. Substitutes Not Used: David Estrada, Jeff Parke, Tyson Wahl, Josh Ford.
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