[CONCACAF CHAMPIONS LEAGUE] Even soccer-mad Seattle has a hard time taking to the Concacaf Champions League. MLS's Sounders edged Metapan of El Salvador, 1-0,
in their debut in the regional competition before a crowd of only 17,228, the smallest ever to watch the Sounders at Qwest Field and less than half their average attendance in MLS this season.
Fredy Montero came off the bench to score the game's only goal in the 60th minute.
Shortly after he replaced Nate Jaqua, the young Colombian star's shot from 40 yards was fumbled by Metapan goalkeeper Misael Alfaro and went into the goal.
It was the only goal for the Sounders could put past Alfaro, who was otherwise excellent.
"We had chances," said Seattle coach Sigi Schmid. "I thought we had chances to score more than just the one and we're disappointed that we didn't get more."
After playing San Jose in MLS action on Saturday, the Sounders will have to fly to El Salvador to defend their narrow lead in Tuesday's second leg of their preliminary-round series.
"It's most important not give up a goal at home," said Schmid. "We have a lead. It forces them when we go down there that they have to score a goal. They can't sit back. Here they can sit back. And for us on the road to score a goal, we force them to score three, so that's really important."
The Sounders were one of only two of seven teams to win at home on Tuesday and Wednesday. Toronto FC also won, 1-0, over Motagua of Honduras.
The third MLS team, Los Angeles, was pounded by the Puerto Rico Islanders, 4-1, at home.
"It shows that anything can happen," Schmid said of the Galaxy's loss. "When you look at the Galaxy game, Puerto Rico got four shots and four goals. I'd much rather be in our position than the Galaxy's position at this stage. It's good for us to get a win and it's good for the league, but mainly what we're concerned with is what's good for us."
July 28 in Seattle
Seattle Sounders 1 Metapan 0. Goal: Montero 60.
Seattle Sounders -- Keller, Riley, Marshall, Graham, L.Gonzalez, Nyassi, Vagenas (Alonso, 14), Seamon, Montano (Zakuani, 57), Jaqua (Montero, 60), Levesque.
Metapan -- Alfaro, Alvarado, Prado, Aquino, Menendez (Blanco, 68), Jimenez, Mejia, Umana, Suarez (Flores, 80), Canales, Flores (Moran, 87)