Happy Thursday Raving Readers. Big results for Seattle Sounders fans in CCL play last night, as Vancouver beat CD Olimpia 1-nil at home. The ‘Caps now sit with us on 4 points in CCL Group F play.
Our group is coming down to the wire because all three teams still have a reasonable shot to win the group. Olimpia sits one point behind with 3 points. There are many potential outcomes but simply put: the winner of next week’s matchup wins the group. A draw guarantees nothing, as Vancouver has a game in hand. They play CD Olimpia October 22nd in Tegucigalpa. If we draw the ‘Caps and Olimpia wins at home, the Honduran side takes the group with 6 points.
The ‘Caps are in the driver’s seat with 2 games left to play. Of course we play the ‘Caps in regular ol’ MLS play this weekend. Vancouver is in a tough stretch playing Olimpia then us twice in the span of a week (and then they host NYCFC for 4 games in 10 days). Hopefully the ‘Caps suffer some from their fixture congestion and we can capitalize.
The key to these next few games, and potentially the rest of Seattle’s season, may be Andreas Ivanschitz.
Ivanschitz was a revelation last weekend. He was nearly invisible for the beginning of the second half as san Jose dominated possession and play. He was on the pitch when the Quakes scored their seemingly insurmountable goal. Then something clicked. Maybe he gelled with his teammates, shook off some rust, or just dispelled the butterflies. But Ivanschitz was all over the field in the waning moments of the match displaying vision, creativity and pinpoint passing.
Seattle has long needed a creative midfielder to set up Oba and Clint. Ivanschitz provides true creativity in the midfield so Seattle need not rely on blunt force goal creation (you know, Oba and Clint slaloming through the 18 yard box). And he is a killer on set pieces, a facet of the attack absent from the Sounders arsenal this year. Last weekend Ivanschitz took set pieces after set piece and inched Seattle closer and closer to the equalizer. For a match that started Oba, Clint and Valdez, it is telling that our only two shots-on-goal both came off one Ivanschitz free kick. Just wait until he develops a chemistry with his new teammates.