Sounders FC turned to a flamboyant new uniform and some South American flavor to brighten up Qwest Field with a victory Wednesday.
On a cold and dreary Wednesday night, Sounders FC turned to a flamboyant new uniform and some South American flavor to brighten up Qwest Field.
The combination worked, it appeared, to kick-start a Seattle offense struggling to finish chances. Sounders FC posted a 3-0 win against Argentina power Boca Juniors in an international friendly.
After losing two straight MLS games at home in shutout fashion, the home victory was a welcome sight for the 40,122 fans — the largest crowd of the season.
“Obviously it was nice to finally get goals,” said Seattle coach Sigi Schmid. “It’s been a long time, didn’t know what it felt like anymore. It’s great because our fans have been so supportive and so behind us.”
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The Sounders gave the fans another treat of sorts, debuting their bright-yellow third uniform in the exhibition, a combination the team has named “Electricity.” Boca Juniors, the winners of 18 international titles and 23 domestic league-championships, wore its traditional dark blue uniforms with a gold stripe across the chest.
After more than 300 minutes of scoreless soccer at home and a first half filled with similar frustration, Seattle finally broke through in the 42nd minute to take a 1-0 lead.
Forward Fredy Montero fired a beautiful free kick that was saved expertly by Boca goalkeeper Javier Garcia, but the subsequent rebound dropped right in front of an empty net, where Roger Levesque easily chested the ball over the goal line.
Sounders FC forward Pat Noonan doubled that lead in the 64th minute after collecting a long pass from midfielder David Estrada, juking a Boca defender in the penalty box and powering a shot past Garcia.
“The second goal was decisive,” said Boca coach Roberto Pompei through a translator.
The lead went to 3-0 in the 70th minute, when Michael Seamon — Seattle’s unsigned second-round draft pick from Villanova — connected on a long-distance shot from outside the box.
Sounders FC controlled most of the action all night, finishing with a 24-13 advantage in shots. Many of the early chances were wasted, but eventually the shots hit home.
“We were just having the feeling that if we can get a goal here that the dam will open up for us,” Schmid said.
Boca Juniors was without two of its globally-known superstars: forward Martin Palermo (with the Argentine national team) and midfielder Juan Roman Riquelme (knee injury).
The visiting team played many of its youth players.
The Sounders also hope the win is positive and can spark a run in the games that matter starting Saturday at Colorado. The players think it can.
“Winning is winning,” said defender Taylor Graham. “With winning comes confidence. With scoring goals comes confidence. The idea is to carry it over into games that have statistical significance for us.”
• Graham, who has suffered from injuries this season, made his first appearance in the starting lineup and played 90 minutes. New signee Jeff Parke and Seamon saw their first action for Seattle.
• Montero wore the No. 34 jersey instead of his normal No. 17 in honor of friend and teammate Jhon Kennedy Hurtado, who suffered a potentially season-ending knee injury Saturday against San Jose.
• Seattle midfielder Osvaldo Alonso had to leave in the 19th minute after aggravating a thigh injury and is doubtful to play Saturday.
Joshua Mayers: 206-464-3184 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Sounders FC 3, Boca Juniors 0
|Boca Juniors||0 0 — 0|
|Seattle||1 2 — 3|
First half — 1, Seattle, Levesque, 42nd minute. Second half — 2, Seattle, Noonan, 64th minute; 3, Seattle, Seamon, 70th minute. Yellow card — Ianni, Seattle. Shots — Seattle 24, Boca Juniors 13. Shots on goal — Seattle 9, Boca Juniors 3. Saves — Boca Juniors 6, Seattle 3. Fouls — Seattle 11, Boca Juniors 9. Corner kicks — Boca Juniors 8, Seattle 7. A — 40,122.
Boca Juniors — Javier Garcia, Leandro Aguirre, Cristian Erbes, Ezequiel Munoz, Hugo Ibarra, Jesus Mendez, Fabian Monzon, Pable Mouche, Gaston Rossi, Gaston Sauro, Lucas Viatri. Substitutions: Sergio Arajuo, Nicolas Blandi, Matias Gimenez, Leandro Marin.
Seattle — Kasey Keller, Jeff Parke, Zach Scott, Taylor Graham, Tyson Wahl, Sanna Nyassi, Osvaldo Alonso, Nathan Sturgis, Steve Zakuani, Fredy Montero. Substitutions: Terry Boss, David Estrada, Patrick Ianni, Miguel Montaño, Pat Noonan, James Riley, Brad Evans.