Preview: Seattle Sounders inching closer to CCL quarterfinals

Sounders CCL
Photo of the Seattle Sounders FC players during their first leg against Olimpia on Feb. 20, 2020, courtesy of Lindsey Wasson/Seattle Sounders FC.

Preview — Home sweet home. The Seattle Sounders FC last featured in a competitive match at CenturyLink Field in November of last year. That fateful match saw the Sounders lift up the MLS Cup trophy over Toronto FC.

CenturyLink is a formidable place to play for any opponent. Olimpia is next on the list for visiting the giant stadium, which also hosts an NFL team. The Honduran club will look to keep their Concacaf Champions League hopes alive at CenturyLink.

It might be an uphill climb, though. Right now, on aggregate, the Sounders and Olimpia are tied at 2-2. However, the Sounders would go through if the result stayed the same, due to away goals.

João Paulo scored his first-ever Sounders goal in the draw. The new Sounder made his debut in the match, alongside defender Yeimar Gómez Andrade. Seattle has to also find a balance in conserving energy, with a quick turnaround for the MLS opener on Sunday.

Seattle Sounders vs. C.D. Olimpia
Concacaf Champions League
CenturyLink Field
Feb. 27, 2020 — 7 p.m. PT/10 p.m. ET

TV: Fox Sports 2

The Injury Report

Seattle Sounders FC

Visa, visa, visa.

That’s what Gómez Andrade is dealing with right now. According to head coach Brian Schmetzer, during his weekly press conference, Gómez Andrade is figuring out his P-1 Visa. However, he expects the issues to be figured out before tonight’s match.

Meanwhile, a few injuries are sidelining key members of the Sounders lineup. Nicolás Lodeiro is dealing with an ongoing tendinitis issue that is keeping him sidelined. Meanwhile, Gustav Svensson is dealing with a right calf strain.

Harry Shipp is a new addition to the injury report. Shipp is dealing with “full-blown influenza,” according to Schmetzer. However, he has been training this week leading up to the Olimpia match.

C.D. Olimpia

It’s not looking good for the visiting side.

The club announced on Sunday that captain Ever Alvardo tore his ACL in a domestic league match against Marathón. He’s out for the rest of the Concacaf Champions League and the Olimpia season.

Jonathan Paz will also be ruled out for the match, as his visa issues were not resolved in time, according to head coach Pedro Troglio. Both players are defenders for Olimpia. Other defenders on the Olimpia roster include José Cañete, Axel Gómez, Johnny Leverón, Maylor Nuñez and Elvin Casildo.

Prediction: Sounders 2, Olimpia 0

The Olimpia defense is missing two big key players.

That’s going to be more detrimental than they might think. The Sounders have a blistering and bold attack, even without Lodeiro and Svensson. Filling in one of the roles has been Jordy Delem, who has been solid since last season when he started getting more time.

It’s up to Gómez Andrade and Xavier Arreaga to shore things up at center back. Shane O’Neill is a solid backup, but it’s clear that the Ecuadorian and Colombian are going to be the stalwarts at center back.

Seattle will take this one at home, tearing up Olimpia’s crumbled defense.

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