My awesome friend Sabrina spent 40 minutes trying to get tickets via TicketBastard, and the two of us ended up sitting in the stands at Starfire for last weekend’s Cascadia Summit. On Friday night, it was pouring rain while the boys in rave green took on Portland. The field conditions were pretty terrible and the ball was rather slick, which likely contributed to Kasey Keller’s misplay on the first Portland goal.
The final score left we Seattle fans disappointed and the incredibly obnoxious Portland fans cheering. Reports from friends who ended up sitting on their side of the stadium mentioned that they were rude and uncouth. Soccer city USA? I don’t think so. Their bleachers weren’t even full!
Anyway, the final score of Friday night’s game was 2-0. Portland played really dirty football. There were quite a few missed fouls (hey, it’s the MLS), and one of Portland’s defenders physically held Blaise Nkufo’s shirt the entire game. Our attacking players just couldn’t finish though. It was really frustrating to watch. Zakuani and “El Flaco” Fernandez had a few good looks. I thought for sure one of Flaco’s balls was going to hit the back of the net at some point during the game. The man is fast, let me tell you. If we can get him going, he could definitely be a playmaker for us this year.
Sunday’s game took place on a rather nice, sunny, warm-ish day. The field conditions were still pretty gross after all the rain. It was our backups vs. Vancouver’s backups. Sabrina and I sat next to the ECS (Emerald City Supporters) so the, uh, rather salty language that often escapes my lips when watching soccer could blend in with the ECS’ frequent use of a four-letter word that rhymes with fork. Ahem. Before the game, as we were all launching into our “Clap Clap Ay” Sounders chant (you really have to go there to see it…I can’t describe it any better), the Vancouver fans were doing the YMCA dance. They were trying to do the “A” part in time with our Sounders “Ay.” Even the ECS was chuckling. The Vancouver fans were definitely acting goofy, and I loved it!
Like I said, it was our backups vs. Vancouver’s backups. And our backup goalie, Terry Boss, did not look good. He mishandled the ball on the first Whitecaps goal. Then, he ran way out of the box to try to stop an attacking player who was probably offsides, missed, and left the goal wide open. One of our defenders valiantly headed off a shot on goal, but another goal scored while Boss was struggling to get back. We were all pretty pissed. There’s a reason why Kasey Keller doesn’t run so far out of the box. The third goal was basically a one-on-one attacker vs. keeper — and I don’t fault Boss for that one.
Fan favorite Mike Fucito, who does anything he can to score a goal, pulled up limping with an injury. It looked bad. He had broken free and was sprinting down the field. All of a sudden, he started hopping and collapsed to the ground. He was on the ground for a good five minutes. This was not something that the freezy spray could have helped. Poor Mike. He got the loudest cheers of all when he was introduced (he and Ozzie Alonso get the loudest cheers in the lineup). The crowd started chanting “Mike Fucito” in support. He got up eventually, but had to be helped by two assistants back to the locker room. Word from the team is that it’s an adductor strain. Ouch. The universe needs to give Mike Fucito a break.
Backups that stood out to me included #14 Michael Tetteh. He plays a lot like Steve Zakuani. In fact, Zak later replaced him in the game. Tetteh is quick, and has a nose for making plays happen. Really solid play. Erik Friberg and O’Brian White also have a lot of potential. White seems to be quite a bit faster than Blaise Nkufo. If Nkufo doesn’t start producing, it’ll be interesting to see if Sigi goes with White or Nate Jaqua.
The Community Shield match is on Wednesday. You betcha I’ll be there! I have to miss the first two games of the season, but other than that, I should be at all the games. Scarves up, Sounders!