2010 May 26

Sounders FC shoot like crazy to win friendly with Boca Juniors

Seattle Sounders FC  3 - 0  Boca Juniors

Qwest Field, Seattle, WA

42' SEA: Roger Levesque (Fredy Montero)
64' SEA: Pat Noonan (David Estrada)
70' SEA: Michael Seamon (Patrick Ianni)

Seattle: Kasey Keller (Terry Boss 46'); Tyson Wahl, Taylor Graham, Jeff Parke (James Riley 46'), Zach Scott; Steve Zakuani (Miguel Montaņo 46'), Osvaldo Alonso (Brad Evans 19', Michael Seamon 66'), Nathan Sturgis (Patrick Ianni 66'), Sanna Nyassi (David Estrada 46'); Roger Levesque, Fredy Montero (Pat Noonan 46'). Substitutes not used: Chris Eylander, Leo Gonzalez, Tyrone Marshall, Jamel Wallace.

Boca: Javier Garcia; Fabian Monzon (Matias Gimenez 76'), Leandro Aguirre, Ezequiel Munoz, Hugo Ibarra; Gaston Sauro, Gaston Rossi (Sergio Arajuo 67'), Cristian Erbes, Jesus Mendez (Leandro Marin 59'); Lucas Viatri (Nicolas Blandi 77'), Pablo Mouche. Substitutes not used: Josue Ayala, Sebastian D'Angelo, David Achucarro, Breyner Bonilla, Nicolas Colazo, Orlando Gaona.

Match report by Ron Stickney:

In their first international friendly of the year, the Seattle Sounders FC attacked the Boca Juniors at will, scoring three times from 25 shots. The visitors had a few chances, but Kasey Keller and Terry Boss kept their nets clean.

The Sounders wore their new third kit, kind of a neon yellow called Electric. With success the first time they wore it, they might try it one day in a league match. Fredy Montero honored recently injured Jhon Kennedy Hurtado by wearing the 34 jersey in Hurtado's absence.

Boca were missing a few of their top players to World Cup teams, but about half of their starters were regular starters. Their 3-match trip to the states opened with a 1-0 loss to the LA Galaxy and will finish with a visit to the Portland Timbers.

First Half

Boca earned the first shot of the match when Fabian Monzon was up to head a cross wide.

Then Seattle's offense went to work. Nathan Sturgis took the first corner kick at 7' and served it to the near side for Roger Levesque's header that came oh so close, hitting the underside of the bar and bouncing down a foot from the goal line. Montero had some good chances, starting with a turn and shoot from the top of the arc that missed the lower corner by a half yard. A minute later he slid in feet first and almost connected with a good cross from Sanna Nyassi that bounced in the goal area.

Midway in the half Boca's Lucas Viatri headed a long cross from Hugo Ibarra on goal and Keller did well to palm it over the bar.

At 24' Montero worked hard to head down a cross for Levesque's sliding stab and it went wide. Then Sturgis hammered a shot from the left end of the arc and it barely missed the top far corner. Montero's next try was a header at the top far corner that almost caught goalkeeper Javier Garcia off his line.

A Boca corner taken by Pablo Mouche at 35' tried to sneak in at the lower near corner but Keller dove to it in time.

Steve Zakuani was ruling the left flank and worked to earn a good chance at 37' that missed the lower corner by inches.

42' SEA: Levesque (Montero). A free kick from the top of the arc was shot brilliantly by Montero to the top right corner. Garcia got there to get a palm on it, parrying it up and off the bar, but then he was out of the picture as the ball came down on the front porch. Levesque and Nyassi were the only players who charged the goal, and Levesque's only challenge was to keep his arms off the ball as he bellied it in from two yards away. 1-0 Seattle.

As the clock reached 45' Zakuani's cross gave Montero another good shot as he redirected the cross on goal with velocity, forcing Garcia to make a good save.

Boca's Monzon finished the half by firing the cannon from 35 yards and clearing the bar by just a foot.

Halftime: Seattle 1 - 0 Boca

Five substitutes came on for Seattle at the break, including a goalkeeper change, Boss for Keller.

The first chance should have been a tap-in goal for Brad Evans after Zach Sciott and David Estrada kept a corner kick alive in the goal area, but somehow Evans skied his shot over the bar from just two yards away. Next it was Levesque who skied a good chance after Estrada set him up nicely.

For Boca, Viatri's hard shot was slightly deflected and Boss was happy to see the shot bend right to him.

At 57' another fine Estrada cross went off Garcia's fingertips to give Pat Noonan a chance at a header, but he couldn't get on top of the ball.

At the hour chime, the Juniors looked like they had faded, and after Mouche forced a save the Sounders struck.

