The Sounders had a nasty trip to Columbus -- on the pitch at at the airport. And that's especially true for five players who faced 18 hours of waiting and traveling on Sunday.
Here's coach Sigi Schmid's explanation:
There’s nothing you can do about weather delays that things like that. There was a flight change that didn’t get communicated to us until Friday. Our game was Saturday, it affected our return flight. SO we had to scramble, try to find new flights. Two of them went off without a hitch, so we got 13 of the players back at the time we wanted to get them back. But then there were five guys who were stuck on two flights that then hit weather delays and another cancellation, so some of the guys didn’t get back until 9-10 last night.
The Sounders sometimes charter flights into Columbus, but the number of charters are restricted by MLS, and the team went commercial this time.
"That’s the ideal thing if we can do that," Schmid said. "There’s two places for us in Seattle that are difficult for us to get into: Columbus, because we’ve got to connect; and the other one is Montreal. Those are the two where probably a charter could help because everytime you’ve got a connection you’ve got to deal with not only your plane – does it have a delay or mechanical problem – but the next one, does it have a delay or mechanical problem. It just makes for a long day. … We were getting on the bus at 6 o’clock in the morning, so that’s the equivalent of 3 a.m. When you get up at 3 a.m. and you get back at 10 at night, that’s a long freakin’ day. You probably could have gone to Lagos and back."