Santos Laguna demolish Seattle to reach CCL semis

SantosRolls (Getty)

By FRANCO PANIZO

The chances that an MLS club wins the CONCACAF Champions League this year diminished considerably after the Seattle Sounders crashed out of the tournament in embarrassing fashion.

Led by two goals from red-hot striker Herculez Gomez, Santos Laguna dismantled the Sounders, 6-1, in the second leg of the quarterfinals series on Tuesday night to advance to the semifinals on aggregate, 7-3.

A pair of early goals from the hosts and poor defending by the Sounders set the tone for the rout, as Cristian Suarez and Oribe Peralta took advantage of Jhon Kennedy Hurtado's poor marking to score in the opening ten minutes of the match played at Estadio Corona in Torreon, Mexico.

Santos goalkeeper Osvaldo Sanchez kept Seattle from responding quickly with a pair of nice saves, but he could not stop Seattle from pulling level on aggregate off a headed finish by Alvaro Fernandez.

As close as the opening 45 minutes were, the second half proved to be entirely different. Gomez scored four minutes after the intermission and added another in the 68th minute before being substituted with an injury. Gomez, who was responsible for Santos' lone goal in the first leg, has now scored seven goals in his past five matches across all competitions.

With Seattle desperately trying to make up the difference on aggregate, Santos took advantage of more porous defending by scoring two goals to seal the win. Suarez scored his second of the game in the 76th minute and Carlos Ochoa capped things off with a finish five minutes later.

Santos will now play Toronto FC in the semifinals after the Canadian club defeated the Los Angeles Galaxy at the Home Depot Center in Tuesday's nightcap. The first leg of the semifinals will take place in Toronto between March 27-29 and the decisive game will occur in Mexico on April 3-5.

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What do you think of Santos' big win over Seattle? Surprised by how shambolic the defending was by the Sounders? Think Toronto can knock off Santos Laguna in the semis?

Share your thoughts below.

This entry was posted in CONCACAF Champions League, MLS- Seattle Sounders. Bookmark the permalink.

55 Responses to Santos Laguna demolish Seattle to reach CCL semis

  1. b says:

    What’s Spanish for “are you even watching”?

    Gomez needs to be a substitute 15-25 minute sub forward with the US A-team.

  2. wildchild says:

    Gomez doesn’t need to be anything for the USA. We had our chance to use him last world cup and blew it. He should tell the Nats to go take a hike.

  3. Aaron says:

    How much fun it is to watch the Seattle Sounders flounder in any tournament that can not be purchased by their owners. Seeeeeaaaaatle Soooouuuuunders!

  4. John says:

    I’ll take Herc on the right wing over Danny Williams any day.

  5. eric says:

    If only Hercules was german and had an american then maybe he would get a call up

  6. A-Lott says:

    I think you mean: “What’s German for ‘are you even watching?’”

  7. dgoshilla says:

    This was a really surprising result. Disappointing to say the least.

  8. abc says:

    Well Danny Williams is a defensive midfielder, soo…

    Someone explain that to Klinsmann when they talk to him about Gomez being the ideal forward off the bench.

  9. abc says:

    If he played in the Bundesliga 2 he would get called in, like Edson Buddle, who was on an awful team that could barely score goals, or Ricardo Clark, who was technically on the roster of a Bl2 team but pretty much never played.

  10. elmo says:

    because he plays in the mexican league and is scoring on small unskilled defenders.

    He does need a shot though

  11. WileyJ says:

    Ouch…

  12. Neruda says:

    He’s scoring on MLS defenders too. Is Seattles back line full of “small unskilled defenders?”

    I knew Seattle needed a third goal in the first leg but I didn’t think they’d need five extra goals to advance. The scoreline is mighty embarrassing looking.

  13. Neruda says:

    Hercs best chance for NT team glory is to have children with a strong German frau and hope they grow up to be German-Mexican-American goal scoring freaks.

  14. Kejsare says:

    What is it with Seattle imploding in big competitions?

  15. JJ says:

    Have you followed the Seattle NBA, NFL, MLB franchises? We are and have always been chokers. Our MLS franchise is just living up to expectations. At least our women’s teams are good!

