"We had to leave right after the game," coach Sigi Schmid said this afternoon. "We couldn’t leave on Thursday morning so, right after the game and then there were a couple of logistical mess ups. The food didn’t arrive for the plane, so we really didn’t have any food for the guys to eat after the game, so that was a problem. We also got delayed a little bit. Then when we got to Chicago we were supposed to go through customs right where we were coming in at; instead we had to all get bussed over to the regular customs thing, so that added up another hour. So most of the guys, I think, finally got to sleep around 4 a.m.
James Riley, Blaise Nkufo, Leo Gonzalez and Roger Levesque didn't travel to Mexico and avoided the ordeal by traveling directly from Sea-Tac to Chicago.
"All those guys we left behind in Seattle because (Levesque and Gonzalez) were not eligible, and just to not put mileage on the other guys," Schmid said. "We feel all four of them will be able to play for us. … Some hurt feelings (at Monterrey), but physically hurt? I think everybody got through it OK."
Now the Sounders will have a couple of days to recover, as they will meet the Fire at 5 p.m. Saturday (7, Chicago time).
By the time the team returns to Sea-Tac, this road trip will have added another 5,000 travel miles to what is going to end up being close to a 18,000-mile September.
Meanwhile, a few leftover thoughts from Schmid:
On the lasting value of the Monterrey game: "I think it was very beneficial. They only way you’re going to learn to deal with that environment is to play in it. The crowd down there was fantastic. They were close to full – 20,000 people there. Usually the Mexican teams don’t get that kind of a crowd for a Champions League game, so that was tremendous. But forcing them to have to put on three key players in the second half to try to get the win showed that we were doing something right. Obviously it was a great opportunity for a Michael Fucito, it was a great opportunity as well for David Estrada, it was a great opportunity for Miguel Montano: All those players being back in there and playing. So from that standpoint – even thought we had a bad five minutes – the guys need to learn from that and become hardened from that. If they don’t learn from that, then you end up moving on and then somebody else gets a chance. But I think we will learn from that and we’ll be a better team as a result."