GUADALAJARA, MEXICO - Seattle Sounders FC saw its 2018 Scotiabank CONCACAF Champions run ended in Mexico on Wednesday evening, falling 3-0 to Chivas Guadalajara in the second leg of the Quarterfinal Round at Estadio Akron. After Seattle's 1-0 win at home in the first leg, the Liga MX side advances 3-1 on aggregate to face the New York Red Bulls, with the winner set to play the victor of Toronto FC and Club América in the other Semifinal Round matchup. Sounders FC shifts its focus back to MLS play, with a Sunday matchup on the horizon against Western Conference rival FC Dallas at Toyota Stadium (2:00 p.m. PT / JOEtv, Univision-Seattle, YouTube TV, 950 KJR AM, El Rey 1360 AM).
After a scoreless yet fiery first 45 minutes that saw Brian Schmetzer make two substitutions due to injury - including the debut of South Korean international Kim Kee-hee, who replaced Chad Marshall with an eye injury in the 35th minute - Chivas bagged their series-equalizing goal in the 50th minute of play through Oswaldo Alanís. The defender hit a thunderous direct free-kick that found the back of the net, leveling the two-legged series at one goal apiece. The home side earned the go-ahead goal just five minutes later, as midfielder Javier López chipped Sounders FC goalkeeper Stefan Frei, who was forced to come off his line due to a developing Chivas counterattack. As the Rave Green pressed for a vital away goal that would have propelled them into the series lead, Chivas caught the visitors on another counter in the 80th minute, with José de Jesús Godínez scoring on a back-heel finish amidst traffic in the area.
With tonight's loss, Seattle is eliminated from the 2018 Scotiabank CONCACAF Champions League, marking the club's fourth trip to the Quarterfinal Round in team history. Seattle's record in Champions League play moves to 16-15-5 all-time, including a 1-5-1 road mark in Mexico. Seattle has only once advanced to the Semifinal Round of the tournament, during the 2012-2013 campaign. The Rave Green now turn their attention to MLS action this coming weekend, as the club heads north of the border for a clash with FC Dallas on Sunday, March 18 (2:00 p.m. PT / JOEtv, Univision-Seattle, YouTube TV, 950 KJR AM, El Rey 1360 AM).
- Tonight's result moves Seattle to 16-15-5 all-time in Scotiabank CONCACAF Champions League play, with the Rave Green maintaining a 4-10-4 road record in that span.
- Seattle's run in the 2018 Scotiabank CONCACAF Champions League ends in Guadalajara, having made it into the Quarterfinal Round of North and Central America's premier club soccer competition for the fourth time in club history. The club advanced to the Semifinal Round of Champions League play once in the 2012-2013 campaign.
- Brian Schmetzer was forced to use two of his subs due to injury in the first 35 minutes of play, beginning in the eighth minute when Will Bruin was forced off with a head injury, making way for Lamar Neagle. Less than half an hour later, Chad Marshall came off with an eye injury, with Kim Kee-hee coming on to make his Sounders FC debut.
- As previously mentioned, defender Kim Kee-hee made his Sounders FC debut, logging 65 minutes of play after coming on for Marshall. The South Korean international was signed to Sounders FC using Targeted Allocation Money on February 27.
- Sounders FC defender Kelvin Leerdam made his 2018 competitive debut, coming on for Henry Wingo in the 81st minute. The Dutch fullback had yet to feature in 2018 due to a right ankle sprain.
- The Chivas series was Seattle's fifth test against Mexican opposition, having previously played Monterrey in 2010 and 2011, Santos Laguna in 2012 and 2013, in addition to Club América in 2016. While Sounders FC played Chivas in a friendly match in 2010, the two sides had not met previously in competitive play prior to tonight. Tonight's match is the seventh time Sounders FC has traveled to face a Liga MX team in Mexico, with the club accumulating a 1-5-1 record to date.
LINEUPS & STATS
Seattle Sounders FC - Stefan Frei; Jordan McCrary, Román Torres - captain, Chad Marshall (Kim Kee-hee 35'), Waylon Francis; Gustav Svensson, Cristian Roldan, Henry Wingo (Kelvin Leerdam 81'), Magnus Wolff Eikrem, Clint Dempsey; Will Bruin (Lamar Neagle 8')
Substitutes not used: Bryan Meredith, Nouhou, Jordy Delem, Harry Shipp
C.D. Guadalajara - Rodolfo Cota; Carlos Cisneros, Jair Pereira, Edwin Hernandez (Michelle Benítez 86'), Orbelín Pineda Oswaldo Alanís; Rodolfo Pizarro, Michael Pérez (Jose Macias 82'), Isaac Brizuela, Rodolfo Pizarro, Javier López (Carlos Salcido 88'); José de Jesús Godínez
Substitutes not used: Miguel Jiménez, Juan Basulto, Gael Sandoval, Ronald Cisneros