The Seattle Sounders had a brief expertise as Major League Soccer’s first consultant on the Club World Cup after a 1-0 loss to Al Ahly Saturday eradicated them from the competitors, nevertheless it was nonetheless a efficiency to recollect for the Cascadia membership. Coming out of the gates, it was clear that Al Ahly was the crew in the midst of their season, in rhythm and creating early possibilities however the Sounders have been in a position to rebound settling into the match. Neither crew may take a look at the keepers till late on, nonetheless, when Mohamed Afsha scored the eventual winner from exterior the field to keep away from further time and safe a date with Real Madrid.
As the match wore on, it turned clear which crew is undefeated and in the midst of their season and which was solely taking part in their third match of 2023 and first aggressive match earlier than the MLS season kicks off on February 26. The second half was a disjointed one, however to Seattle’s credit score, regardless of the scheduling challenges, they nonetheless got here to the Club World Cup and competed like a crew that was alleged to be there.
Al Ahly has a potent assault. After rolling over Auckland City of their first match and squeaking by the Sounders they’ve now scored 4 objectives within the match however the Egyptian aspect’s objective Saturday got here their solely shot on the right track in opposition to the Sounders, a deflected one at that. Unfortunately, one shot is all that it took to see the Sounders out of the competitors.
It brings up acquainted schedule points that MLS has confronted earlier than. The league runs from February via November or December as an alternative of on a conventional August via May schedule. With the journey and climate constraints in America, there are truthful the reason why the league runs this manner, nevertheless it does put them behind the eight ball in the case of competing on the continental and world stage. No league has groups flying the space from Miami to Vancouver earlier than turning round to go to Boston on a Wednesday whereas experiencing a wholly totally different local weather in every space. Teams in European competitions often face journeys which might be equally lengthy however after they return to league play, the prolonged journeys subside.
Similar scheduling points have plagued MLS groups within the early rounds of Concacaf Champions League, however that was one thing that the Sounders overcame to win the match final season. Now, with joint competitors coming with CONMEBOL and Concacaf groups mixed, MLS sides will get used to this stage of competitors on quick relaxation which can solely be factor for groups shifting ahead.
This is the primary foray for MLS into the Club World Cup and it was a invaluable expertise. The match for the Sounders could have resulted in disappointment however trying such as you belong whereas nonetheless within the preseason is completely a optimistic. Next up is incremental progress and the pie-in-the-sky dream is finally successful the match. With the expansion that Major League Soccer has skilled, there is not any motive that may’t occur sooner or later.
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