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Bielsa Report: Five things you should know about Seattle Sounders

We analyze the strengths and weaknesses of the Sounders ahead of the first leg of the CONCACAF Champions League Semifinals.

Courtesy Seattle Sounders

The Bielsa Report is named for manager Marcelo Bielsa, and the comprehensive if legally suspect research he conducts on opposing teams.


UPDATED APRIL 11, 5:21 PM ET: Seattle’s star center-back Yeimar Gómez is recovering from an injury and won’t travel to New York for the second leg. The defender also missed the first leg. 

The Sounders allowed just one goal in four CCL games

The Seattle Sounders have put up one of the most impressive runs ever for an MLS team playing in the CONCACAF Champions League: Two wins and two draws, with nine goals scored and one goal allowed. Put simply, Seattle’s outstanding form in the CCL is built on the strength of their defense. 

Besides, that goal basically doesn’t count. A 91st minute strike by Club Léon’s Fidel Ambríz wasn’t anything more than a consolation goal that gave the home crowd at Estadio Léon something to cheer about seconds before their team was knocked out of the tournament on a 4-1 aggregate score.

The Sounders midfield and defense bunkered down in that game, ceding possession but grabbing the lead with a first-half penalty. Seattle came away with the draw despite having just 27% possession and a pass accuracy of 65% to Léon’s 73% possession and a pass accuracy of 85%—those numbers should strike fear in the souls of NYCFC players and fans. 

The Sounders know how to lose the battle of the stats but come away with a result.

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