SEATTLE — Opportunities to score have not necessarily been plentiful for either Sammy Ochoa or Andy Rose, so it makes sense that the duo is intent on making the most of the ones they do get.
Each player scored a goal and Rose added a couple of assists as the Seattle Sounders won their CONCACAF Champions League group stage opener 3-1 over Caledonia AIA on Thursday. The two players have scored all seven of their combined goals in non-league competitions.
“You gotta take it as seriously as you can, take advantage of your time whatever competition it is, reserve, CONCACAF, [US] Open Cup,” said Ochoa, who has scored all four of his competitive goals this season outside of league play. “I think I’m doing a good job doing what I’m doing.”
Despite Ochoa’s production in Champions League and Open Cup play, he’s yet to translate that to many opportunities in league play, where he has yet to start a game and has logged just 63 minutes of playing time.
He looked especially hungry in this one. In addition to his goal, which opened the scoring in the 19th minute and came off a slick left-footed finish, he nearly scored on at least a couple other occasions. One of them, in the second half, was only kept out of the net because Caledonia goalkeeper Glenroy Samuel was able to get just enough of his foot on the ball to keep it out.
Ochoa probably would have had another goal if not for Rose. With the Sounders already leading 2-0 in the first half, a rebound from a Fredy Montero shot created a ready-made goalscoring chance. Ochoa seemed to have it lined up, but Rose got there first, taking a solid kick from his teammate in the process.
“I’ve got a nice big bruise on my left shin,” Rose said with a smile. “Credit to Sammy, he’s a goalscorer, that’s what he does, that’s what he wants. I knew he was going to go in for it, I just wanted to make sure it went in. I don’t really care who scores as long as it goes in the back of the net. Luckily I got it — and I got a whack as well.”
The goal turned out to be the punctuation on what was already shaping up to be a solid match for Rose. Although his assist on Ochoa’s goal was not particularly pretty — he basically whiffed on a shot — his pass to Montero on the Sounders’ second goal made up any loss in style points.
Rose ran onto a pass from Cordell Cato and crossed it to Montero with his first touch in the 30th minute. Montero then sent it to the wide open far post for his eighth goal in all competitions this season.
“Andy is always going to give you everything he has when he steps on the field,” Sounders head coach Sigi Schmid said. “He’s got good work rate. Especially when Ozzie [Alonso] went out, he was the one who sort of had to run our game a little bit more. It took a little while for him to get into that rhythm, but I thought as the second half went on, he became better at it.”
Jeremiah Oshan covers the Seattle Sounders for MLSsoccer.com and SB Nation.