The top two clubs in CONCACAF Champions League Group D met tonight before a crowd of 15,866 at CenturyLink Field.
Monterrey’s 2-1 win will send the defending champions through to the quarterfinals as the top team in the group, while Seattle advances with the lower seed.
Group play will conclude Wednesday when Comunicaciones visits Herediano in a now-meaningless game.
Seattle came into the game knowing that it would go through to the next round regardless of result, and coach Sigi Schmid started with an unusual mix of usual veteran starters and young reserves. At forward, for example, Sammy Ochoa started alongside Fredy Montero, who wore the captain’s armband.
That honor was up for grabs because usual captain and goalkeeper Kasey Keller was among the reserves, while rookie goalkeeper Bryan Meredith got his first professional start. Meredith, a second-round pick from Monmouth of New Jersey spent his summer playing for the Kitsap Pumas of the Premier Development League. He moved up the depth chart after injuries to reserve keepers Terry Boss (concussion) and Josh Ford (knee).
Meredith received a rude introduction, when Monterrey broke through in the third minute. Dario Carreno took a pass alone behind the Sounders defense, and fired past Meredith, who ran off his line but couldn’t get close enough to Carreno to take away much of the angle.
Seattle pulled even in the 42nd minute on a Fredy Montero free kick from 28 yards. It was Montero’s 11th goal in his past 11 games over all competitions.
However, the visitors scored the game-winner in the 61st minute with Cesar Delgado scoring after a first Monterrey attempt had been blocked by a Seattle defender.
When Seattle failed to come from behind a second time, it left Monterrey at the top of the group at 4-2, with the Sounders right behind at 3-2-1.
Sounders FC will conclude its MLS regular season on Saturday at Chivas USA.
I'll add quotes in some new posts above. Here are the unofficial stats:Scoring Summary: MTR -- Dario Carreno (Humberto Suazo) 3SEA -- Fredy Montero (unassisted) 42MTR -- Cesar Delgado (unassisted) 61 CF Monterrey-- Jonathan Orozco (Juan de Dios Ibarra 73), Severo Meza, Ricardo Osorio, Miguel Morales, Jose Basanta, Luis Perez, Cesar Delgado (Neri Cardozo 80), Sergio Perez, Dario Carreno, Sergio Santana, Humberto Suazo.
Substitutes Not Used: Walter Ayovi, William Paredes, Jesus Corona, Cesar De La Pena, Marcelo Cazubon.
TOTAL SHOTS: 6 (Humberto Suazo 3); SHOTS ON GOAL: 3 (3 tied with 1); FOULS: 10 (3 tied with 2); OFFSIDES: 5 (Sergio Santana 2, Dario Carreno 2); CORNER KICKS: 3 (Humberto Suazo 3); SAVES: 5 (Jonathan Orozco 4)
Seattle Sounders -- Bryan Meredith, James Riley, Zach Scott, Jeff Parke (Patrick Ianni 67), Tyson Wahl, David Estrada (Lamar Neagle 79), Osvaldo Alonso, Erik Friberg, Roger Levesque, Fredy Montero, Sammy Ochoa (Mike Fucito 74).
Substitutes Not Used: Brad Evans, Alvaro Fernandez, Pat Noonan, Kasey Keller.
TOTAL SHOTS: 12 (Fredy Montero 5); SHOTS ON GOAL: 6 (Fredy Montero 2, Sammy Ochoa 2); FOULS: 14 (Fredy Montero 3, Zach Scott 3); OFFSIDES: 2 (Sammy Ochoa 2); CORNER KICKS: 4 (4 tied with 1); SAVES: 1 (Bryan Meredith 1) Misconduct Summary:MTR -- Luis Perez (caution; Reckless Foul) 41SEA -- Zach Scott (caution; Reckless Foul) 58MTR -- Severo Meza (caution; Delaying a Restart) 75MTR -- Humberto Suazo (caution; Delaying a Restart) 82MTR -- Miguel Morales (caution; Delaying a Restart) 94+ Referee: Enrico WinjgaardeReferee's Assistants:-Ramon Louisville; Egberth Paesch4th Official: Rudolph AngelaAttendance: 15,866Time of Game: 1:51Weather: Partly Cloudy-and-58-degrees73rd minute:
61st minute: GOAL Monterrey, who attacked in waves, with one cross, one block and then Cesar Delgado beating Meredith. Monterrey, 2-1.
Second half: ... has begun. No substitutions on either side.
Halftime: Even at 1 each. A draw wins the group for Seattle and also sends Monterrey through to the quarterfinals.
Seattle took eight shots to Monterrey's three and put four on goal to Monterrey's two. The visitors had three corner kicks to Seattle's two.
42nd minute: Fredy Montero scores on a free kick from 28 yards after a tackle from Luis Perez drew a yellow card. Montero now has 11 goals over his last 11 games in all competitions. Even, 1-1.
First 30 minutes: Sounders have probably had the better chances since the goal, but Monterrey has been dangerous on the counter. Reminder that Monterrey (3-2) wins the group with a victory and advances with a draw.
Third minute: GOAL Monterrey. A breakaway while back line pleads for offside. Dario Carreno scores as keeper Meredith, who was sort of trapped in no-man's land. Addist to Suazo.
Kickoff: Game has begun. Monterrey in either black or deep blue with stripes; Sounders wearing electricity for the last time. We are told that they are 14-8-3 in their yellow kits, including 4-6-1 in Champions League.
Lineups: For Seattle: GK Meredith; D Riley, Scott, Parke, Wahl; M Estrada, Alonso, Friberg, Levesque; F Montero, Ochoa. Reserves: Keller, Evans, Fernandez, Fucito, Ianni, Neagle, Noonan.
For Monterrey: GK Orozco; D Meza, Osorio, Morales, Basanta; M Luis Perez, Delgado, Sergio Perez; F Carreno, Santana, Suazo. Reserves: Ibarra, Cardozo, Ayovi, Paredes, Corona, La Pena, Cazubon.
Yellow cards: In this tournament, yellow-card suspensions carry over to the next round. Sounders one caution away are Parke, Rosales, Keller, Friberg, Riley, Jaqua, Gonzalez, Neagle and Scott.
Pregame: It is a beautiful October evening at CenturyLink Field for the final game of the Sounders' group play in CONCACAF Champions League. And what plays out tonight will help determine what happens next spring when the tournament resumes.
A win or draw for Seattle earns the top spot in Group D and better seeding when the quarterfinal series rolls around in March. A win by Monterrey would give them the top spot, although a loss could knock the defending champions out of the tournament.
Kickoff is 7 p.m. The game will be covered on Fox Soccer and the usual radio outlets. And of course, we will be blogging and tweeting. Your comments welcome as always.
Background basics here.