Sounders FC was about a half hour away from what several players had called the most important game in club history, and some of their best players were missing.
Goalkeeper Michael Gspurning, forward Fredy Montero, midfielder Osvaldo Alonso and defender Jhon Kennedy Hurtado were all delayed by traffic following a rush-hour wreck on Interstate 90.
However, all arrived on time. And somehow the Sounders started fast and held on for a 2-1 win over Santos Laguna in the first game of their CONCACAF Champions League quarterfinal match.
"It was an interesting beginning to the game because of the accident that occurred on the I-90 and we had (four) players stuck on the wrong side of that accident," coach Sigi Schmid said. "We were nip and tuck as to are we going to have to change the lineup, are they going to get here in time? Some guys got short-changed on their warmup time a little bit. As we always say, whatever the obstacles are, we’re just going to deal with them. We deal with the adversity and we move on."
"Everybody knows there was an accident close to the Mount Baker Tunnel," said Gspurning, who was almost late for his Sounders debut. "First of all, I don’t know what happened to the guys involved, but I wish them and their families all the best – that’s the most important thing. … I was just 18 minutes before the kickoff here, so it was more stressful before the game than in the game. It’s not a normal pregame situation. But OK, we did well, we win the game, and hopefully it will never happen again."