Part of that, I guess, is because the Sounders already have played their way through to the quarterfinals next month. Part was the U.S. Open Cup win and MLS playoff push. Much was the buzz from the big Kasey Keller celebration and bigger crowd Saturday.
But still, here it is: Monterrey in town, and the Sounders have a chance to sent the defending champions home before the knockout stage.
So -- making up for lost time -- here's some of what coach Sigi Schmid had to say after training Sunday.
On Monterrey) "They have a couple of injuries, but they still have a lot of good players. For some reason in CONCACAF, on the last day of the Champions League not all the teams have to play at the same time. So you can sort of sit there and wait to see what the result is in the other game. That makes it a little more difficult obviously for Monterrey because if we were playing at the same time as Herediano and Comunicaciones, it might change a little bit how the game is played. For Monterrey, they need at least a tie to ensure themselves of advancing. We need a tie to finish first; a win finishes us first as well. If Monterrey loses then they're looking at that result the next day to see what happens to them. I think it's going to be a motivated Monterrey team, a team that wants to get at least a point, if not more, out of the game Tuesday.
On whether Monterrey will gain motivation from having lost to the Sounders in Mexico) "That obviously weighs into it. Everybody's got pride and they're no different from the other clubs, so they're going to have pride as well. They're not happy about losing at home and I'm sure they want to return the favor."
On what the Sounders did well in that game) "We battled. Let's be honest, that was a game where we rolled up our sleeves. We were a little bit fortunate at times and we battled well. We scored a good goal and we were pretty resilient. We still have to do all those things. We have to battle, we have to be strong, we have to be resilient, we have to do a better job of keeping the ball then we did down there and do a better job of putting pressure on them and forcing them to make passes they don't want to make."
The Sounders train again today, and I'll be back with more on the match after that.