Seattle Sounders head coach Brian Schmetzer celebrated the 3-0 victory over Liga MX side Tigres UANL in the Leagues Cup by praising his players’ ability to thrive despite a congested schedule.
Schmetzer took a gamble by calling up his exhausted first choice starting 11, admitting the match against Tigres was a moment to showcase Seattle’s best.
The Major League Soccer team kicked off the match strongly, earning a penalty in the 24th minute before going on to score twice on the Mexican giants. Tigres attempted to fight back but the Sounders proved a successful defensive strategy that allowed for only one shot on target from their rivals.
“Our team, I didn't have to say anything before the game. We are blessed to have great players. This club has always spent money on the players who fit the culture of the club," Schmetzer said after the match.
"We're a humble club, we work, we try to achieve great things and we're always trying to win. That is part of why our decision to put a strong lineup out there tonight against a very good Tigres team, it was important for us, it was important for this club.
"It's important for us to showcase the players that we have."
The Sounders recently fell to second place in the MLS Western Conference standings after two consecutive defeats and one draw. Schmetzer spoke about the importance of the match as a confidence booster and way of exposure for his players.
"When you play a team of this magnitude like Tigres, a team from another league, a victory like this certainly brings back confidence," Lodeiro said through a translator. "We needed this very much. We had lost some points, even at home, then the match versus Dallas where we felt like we deserved [a win] but got unlucky with a tie.
"That can take confidence away," he continued. "So, this was important. We controlled the match from the beginning and I don't remember seeing many opportunities by Tigres, so that's why this brings back the confidence. We just need to make sure we keep our focus and don't lose our focus on MLS and don't get confused that this is already the end. But rather I would say that this win solidifies a belief that we understand what MLS is all about, we understand we're not going to win every game, we understand going 13 games unbeaten - we understand that at some point it was going to come to an end.”
Tuesday’s victory against Tigres solidified their place in the semi finals on September 14 against a yet to be determined team.