64' SEA: Noonan (Estrada). Estrada's through ball was won by Noonan with enough time to recover after stumbling from the charge from his marker. Noonan had one more defender to beat, and he beat him with a fine cut-back move. Noonan waited until Garcia dove to protect the far post, then put the shot over Garcia's stretched frame and into the ceiling. 2-0 Seattle.

70' SEA: Seamon (Ianni). A few minutes after entering, Michael Seamon was found open in the middle by Patrick Ianni. Seamon's dreams came true when he bent a hard, dipping shot around a defender, off Garcia's fingertips, and into the net. 3-0 Seattle.

The final 20 minutes saw a hungry Miguel Montaņo earn himself three shots, but none were close. Estrada took a better shot at full time, forcing a save from 25 yards.

Boca's last chance at a consolation goal came at 86' from Mouche, who saw open space but bent the shot away from goal.

Final: Seattle 3 - 0 Boca

          SEA  CABJ
Shots:     25   11
Saves:      4    7
Corners:    5    8
Fouls:      9   10
Offsides:   1    1

41' CABJ: Erbes cautioned
83' SEA: Ianni cautioned

Referees: Edvin Jurisevic; Colin Arblaster, Michael Kampmenet; Mike Rottersman

Attendance: 40,122

Seattle Sounders FC Postmatch Quotes

Head Coach Sigi Schmid

On the game: "Obviously it was nice to get goals. It's been a long time and we didn't know what it felt like anymore. It was a great feeling because our fans have been so supportive and so behind us. For us to reward them, I guess they all get free haircuts as a result of that, so that's a good thing. I thought at times we obviously played some good soccer. The effort of the guys was very good. It was great to see Seamon get his first goal on his first shot. It was good to see Roger get a goal - a good free kick from Fredy Montero. For the second goal, Noonan did some good individual work to put that one away. We also created some chances. Our shots to shots-on-goal ratio was much better today - that's something we've been concentrating on. Our spacing and our passing was good. It's a happier day in Sounder land today than it was on Saturday."

On how much they can build off of a game like this: "We had a feeling that if we could get a goal here then the dam would open up for us a little bit. So it's a feeling of knowing 'Hey, yeah, we can do this' against a team that's good, plays in a good league, that plays international soccer at a good level that came out and played five or six of their starting guys against us. It gives you confidence when you see the ball hit the back of the net in a real game - the feeling you have is something that helps carry you."

On looking at different combinations of personnel: "It was good to look at some players. It's been awhile since David Estrada has been on the field. I thought he had some very good moments when he came on early on. It was good for us to get Brad Evans back on the field to see where he's at - if he's going to be able to go this weekend. It was unfortunate with Ossie because he re-aggravated his injury a little bit. It was good to see Taylor Graham. He hasn't played in a game in a really long time so he's going to be extremely sore tomorrow not having played 90 minutes in awhile. Zach Scott, all the guys ... it was good to get Jeff Parke out there as well. From that standpoint it was very good for us tonight."

On the pregame huddle: "We always do that right before the game. We do it with all the players and all the subs. A lot times teams will just get the starting 11 together on the field and it's something we started - we're all in this so we get the whole group together on the sideline prior to the game. We were rockin' a little more because Tommy Dutra got the team going a little bit. We might have to keep that. It looked a little NBA style for awhile."

On wearing the bright uniforms again: "I don't know. Are we allowed to wear those in league? I've got no problem wearing those again. If they got three goals in them every game, we'll wear them every game. I don't care how much the fine is from the league. Adrian said he's willing to pay that fine every week as long as we get three goals."

On Fredy Montero wearing Jhon Kennedy Hurtado's number: "He and Jhon Kennedy are close. I know he kids him a lot, but he wanted to do that for Jhon. Jhon is a person the whole team likes. He's a very giving person and he's a person we care a lot about as a group. We certainly miss him and can't wait for him to come back. It was a little bit to pay him respect. I thought it was a great gesture from Fredy. Our team really cares about him and wish for him to get back as soon as possible."

On Taylor Graham's performance: "Obviously Taylor knew that today was a bit audition for him, a big opportunity for him to show that he's got his fitness back and that he can play, he can organize us. That's one of Taylor's strengths - he's a very good organizer in the back. I thought he had a good game today. How it goes from here and how he feels tomorrow him having played 90 minutes today ... Saturday is probably tough for him. This is a huge step forward for him in terms of getting close and getting into the 18 and getting himself further along."

On Osvaldo Alonso's status for Saturday: "Doubtful, probable, questionable - he's probably doubtful. You know, we'll have to see. It's not nearly what it was before so a lot of times you can't tell until the next morning."

