Fucito lifts Sounders over Comunicaciones

FucitoSounders (Getty)
 

By CALEB SONNELAND

It was the Mike Fucito show at CenturyLink Field Tuesday night in the CONCACAF Champions League.

The Harvard product notched a brace and an assist for Seattle in the club's first match in group play of the competition.  Fucito got the nod for the start from head coach Sigi Schmid and repaid the boss's decision with two clinical goals while setting up another to give the Sounders a 4-1 win over Guatemalan foes Comunicaciones.

It was Fucito who took control shortly after Seattle was reduced to 10 men in the 61st minute when he was found with a low pass outside the area by Fredy Montero.  Fucito took a deft first touch into the area before lashing a left-footed effort into the far post to give Seattle it's first lead of the game. Fucito has yet to score in the MLS this season, but netted twice in US Open Cup play earlier this season against the Kitsap Pumas.

The Seattle striker sealed the deal only six minutes later when he was played in behind defense by DP Alvaro Fernandez with a lovely cross-field ball.  Fucito controlled the ball and set himself up on his favored left foot to whip around Comunicaciones keeper JJ Paredes and seemingly put the fixture beyond doubt.

However, in the 79th minute, the visitors looked to have clawed a goal back when Jairo Arreola whipped a cross into the box that Patrick Ianni seemed to have bundled across the goal line before a mad scuffle with Edgar Martinez saw the ball kept out, and no goal was awarded.  Martinez took up his argument with the referee, but was awarded a his marching orders rather than a goal and was shown a red card.

Martinez's dismissal evened things up from a numerical standpoint, as Seattle had been previously reduced to 10 men when Lamar Neagle saw straight red early in the second half.  Neagle went in hard on Jean Marquez which resulted in an ejection to leave the Sounders with the task of rescuing a result from the match.

Brad Evans leveled terms 15 minutes from half time when he rose highest to a Fucito cross to turn a powerful header off the underside of the crossbar and into the net for his first goal in all competitions since early May.

The visitors got a dream start in Seattle when Arreola found the net in just the second minute of play. With the assist coming from Brayan Ordonez, Comunicaciones looked to be in prime position to take something away from the Sounders in the first round of group play.

It went from a perfect start to a disaster of a conclusion as substitute Rigoberto Gomez prodded the ball into his own net to put a nail in the coffin of the Guatemalan side.  Seattle DP Fernandez whipped a cross into the area intended for Evans, but Gomez intervened and attempted to clear the danger. Instead, the defender slotted the ball past a helpless Paredes for a 4-1 scoreline.

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What did you think of the game?  Think Neagle and Martinez deserved red?  Was the ball across the goal line in the 79th minute?

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28 Responses to Fucito lifts Sounders over Comunicaciones

  1. ciscokid says:

    With all the griping of CCL refs screwing MLS teams, it’s worth noting that the ref blew the non-goal call in the 80th minute against Communiciones, which led to a red for dissent. That sure looked like a goal, and made it an easy finish for the Sounders.

    So tonight, we got a break from the ref.

  2. Ben says:

    The goal was probably a blown call but was the red for dissent? It looked like one of the Communiciones players clobbered a Seattle players from behind during the madness in front of the goal.

  3. cajun says:

    With the ruling from the ref as a no goal, I didn’t see one replay to refute that call, or vice-versa had he called it a goal.

  4. ciscokid says:

    The replays I saw sure looked like the ball had gone over the line. But I’m happy to be wrong

  5. marco says:

    Fucito had a very nice game. Neagle stunk before the red card and should have never seen the second half. Zach Scott
    did a Bornstein coming in at LB but refusing to play the position. On the very first play after entering attacker got 5 yards behind him, then things got worse. Ref blew the Communiciones no goal, but Sounders were better side with Rosales on the pitch.

  6. Cyrus says:

    Replay definitely did not show incontrovertible evidence to overturn the call. If this was football, the challenge would be denied.

