Seattle Sounders players and staff are preparing for their second away fixture for this season’s CONCACAF Champions League and have revealed they have to deal with more than just travel.
The Sounders are in Costa Rica ahead of Wednesday’s meeting with Herediano and although head coach Sigi Schmid says there is no apparent danger in the area, a story that has emerged from a trip to Honduras last season suggests that it is not always smooth sailing.
Veteran defender James Riley said an eight-legged friend joined the Sounders in their hotel last year and it certainly ruffled a few feather.
“There was just a huge tarantula in the bathroom as guys are trying to take showers,” Riley said. “And (Mike) Fucito is arachnophobic, definitely; and the thing was absolutely massive. Everyone was afraid. It was a bit nuts.”
As for a recent trip to Monterrey in Mexico, Schmid said the accommodation arrangements were fine but the teams’ administration director Grant Clark suggests that the opposition did what they could to unsettle their visitors.
“(In Monterrey) we stayed pretty much in the hotel, and when we did our team walk, we just basically walked around the hotel,” Schmid said.
Clark added: “We get along well with some of the clubs, but not like we do within MLS. So then it does become a challenge.
“For example, in Monterrey, Mexico, last year we asked for some injury ice at the stadium, and a guy showed up with a 25-pound block.”