Wednesday, September 29, 2010

SOUNDERS FC - Elimination allows team to field rookies, rest veterans in CONCACAF

Written by Galen Helmgren

To remain competitive in the 2010 CONCACAF tournament, Seattle needed to collect two wins in the final two games along with a healthy dose of luck. That luck never came as Monterrey fell to Saprissa on Tuesday night, effectively eliminating the Sounders from moving forward in the tournament.

Every cloud has a silver lining and the Sounders will actually benefit from missing the rest of CONCACAF. For a team that has a good chance of making the MLS playoffs, Seattle would be well served by avoiding having to play any extra matches. The Sounders will play the most games in 2010 of all the MLS teams, 42 in total, an increase of four over their inaugural season.

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Additionally, the two games remaining in the group stage of CONCACAF will give the team’s rookies a valuable opportunity to log some game minutes, which could pay dividends as the MLS postseason takes off.

As the regular season winds down, points become a priority. Putting the best team on the field means resting the veteran starters and allowing first-year players and reserves to carry the team in non-league matches. Besides these final two CONCACAF fixtures, the only other competition Seattle needs to worry about is the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup.

So, despite being forced to play what amount to two additional friendly matches, get ready to see the future of Sounders’ football take the majority of the minutes tonight’s match.

Reach Galen Helmgren at