Give credit to Seattle Sounders FC head coach and his team for not hiding, blaming or make up excuses for the team’s shock loss to CD Olimpia in the CONCACAF Champions League Round of 16 Tournament. The loss to the Honduran side was wasted opportunity for a team that was sure they had created a winning formula to advance in the prestigious tournament. The team split its preseason into two parts in preparation for the CONCACAF Champions League Tournament. Part was spent in California and part two was spent in Mexico playing Liga MX in preparation for playing Olimpia.
The Sounders Organization has always talked acted and behaved like a big club. A big club wins Championships. The Sounders have been to the MLS Cup three times in the last four years winning two title in 2016 and 2019. Big clubs also win big tournaments. The loss to Olimpia was a gut punch in several ways for the Sounders.
Things looked to be on track after the Sounders earned a 2-2 draw in Honduras in Leg One. The Sounders gave up two goals and looking back it was an ominous sign of things to come.
Maybe it was the home crowd, maybe it was the unfamiliarity with each other. Whatever it was the result saw the Sounders down 1-0 after just four minutes when Olimpia defender Elvin Olivia headed home a corner cross from Matias Garrido.
The goal changed the complexion of the game in that the Sounders were shocked back to reality and realized they needed to push the issue by moving the ball upfield with tempo.
Sounders leveled the game at 1-1 on a Cristian Roldan header from a Joao Paulo cross.
SOUNDERS UNABLE TO HOLD LEAD
The Sounders looked to have won the game in the 64th minute when Paolo turned scorer with a right footed shot that found the back of the Olimpia goal. The Sounders had several chances to put the bed to rest and their inability to hold possession of the ball cost them dearly in the 86th minute when Carlos Pineda tied the game at 2-2 in the 86th minute
DISASTROUS PENALTY SHOOT OUT
The game went straight to a penalty shoot-out per CONCACAF rules and the Sounders were able to make just two of five penalty shots while Olimpia made good on all five of its attempts. The task was also going to be difficult for the Sounders if the game went into extra time or in this case penalty because this was the Sounder’s second game of the season. It is difficult to take good penalties with tired legs. The result is that a team that had banked on being the first MLS club to win the Champions League is out looking in.