Two familiar names in recent Sounders FC activity have been on fire in recent games. Tonight history repeated itself as one scored the first goal of the evening and the other netted the final score.
Mike Fucito launched the scoring five minutes into the game while Sanna Nyassi, coming in as a substitute in the match’s final 10 minutes, tallied the last goal of the night. That goal capped a 3-1 Sounders triumph at the Xbox Pitch of Qwest Field before 41,047 in an international friendly against popular Mexican club Chivas Guadalajara.
Massachusetts speedster Fucito can be counted on to move the action forward briskly. This time he did it before a number of the fans had a chance to reach their seats. He drilled home a winner in the fifth minute on an assist from Roger Levesque to send the home faithful into hysterics and achieve a lead that the Sounders never relinquished.
It would remain for Sanna Nyassi to score the final goal. After scoring the first goal of his MLS career a week ago Saturday against Toronto, he scored twice last Tuesday to lead his team to a 2-1 U.S. Open Cup victory over the Columbus Crew. He followed that effort up with a goal Saturday night in a 2-1 victory in Kansas City to ensure a berth for the Sounders in the upcoming MLS playoffs.
There is something about tough Latin opponents that brings out the best in Fucito. In CONCACAF action he scored three times. His first tally came on the road against Monterrey. He came close to a second score in moving the ball toward the opposition goal. The ball went in but the score was counted as an own goal.
Fucito’s activities against Monterrey, like Tuesday scored early in the action, put the underdog Sounders up 2-0 in a match that was lost in the closing stages 3-2.
In the next CONCACAF action for the Sounders, Fucito actually did score twice, as the team won for the first time in Group C action with a 2-0 win over CD Marathon of Honduras.
With Fucito opening the evening’s scoring his teammate at forward for the evening, Oregonian Nate Jaqua, took little time helping push the Seattle lead to 2-0. Midfielder Levesque generated another assist as Jaqua scored.
The goal was generated as Fucito turned and fired off the left post in the 26th minute. He found Levesque down the left wing, who crossed to the far post. Jaqua took care of the rest, slamming a header past goalkeeper Luis Michel from six yards away.
For most of the match it appeared that the large Chivas fan contingent would have nothing to cheer about in a shutout loss, but the deficit was cut in half in the 70th minute. Marco Fabian did the honors with a cross from Michel Oviedo. Fabian had entered the match just six minutes earlier.
Good teams take advantage of opportunities, and this is what the Sounders did to register the final score of the match. Chivas Guadalajara was compelled to finish the night one man down following the ejection of Juan Ocampo in the 77th minute. In the 90th minute Sanna Nyassi, who had just entered action two minutes earlier, took advantage of soccer’s second-opportunity rule.
The Gambian midfielder got his chance when late evening substitute Fredy Montero drilled one of his patented fastballs from 30 yards out. The Colombia Comet nearly scored as the ball bounced off the left post.
Nyassi was in the right strategic location. His follow landed in the net as his hot streak continued. He has now scored five goals in his last four matches.
Seattle goalkeeper Terry Boss made three saves, including a diving effort on a Miguel Ponce shot in the 74th minute.
Seattle had a 14-10 advantage in shots with a 5-4 edge on goal. Seven of the shots were generated by Fucito.
Sounders FC heads back into action Friday night for the final MLS home game of the season at 8 p.m. It is fan appreciation night and the Sounders, holding a 13-9-6 mark and 45 points, faces Chivas USA.
"I thought we played well in the first half," Sounders Coach Sigi Schmid said afterwards. "We pretty much had the game. They had better possession than us, but we were more dangerous.
"In the second half, they went to a 3-5-2 and we made some changes and we lost the plot there. There were about 20 minutes where they definitely controlled the ball on us and we didn't get possession. At the end, even before the red card, we started to get more possession again and after the red card we were able to hold onto the ball. That's why we went to [Fredy] Montero and [Sanna] Nyassi, to help us hold onto it a little bit better."
Schmid had a positive comment concerning the Chivas Guadalajara fans as well as his own team’s enthusiastic fan base.
"It's great for Chivas," Schmid said. "It's the first time that I think the visiting team has had good representation. Even though they had their fans here, the Seattle fans still dominated and hopefully we convinced some of the Chivas fans that the Seattle Sounders are worth supporting as well."
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