2010 Sep 29

Fucito brace gives Sounders FC their first CCL win

Seattle Sounders FC  2 - 0  Marathón

Qwest Field, Seattle, WA

22' SEA: Mike Fucito
68' SEA: Mike Fucito

Seattle: Terry Boss; Tyson Wahl, Tyrone Marshall, Taylor Graham, Zach Scott; Miguel Montaño (Leo Gonzalez 83'), Mike Seamon, Alvaro Fernandez (Peter Vagenas 62'), David Estrada; Mike Fucito (Sanna Nyassi 70'), Roger Levesque. Substitutes not used: Kasey Keller, Jeff Parke, Nathan Sturgis, Fredy Montero.

Marathón: Orlin Vallecillo; Milton Palacios (Rony Flores 72'), Erick Norales, Mariano Acevedo, Asthor Henríquez; Elder Valladares, Carlos Palacios, Adolfo Machado, Mario Berríos; Héctor Amarilla (Randy Diamond 73'), Carlos Mejía. Substitutes not used: Shane Orio, Luis Cristano, Reiniery Mayorquín, Orvin Paz, Mario Rodríguez.

Match report from Sounders FC:

Mike Fucito scored two goals as Seattle picked up their first points in the CONCACAF Champions League, topping Marathón 2-0 in front of 11,768 fans at Qwest Field on Wednesday.

The Sounders now have three points in the group stage, while the Honduran club squandered a golden opportunity to push past Saprissa into second place in Group D.

Despite the victory, Saprissa's draw with Monterrey on Tuesday night had already ended Seattle's slim chances of advancing out of the group stage. As he did in the team's previous match against Monterrey, Sounders head coach Sigi Schmid rested Seattle's starters again this time around.

Fucito started up front alongside Roger Levesque. The move paid off in the 21st minute, when he ran onto a ball over the top from Seattle's defense, slotting a strong left-footed shot past Marathón goalkeeper Orlin Vallecillo. Even though the ball was misplayed by the Marathón defense, it was an impressive finish for Fucito, who scored one goal and forced a Monterrey own goal in Seattle's 3-2 loss to Monterrey last week.

With the game still in the balance, Fucito added an insurance goal in the 68th minute. His left-footed free kick from inches outside the penalty area snuck inside the near post, giving Seattle the decisive 2-0 lead.

Marathón's Erick Norales nearly scored an early tally for the Green Monster, forcing a save in the 30th minute from Seattle goalkeeper Terry Boss.

Early in the second half, a shin injury to Miguel Montaño seemed to energize the Colombian teenager, who nearly scored twice in the 52nd minute. First, a charging run into the area by Montaño led to a Vallecillo save, and in the same movement, Vallecillo recovered to block another shot from Montaño that he had initially mishandled.

Sounders fans were pleased to see Pete Vagenas enter the match in the 62nd minute, his first action since a brief 14 minutes against Metapan in late July.

Seattle finish off the tournament with a home game against Saprissa on Oct. 19th.

          SEA  MAR
Shots:     11   11
Saves:      1    5
Corners:   10    4
Fouls:     13   15
Offsides:   2    4


Referees: Paul Ward (Canada); Hector Vergara, Darren Clark; Edvin Jurisevic

Attendance: 11,768

Postmatch Quotes

Seattle Sounders FC

Sigi Schmid - Head Coach

On Mike Fucito: "He fights and he battles. He got injured going into a tackle he didn't need to go into. He scored a good first goal. He got the ball and he finished it well. And then the second goal was a free kick. We were training on that and he's one of the lefties that has so much spin on the ball that he can get it around the wall and he froze the goalkeeper. So I'm happy for Mike."

On game: "I thought it was good. The guys came in and played. I thought Marathon came out very defensively in their early posture. They played basically a 5-3-2 and split their forwards wide, almost like a 5-4-1 at times. It required us to be a little bit patient. Good to get the first goal because it had them open up a bit. We're still disappointed with our overall Champions League performance. There were four MLS teams in the competition. The two that had two out of their first three games away are out of it. If we would have had this game at home the first time around, maybe there's a little more confidence that ends up happening. The evenness of the schedule seems feasible to do. Seems that after two games you would have one home and one away and after four games you would have two home and two away. For a young team like ours, in this competition, that's really important."

On Fucito injury: "We hope not too bad. We'll find out for sure tomorrow morning. He's getting x-rayed tomorrow morning and to know for sure. It ballooned up a little, but initial prognosis is that it's not as bad as Riley's was."

On free kicks: "Fucito and Seamon were the ones before the game that we said would be on free kicks. Montaño tried to weasel his way in there, but it was Fucito and Seamon that we wanted hitting the ball. Seamon went a little high on his and Mike buried his."

On feeling of calling a successful set play: "That happens like once or twice a year. It feels really good when it happens because it doesn't happen very often."

On team's performances in CONCACAF Cup: "We felt we should have won in Monterrey when we were leading 2-0 after 75 minutes. We thought we should have won in San Pedro Sula and we felt we could have won at Saprissa if we weren't playing a man down."

