Soccer  > General Soccer  > Monterrey sets the pace atop Group C
September 13, 2010, 05:33 PM
Monterrey heads into CONCACAF Champions League play this week feeling very good about itself.

Domestically, the Rayados are even with Santos atop the Group 1 Mexican Apertura standings with 15 points. Internationally, they lead Group C in the Champions League with maximum points from two games and have yet to concede a goal in wins over Saprissa and Seattle.

On Tuesday, in Round 3, Victor Manuel Vucetich's side hosts Marathon and will no doubt be buoyed by this past weekend's emotional 1-0 derby victory against rival Tigres at Estadio Universitario with Humberto Suazo scoring the lone goal.

"They were very intelligent and able to adapt well to the circumstances," Vucetich said of his players. "I'm very proud of them."

Marathon, meanwhile, will arrive at Estadio Tecnologico with a new coach as former Honduran national team manager Edwin Pavon replaced Nicolas Suazo, who was fired after last Sunday's 3-2 loss to Real Espana - its second defeat in three games.

Pavon, a member of the Honduran parliament, previously coached Marathon in 1997.

"Marathon has what it takes to look to win the league and the Champions League," Pavon was quoted by Honduran daily Diario Tiempo.

In Pavon's first game in charge, Marathon played Necaxa to a goalless draw Friday at Estadio Olimpico Metropolitano. While he has yet to implement a "permanent strategy," Pavon believes he has his team well prepared for Monterrey.

"I have already raised the game on the board and everything is clear," Pavon told Diario Tiempo. "But we know that no one has ever lost a game on the board."

Deportivo Saprissa is level with Marathon on three points and hosts winless Seattle Tuesday night at Estadio Ricardo Saprissa. On Saturday, El Monstruo Morado crushed Perez Zeledon, 4-1. Josue Martinez scored a pair of goals, while Walter Centeno and Alejandro Sequeira had one apiece.

Seattle will need a positive result to keep its hopes of advancing alive. The Sounders FC lost its first two Group C matches, dropping a 2-1 decision at Marathon and losing at home to Monterrey, 2-0. In its last MLS match, Seattle played Real Salt Lake to a 0-0 draw Thursday night at Qwest Field.

"I think we need to get something out of this game," Seattle coach Sigi Schmid told reporters Saturday. "We need to get a point or we need to get three. For sure we need to get something out of this game."

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