  16. abc says:

    He just put in 3 in 2 games against one of the consensus top 3 MLS teams. Remember we’re talking about the US forward pool here. Juan Agudelo gets pretty much automatic call ups and Teal Bunbury (ugh) gets called in at times as well… and of course Buddle even when he was at Ingolstadt where the entire team scores fewer goals than Gomez, is the defense in the Bundesliga 2 that much better than in Mexico?

  17. Kejsare says:

    Maybe you need Portland to win the MLS Cup to offer some hope.

    Trailblazers in ’77
    Sonics in ’79 [and '78 runner-up]

  18. Ski Fast! says:

    No reason for Klinsmann not to call up Herc. At least he said this week Gomez is on his radar.

  19. Jamie Z. says:

    You’re suggesting Gomez turn down future call ups to the national team out of petty spite and bitterness? That’s not exactly a productive career strategy.

  20. Dan says:

    For some reason MLS teams have trouble scoring on those small unskilled defenders.

  21. Santos Laguna’s quality was something to respect. I don’t like making excuses but playing at elevation in only the 2nd game of the season is a tough task. Under those conditions, did Seattle employ the right tactics? Defense was porous from the beginning.

  22. Mike Vann says:

    Elevation is an excuse. TorreĆ³n is only 3,280 ft. That should not be high enough to cause issues.I rarely see teams come here to Denver, at 5,280 ft. and struggle with it. Fit athletes are able to adjust. I heard Christopher Sullivan, on the telecast, mention altitude and I cringed. It sounded like he was “fishing” for excuses for the Sounders.

  23. John says:

    With midgets like Felipe Baloy on D scoring should be a breeze.

  24. Mark says:

    A pair of surprise results. Tough night for MLS to be embarrassed in Mexico and then have LA fall at home. Hopefully Toronto is as good as some of the pundits are claiming and can win this thing.

  25. JJ says:

    That’s cute

  26. Eurosnob says:

    You are comparing apples and oranges. Agudelo and Bunbury are young players with big upside, who are likely to improve by WC2014, while Gomez is turning 30 this April. Gomez vs Buddle is a better comparison. Gomez had 2 goals in eight appearances for the USMNT while Buddle had 3 goals in 11 appearances. Their goal production against the international quality competition is quite comparable. Klinsmann might prefer Buddle because Buddle can play better as a lone striker (he more physical and better at holding up the ball), which gives the team more of a tactical flexibility. I am sure that Gomez is on the radar screen for the USMNT, and he is likely to receive a call up, if one of the players ahead of him on the depth chart slips in form or gets injured.

  27. Eurosnob says:

    Dude, I hope you are joking, otherwise you start sounding like Preston Zimmermann. The German-Amercian players on USMNT are by far better than Gomez and they play in Bundesliga, one of the top leagues in the world. Chandler, Johnson, Jones and Williams earned their spots. Whould you rather see Bornstein, who is in the same league as Gomez, starting at the left back instead of one of the Bundesliga guys?

  28. Eurosnob says:

    Altitude should not have been much of a factor in Torreon. In fact, DCU beat Santos a couple of years ago in Torreon during a friendly in spring and Santos’fans showed a lot of class by applauding the winning team.

  29. MTs says:

    no bunbury is a piece of s*it only young nothing else.

  30. MTs says:

    you idiot bornstein is done never played in mexican league gomez i much better than wooden johny.

  31. MTs says:

    talk is cheap my friend

  32. MTs says:

    what elevation son you just made an excuse

  33. alf says:

    I think if anything MLS teams continue to show tactical naivette in these competitions. If you are leading going into the away game, you need to have a more defensively sound approach to begin with. Also, when they went down 3:1 early in the second half, Schmid panicked and pulled try to nip that 2nd goal (which would have Oswaldo out – result: 3 more Santos goals. At 3:1, you should still play patiently and advanced them) without giving up on defense. They had managed to score and generate offense with Ozzy on the field in the first half …. Plus another invisible performance by Montero/forwards. Send that kid to a sports psychologist or something.

