TUKWILA, Wash. – Not that they should need it, but the goal-starved Seattle Sounders have a bit of additional motivation as they gear up for Wednesday night’s CONCACAF Champions League group play opener against the Vancouver Whitecaps (10 pm ET, Fox Sports 1, Sportsnet One).
The sides meet for the second time in five days on Wednesday, this time at BC Place with the Sounders intent on settling the score on multiple fronts after Vancouver’s 3-0 demolition of the Rave Green at CenturyLink Field on Saturday.
Aside from trying to avenge the blowout loss, Seattle head coach Sigi Schmid and goalkeeper Stefan Frei each expressed irritation with the manner in which Vancouver players celebrated on the field after the game.
“To me, if you take a team picture like you just won a trophy on your enemy’s field, I take that personally,” Frei said following Saturday’s defeat. “Or if someone comes up to me and tells me I had a good game and laughs in my face, I take that personally, yeah.
“We are in a slump, and you need to take those things to heart, and those things can help us get out of a slump.”
Added Schmid: “We’ve got to make sure that we right that and we pay them back for that. I don’t think teams should come in here and be taking snap shots on our field. … When you play back-to-back, that maybe heats up things.”
For their part, the Whitecaps say they meant no disrespect by the postgame celebrations. In fact, midfielder Russell Teibert said the intention was just the opposite.
“They can take it as an insult if they want, but it’s not,” Teibert said according to the Province. “It just shows them how good of a team they are, that we want to celebrate after we beat them. We tip our hats to them because they’re a great team. … It’s a rivalry match. It was nothing towards them. It was all for our fans. That’s football. That’s passion.”
As for the game itself, Schmid told reporters that his side will field a markedly different lineup than they did on Saturday, also confirming that injured midfielder Osvaldo Alonso will not factor into Wednesday’s plans due to a tweaked hamstring.
Schmid said Alonso’s injury is less severe than the one that kept him out of action earlier this season and that the Cuban midfielder should be considered “week-to-week” going forward. The Sounders return to MLS play this Sunday on the road against the LA Galaxy (4 pm ET, ESPN, TSN2).