On players deserving more playing time: "That's for me to know and for you to find out later. Mike did well. Taylor Graham has done well in games he's played here. Tyson Wahl played well. He saw the ball a lot because of the way we were playing and he was able to get some good balls to our forwards. It's always good for Terry Boss to get time in games and it was good for him to get his first shutout."

On crowd: "It's still bigger than a lot of crowds that come to Champions League. I thought the crowd in Monterrey last week was fantastic. Our earlier crowds have been great too. There are a lot of teams that would be happy with 10,000 fans. We need to not look at the glass half empty, but half full."

On upcoming schedule: "It's exciting. For me, when you get opportunities and you get challenges like the one we have to win the US Open Cup on Tuesday and then you have a good game on Saturday against Toronto then at Kansas City. Those two really are the two pursuers from behind. So as a coach and as a player, when you have opportunities like this, you have to just smile. Those are opportunities for you to stand up and step away from the crowd and be special. All of us look for ways to be special. Some teams never get that opportunity. I'm excited and I think they're going to be excited as well."

On Terry Boss: "Thought he should have came out a little stronger on the corner when he got clocked. Overall, he was good. With him, it's just more games always make you better and more confident. We have a great goalkeeper here in Kasey Keller, but Terry has learned a lot in the day-to-day training and have to take that training into games. Thought he was solid."

On Marathon game plan: "Wanted to get out of here with a tie or sneak a goal if they could. Getting the goal in the first half definitely altered their tactical plan and gave us some relief. It was really our first clean opportunity and to score right away on that first clean opportunity can be a dagger."

Mike Fucito

On scoring two goals: "Felt great. I always like to score and I'm glad that we were able to hold on and win. That makes scoring I think that much more meaningful when we can actually win the game."

On the first goal: "I just saw that the defender was kind of running back. The ball was bouncing. I figured I'd take a chance and pressure him. I was able to kind of poke my head in and get by him and then finish."

On the second goal: "The free kick just comes from Sigi. The other day in practice he had me trying some things in a similar situation where I was bending it over the wall and into the near post. After working on that for a little bit, it translated to the game."

On the injury: "It happened immediately after the kickoff when I was pressuring the defender. He went to clear it and I kind of blocked it and landed and rolled it a little bit."

Tyrone Marshall

On the match: "We showed good character today, knowing that we couldn't qualify. We wanted to come back and win a home game in front of our fans. The last four games we were a bit unlucky. But it was a learning curve for us. Being on the road the first couple of games and just had a tough experience and a tough go around, giving up some goals that we shouldn't have given up and just having some bad calls against us. We came here tonight, we wanted to come out and have a good goal and get a shutout and score some goals and feel what it's like to get a victory in the CONCACAF. It's a great feeling overall. I thought the team overall did well. Everyone collectively played great. We said we wanted 90 minutes of concentration out there and that's what we did tonight. It was a good overall team effort."

On being the captain: "It makes me feel good. It shows that guys are responding. It showed good leadership out there and there is good camaraderie on the field. That's what it takes. We are all leaders on the field. One person had to wear the captain's band tonight but overall I think everyone was a leader tonight on the field. That's why we got the victory."

On what Sounders FC learned from this experience: "What we learned is that we have to be mentally stronger. We have to go in there and know that we are not going to get anything given to us. Whenever we score a goal we have to make sure we protect that lead and do whatever it takes. Obviously going forward, the young boys have to learn how to play, be a part of the team in terms of whenever they get an opportunity they have got to step up and show the coach that they want to play...It's important for us going forward that we take the little things away from the game that's going to make us better in the future. Hopefully we can make it next year and we can come back."


Nicolas Suazo - Head Coach

Opening statement: "First of all good evening. Thank you all for being here. About the match, it's been a deserved result for the Sounders. Marathón could have gotten more from this game. I wouldn't say that this was one of the best games that Marathón played since I joined. Seattle made a lot of changes since the last game against Monterrey. Knowing they didn't have any mathematical chances any more, they could afford to do those changes. They had played well as a visitor and in home games, and now they finally won a match. Our team made some mistakes but I'm not going to come up with excuses for the result."

On the Champions League: "Usually the key to advancing in the Champions League is to win at home. It's very different to play as a visitor and we know that the ones who qualify are the ones who play strong at home. The Sounders played well, could have even tied the game there. But now the game is very different for us. The team started and was imprecise in the beginning. Giving up a goal like that, it was very hard to recover. It was almost like a punch, psychological. It was very hard to come back from that."

On advancing to knockout round: "Indeed the one point difference is minimal. But as I mentioned, the history of teams who advance and play strong at home in the Champions League, make it a possibility for us to still advance. We will indeed depend a little bit on the Sounders, but we have no doubt about the level of effort, professionalism and ethics that a great team like the Sounders will put [on the field]. We will not be worried or breaking our heads thinking about what's happening here. We know that it's going to cost Saprissa a lot to get a positive result here and we trust the Sounders can win. With that, we just need to do our own part playing at home."