  34. Seaoctopus says:

    The season opener for the Sounders against TFC should be entertaining

  35. abc says:

    If they are young players with upside let them play with the U-23s and improve. The full US national team is about the best players now, players that can help us win now. Not in the future. It’s not for helping develop players, developing youth players should be happening at academies, colleges, youth national teams, and with their clubs.

  36. abc says:

    I didn’t name anyone who plays in the Bundesliga 1, I named two guys who play in the Bundesliga 2, one with a lousy team, one who only appeared in one game this season for a decent team.

  37. abc says:

    You know there is a massive difference between Ingolstadt and Hoffenheim/Nurnberg/Hannover right?

  38. Travis says:

    I cringe at most things Christopher Sullivan says.

  39. LateNite504 FC says:

    Just bad defense from Seattle. They need to anticipate and react better. Santos’ attack was definitely a notch or two better than anything they see in MLS, so hopefully its a learning experience.

    Gomez looks like he has found the perfect fit for his talents. Quick strike attacking with numbers and a lot of balls played on the ground and perfectly in his path. He is fast and he’s been awesome at finishing those chances. Not that he shouldn’t get a call up, but I don’t see how any MLS team or even the USMNT gives him the same opportunity to shine. It takes a core of similar players to create those opportunities.

    Terrible night for MLS.

    Toronto v. Santos predictions?

  40. marco says:

    What does Sigi have against Leo Gonzales, to leave him stranded high up the pitch, without skill or speed. It looked like a Bornstein lynching. Besides the backline problems,(they’re all in poor condition)the Sounders haven’t found the second striker yet. OBW has serious medical problems, Sammy Ochoa is not fit (Sigi’s words), and EJ was probably damaged goods at time of sale. That trade for EJ may end the reign of GM Hanauer, as fans can dismiss poor managers in this Sounder year.

  41. marco says:

    5-1 if Herc plays, otherwise 3-0

  42. marco says:

    Hercules is better right now than two attackers Klinsmann calls in. I hope he sees the difference in quality.

  43. marco says:

    One obvious answer is poor conditioning. Although they had two months to prepare, they didn’t.

  44. marco says:

    I love his ‘fluidity’ comments. Makes my mouth water.

  45. Michael F. SBI Mafia Original says:

    Herc deserves a call up and a chance. I also don’t get why people keep saying he’s only good off the bench. You need a player like this on the field.

  46. marco says:

    The mystery of why Klinsmann puts him on the wing has never been explained. Williams next cross to a teammate will be his first.

  47. Eurosnob says:

    Both of them are with the U23 team, but they also need to “play up” with the senior team to develop. Gomez was a nonfactor when given opportunities at the last WC after leading Mexican league in scoring so Klinsmann will not have irrational exuberance over his good scoring form.

  48. BF says:

    dumbest post all night

  49. Eurosnob says:

    Abc, I was actually addressing my comment to Eric, who said that Gomez would have a better chance to make the USMNT if he was German. I was not responding to your statement regarding Buddle and Clark – they are not German-Americans.

  50. Eurosnob says:

    Yes, I know there is a difference between these clubs. But I was not responding to your comment regarding Ingolstadt, but to Eric’s comment. And I was referring to German-Americans, who play for the USMNT, and Buddle is not one of them.

  51. SWED says:

    Really? End of Hanauer’s reign? Fool. What he has done for the Sounders is nothing short of phenomenal. The EJ trade was a shrewd move regardless of whether it pans out. Fucito is easily replaced by Estrada. Hustle for Hustle. Neagle was/is overrated and was unlikely to break the lineup this yr with Rosales, Flaco and Sivebaek in front of him and Zakuani on the way. EJ for $100k was a no brainer, regardless of whether he succeeds or fails.

  52. Eurosnob says:

    MTs, before you offer your opinion, you should check the facts. Bornstein plays for UNAL of the Primera Division de Mexico.

  53. Fernando the Kit Man says:

    A lot of people in Portland would like to buy Herc a beer.

  54. Mario says:

    wow what an ignorant comment

  55. A wise man once said says:

    Exactly! Seattle are whiners!