On players possibly being more relaxed: "Maybe. You're still always anxious and always eager to get out there and play, especially when it's an international game, you want to do well. Some guys knew they were only going to play 45 minutes so for them it's a little bit different with how they divide up their energy. Michael Seamon said to me that was the hardest 25 minutes I've ever played in my life. So there's still the nerves and energy that's there for those players. We had some good chances prior to that first goal. Having that first goal go in was like hey, yeah we can do this and it was just a good feeling."

On his assessment of the Boca squad: "Boca played well and created some good chances. Obviously they're a team that's very technical. Their passing is very good. They overloaded us a couple of times on one side or the other and got behind us on the flanks. We dodged a bullet or two, but that's something that you need to do. At the end of the day, once we had the lead, I think they stepped up their aggression a little bit because they're a proud team as well. They're a good team with a lot of talented young players for sure."

On players scoring goals in game vs. practice: "It all matters. There are a lot of players that are great training players and can't do it in a game. There are some guys that aren't quite as sharp in training but get it done in a game so whenever you can evaluate guys in game situations it's good. Again, for us, when you look at our schedule, once we hit July, all of these guys are going to have to get on the field. It's good for their confidence, it's good for us to know that we have some depth and that was something that we wanted to build this year as well. We want to turn this good result into good results in our league games - the one in Colorado and we've got two at home after that so we want to be able to reward our fans again when we come home."

Roger Levesque

On scoring a goal: "It was great, a total team effort tonight. My goal in the first half, Fredy hit an amazing free kick, going in the top corner. Their goalkeeper makes a great save. The ball is literally bouncing across the line, that was one I wasn't going to miss regardless of what it took to put it in."

On team scoring three goals: "I scored the first one and we definitely had a couple other chances. It seemed like a game where they might sneak one and we would have ourselves a battle. Getting those two other ones was great, great for the fans, great for all the people who came out here to see some excitement, especially in a friendly match. The fact we scored three goals was awesome."

On locker room after game: "Anytime you come out and play well and win and score some goals, it creates some momentum. Hopefully we can use that momentum going in to Colorado on the weekend."

Pat Noonan

On scoring a goal: "Well, Estrada got it out wide and worked up and played a good ball in. I was able to shake off the defender, avoid falling and once I was able to do that, I kind of saw the defender coming. I didn't know how great my angle was so I was able bring it back and get it over the keeper."

On scoring first goal for Sounders FC: "It feels good, especially because it came with a victory. In the first half, we were putting on a lot of good opportunities and we finally got one right before half and continue to build the momentum and create chances. It feels good to be a part of that and give something to the fans that they deserve."

Michael Seamon

On thoughts after scoring: "I don't know how quickly it was when I got in but I knew I was going to have 25 minutes in the game and my first thought was, 'Wow, how am I going to make it through the next 20 minutes?' I was definitely happy but that's a whole other level out there with the speed and everything, getting the fitness for 25 minutes is tough. I have a lot of work ahead of me to get in better shape after these types of games."

On shooting from outside the 18-yard box: "That's no problem. When you get that much space, you have to let it go. It doesn't matter what the situation is, that much space and you have got to do it."

On going onto the field for the first time: "You try not to let it get to you too much but, like I said before, the energy that you want to have when you get on the field, I'm trying to prove something when I get in there and you try to pace yourself. You have a certain amount of time in the game and I was tired right away because, all of a sudden, I was just buzzing around right off the bat. So the emotion and everything goes away after about two seconds. You're happy and you can't believe you are going to play in front of this many fans and then, all of a sudden, it's business. You got to get right down to it."

Boca Juniors

Head Coach Roberto Pompei

On his thoughts regarding the game and the atmosphere on the pitch: "Well about the environment it was fantastic, there was a full stadium. The people were really cheering. The match in L.A. I didn't think there was much enthusiasm and here I saw a lot of that. For the game itself it was well battled and a lot of opportunities back and forth but in the second half Boca didn't play that well. The second goal was decisive and killed the end of the game."

On the level of play against MLS players: "To learn you really need to re-watch the game, during the match you are thinking about the game and trying to change things to give more continuity to others. I do know and recognize that there has been a lot of growth. The advantage for the Sounders and the players is that it's right in the middle of their season, while we are already on vacation and a break. Still I have seen many players who are good playing here."

On being a positive experience despite losing the match: "Absolutely, one always wants to win and pursue the result. One has to understand we just finished our season, then went to L.A. and now came here, tomorrow we are going to Portland. Still a positive experience, especially with a team that is growing, and observing our young players who are gaining exposure internationally."