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Friday, August 3, 2012 - Page updated at 10:30 p.m.
Sounders beat Caledonia thanks to Rose's goal, two assists
By Jayda Evans
Seattle Times staff reporter
The tournament was new, but not the setting at CenturyLink Field for Sounders FC midfielder Andy Rose.
Playing in his first CONCACAF Champions League tournament, Rose assisted on two goals and scored one himself to help the Sounders to a 3-1 win against Caledonia AIA in Seattle's CCL opener. The teams will meet again Aug. 30 in Trinidad and Tobago.
"It feels great," Rose said of his first CCL experience. "The first half, I thought, was pretty impressive. We came out a little slow, but when Sammy (Ochoa) scored that first one I thought we were really good. We kept the ball well in the opponent's half, which is what we really want to be doing."
Rose's first impact on the game was effective, but not exactly elegant. Alex Caskey swept the sideline to save the ball from going out of bounds, passing it Rose, who bobbled the ball before passing it off to Ochoa in the middle of the penalty area. Ochoa did a little dancing with the ball before slotting it past Caledonia goalkeeper Glenroy Samuel.
Samuel spread his arms in frustration and yelled to his defenders, "What's going on?" as the players had multiple opportunities to stop the goal.
The score, however, increased the pace of the game, with Caledonia earning its first clean attempt in the 24th minute. Sounders FC goalkeeper Andrew Weber stretched his body out to tip Kareem Joseph's shot away.
Seattle remained the aggressor throughout the first half, and Rose got his second assist in the 30th minute, passing to Fredy Montero who one-timed it into the net.
Rose nailed his own goal 13 minutes later, collecting a blocked Montero shot and knocking it past Samuel for a 3-0 lead going into halftime.
Sounders FC is undefeated in CCL home openers (July 2010 and August 2011).
For now, the win simply starts a rough stretch for the Sounders. The team plays three games across three competitions in seven days — CCL, MLS and the U.S. Open Cup.
The CCL no longer has a preliminary round, as all 24 teams advance directly into a group stage of eight three-team groups, with the winners advancing to the quarterfinals. Previously, there were four four-team groups.
Caledonia is making its first CCL appearance. The scouting report listed the team as offensive-minded, but Seattle had a 5-2 advantage in shots on goal in the first half.
"We've just got to keep doing what we're doing and hopefully we'll get the wins," Ochoa said.
Caledonia's sole goal came in the 50th minute off a penalty kick by Kareem Joseph. It was the only thing that quieted the crowd of 7,767.
"We knew a lot about the Sounders and knew it wasn't going to be an easy game," Caledonia coach Jerry Moe said. "We wanted to find small victories, and one was trying to win the second half. We didn't give up, and I was pleased about that, but we still have some things to work on."
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