The CONCACAF Champions League sprung back into life on Tuesday night with the first legs of the quarterfinals getting underway. Seattle Sounders earned a 2-2 draw at home to Club America in what was their first competitive match of 2016, with Clint Dempsey scoring both of the Sounders’ goals.
Seattle had the daunting prospect of hosting reigning champions Club America in a tricky looking game but will be pleased with their performance, even if the result wasn’t what they wanted.
Dempsey’s performance in particular will have delighted the capacity crowd of 42,836 at CenturyLink Field – a club record for a CONCACAF Champions League match – with the forward looking very sharp on either side of the ball.
His excellent free-kick before halftime put Seattle in front, before a very quick response from the Liga MX giants made it 1-1 at the break. Dempsey then headed the Rave Green back in front in the 52nd minute, only for Oribe Peralta to net a valuable second goal for Club America.
Seattle head coach Sigi Schmid was pleased with the performance of his players, despite letting a lead go twice at home, and thinks there are positives to take from the game heading into the second-leg.
“Obviously there are things we want to get better at moving forward, and we will,” he said after the game. “For this stage of our season, and for where they are in their season, and the quality of team they are, I thought we showed well. I was very proud with what our guys did.Embed from Getty Images
“I think Clint played very well. He’s coming off the left for us – we were trying to give him some spaces there in the first half – and we needed [Andreas] Ivanschitz to push a little wider left to allow Clint to stay up higher. In the second half, he was able to stay higher, so more of his touches came in the attacking end of the field. Those are tweaks in the system that we are working on and getting better with.”
Seattle will travel to Mexico for the second-leg of their clash with Club America next Wednesday before hosting Sporting KC in their 2016 MLS opener on Sunday, March 6.
Were you impressed with Seattle’s performance against Club America on Tuesday night?
*Header image courtesy of Seattle Sounders FC. Photo taken by Jane Gershovich.