This wasn’t the type of match the Seattle Sounders were expecting.
The Rave Green hoped to jump-start their Champions League preparations Wednesday by playing in a Mexican stadium against a strong Mexican team. What they got during their 5-2 win over Atlante FC on Wednesday in Cancun was something else entirely.
First, the venue of the match was changed at the last minute from the Atlante stadium to a practice field. Second, Atlante fielded a weak team. Finally, and absurdly, the match ended five minutes early because the field did not have lights.
Head coach Sigi Schmid had a hard time disguising his unhappiness after the match. He expressed his hope that next week’s match against Jaguares de Chiapas won’t go the same way.
“We're disappointed because the agreement or understanding between ourselves and Atlante was one thing, and today everything sort of changed, from the field to who we were playing, etc.” Schmid stated in a release from the club. “Our expectation is certainly that Jaguares de Chiapas is not going to do that, they're going to be professional, which we know they are. We're just disappointed that the opposition and the circumstances were not as we understood them."
Fredy Montero scored twice while Mauro Rosales picked up two assists for the Sounders, who return to Seattle after preseason trips to Arizona, Florida and Cancun. Eddie Johnson did not play for the Sounders after picking up a hamstring injury over the weekend. David Estrada started in his place and notched a goal and an assist.
Leo González and Christian Sivebaek rounded out the scoring for the Sounders, who pushed their preseason record to 4-0-2.
Álvaro Fernández picked up a red card in the 42nd minute after an altercation with an Atlante player and was replaced by Sivebaek to start the second half.
Schmid attempted to put a positive spin on the situation.
“With everything, our philosophy as a club has been, 'OK, it is what it is, and now we're going to make the best of the situation,'” Schmid said. “We were going to go out and make the best of the situation, get our fitness in, play soccer.
“I thought we did a good job; it's just tough when you know you're better than the opposition. You lose that little bit of four, five percent of concentration sometimes,” Schmid added. “But overall, I thought our guys did a pretty good job.”