  7. This Guy says:

    He looks like he belongs in an institution in that photo. Like an extremely dedicated supporter made it on to the pitch.

  8. This Guy says:

    and knocked two guys out in his path!

  9. Ian says:

    How does a guy who’s only scored enough goals to count on one hand become such a fan favorite? I don’t know, and I don’t care. Fucito you, you’ve got what I need!

  10. CILII_blog says:

    I’d would like to see Fucito get some regular PT.

  11. ciscokid says:

    A lot of sounders fans in various forums believe it was a goal, but in the end there are no challenges and the referee is god so it really doesn’t matter.

    Zach Scott was awful, and Neagle had a tough game but he’s been more good than bad this season so he gets some slack.

  12. mowsley says:

    Fucito is Awesome inside the 18.. but I would like to see some better passing out side of the 18.. that being said, if we can find him in the box, that ball is going in. So maybe play him a bit more.

  13. Fred Garvin says:

    It was surely a make up call for the 4 Comunicaciones handballs.. One in da BOX

  14. I have to admit. When the 1st goal was scored, I thought, here we go again. It seem to take Seattle forever to score.

    It is about time MLS teams all qualified and had dominating performances in CCL. In the 2nd half, Sounders were dominating. Excellent to see.

  15. Aero says:

    I completely agree. There is no replay showing conclusively that the entire ball crossed the line. There is one replay from well in front in which it appears possible that the entire ball crossed the line, but without a camera on the goal line it is simply not possible to be certain…

  16. Fifawitz1313 says:

    I think you mean “the ruling on the field stands. Comunicaciones is charged with their first timeout.”

  17. Poo says:

    fucito has to have earned some playing time in MLS with this CCL performance and others. He seems just right for the league, fast, strong, decent skill, excellent service.

  18. Nimo says:

    Fucito is the Luke Rodgers of Seattle

  19. Darwin says:

    Caleb, why did you begin with the next to last event, then proceed to move backwards in time? Highlight the headliner, then go linearly with time, so that the early Comunicaciones goal, the equalizer, and the red cards set up the beauty of Fucito’s efforts. The way you write, none of the events have a context.

  20. Ned Smitty says:

    With the red card Neagle will likely end up in Sigi’s dog house. It may be apples to oranges/midfielders to forwards, but I hope it can translate into more playing time for Fucito.

  21. JJ says:

    I doubt he lands in the doghouse. Sigi sends people there for intentions and Neagle’s kick was simply reckless and stupid. He is obviously one of “Sigi’s guys” and I would not expect this act to change that.

  22. Scotland Yard says:

    He bald and burns girls’ faces?

  23. sp23 says:

    It wasn’t a break, it was just the right call. Watch the replay. Close but not a goal.

  24. sp23 says:

    Fucito definitely deserved more playing time from this game but I don’t think that Neagle’s performance should be much of a knock to him. Foul was stupid and wreckless, but inconsequential (easy for me to say in hindsight). Also let’s remember what Neagle has brought to the team during MLS games, when the defense is taller and stronger. Fucito has trouble with those defenses.

  25. Fred Garvin says:

    Watch the replay.. you can see that he was soing for the ball and tried to pull out of his blunder.. The Comunicaciones player -although within his right to do so- played it up

  26. Mikey says:

    Well just before the goal-non-goal the ball hit the player’s hand anyway, so if we’re talking about getting calls right…

  27. Mikey says:

    that “stinking” from Neagle resulted in some pace on the wings and crosses into the box…

  28. Mikey says:

    Neagle’s eyes were on the ball until the last second when he has his “oh s#%t” moment and tried to pull back out of it. Stupid play, worthy of a red, but no way a doghouse-type play.

    Montano got there last year because his foul against Brek Shea was retaliatory and off the play. Apples to oranges, and Sigi came to Neagle’s defense a bit in the postgame comments if you want extra reassurance :)