The Sounders kick off what has been called the biggest game in their history at 7 tonight, meeting Santos Laguna in the first match of a home-and-away aggregate-score CONCACAF Champions League quarterfinal series.
Here is a statistical comparison provided by the club:
And here's some of what the Sounders had to say leading into the game:
Coach Sigi Schmid:"We don’t want to give up a goal at home because away goals count double. We want to make sure that we play well defensively. We want to get as much of a cushion as we can possibly, in terms of scoring goals. Establish ourselves, establish our rhythm, establish our confidence in our play. Also establish almost our credentials in their mind as well. It’s the first half of a game and we want to be in the lead at halftime."
Captain/midfielder Mauro Rosales"It’s a big game. It’s important for everybody. We are ready for that game. We have been working very hard for the last month. We have been waiting for that game, and we have the chance to do a good game. It’s important because it’s a series of two games, and we have to be clever, concentrate and everything, and in the first game don’t give everything away and try to win at home.
"I think many teams in the MLS can go (to Mexico) and make games. We feel like we can beat them. We feel like if we have everybody concentrate and work for each other we can be a very strong team. Playing in Mexico, playing it doesn’t matter where."
General manager Adrian HanauerOn the importance of CCL: "One of the goals we set out with early in the club's existence was to play, compete, succeed internationally, and this is our one chance in true competition. The way we see it is we're six games away from playing in the world club championships. We certainly have three very, very difficult opponents in front of that, but this is our chance for our club and for Major League Soccer in general to get an opportunity to show well against (Mexican teams) and our regional competition. Then someone from our region gets to try and show well for the region at the global level."
Comparing Santos and Monterrey: "I don't know that I'm qualified to make that assessment. I do know that Santos is a very, very good team with a lot of weapons. Obviously the fact that (Carlos Darwin) Quintero is out certainly hurts them. He's a very dangerous player -- blazing speed and has scored some good goals for them. But they'll have a good replacement for him with (Daniel) Luduena and (Marc) Crosas -- they're loaded. We know it's a huge test and hopefully we're ready."
On building the team for CCL success: "I think we come at this sort of the same way from year to year, which is to build the best quality team with the best depth possible. To me, it's dangerous to start designing a team for a two-game series or playoffs a year from now or the U.S. Open Cup -- and maybe I'm not smart enough to do that either. All our group is smart enough to do is try to come up with a great quality group of individuals that blend together well and over the course of a season have some good levels of success."