Jul 18, 2012; Seattle, WA, USA; Chelsea FC forward Romelu Lukaku (18) beats Sounders FC goalkeeper Bryan Meredith (35) to score a goal during the 1st half at CenturyLink Field. Mandatory Credit: Steven Bisig-US PRESSWIRE
A first half that showed spark and offensive flow as Chelsea beat the Seattle Sounders 4-2. All six goals were finished in that half, while the second half was full of waves of subs for both sides. Both Fredy Montero and Romelu Lukaku slotted two home, while Marko Marin earned a goal and assist. Chelsea's other goal was from signee Eden Hazard.
The London club were clearly the better side, but this was not the embarrassment of last year's friendly against some team in England. Instead there were waves of positive moments for the Sounders. Starting a near ideal XI Seattle was able to put forward decent attacks sprung from center mids out wide and then into Eddie Johnson and Montero. The Sounders also applied high pressure quite well and earned several opportunities from deep turnovers.
Defense was an issue, as a couple of the goals against were due to deflections bordering on own goals. That defense was under fire most of the night, as Chelsea put nine shots on frame and had three more blocked. Wide defense and entry passes were an issue.
While some would call this a weakened side from Chelsea many of the starters will get serious minutes in league play in the upcoming season. Nearing hockey style line-shifts in the second half, both teams switched out almost their entire roster.
Most notable would be when Roger Levesque came on. He would end the match wearing the captains armband. In the waning minutes of the match he just missed an opportunity for a Disney moment in his final match as a Seattle Sounder.
Every player without an injury concern eventually took the field. The crowd also exploded when Steve Zakuani took the field. The damage in the Wednesday night friendly is not from the scoreline or an embarrassment of a result, but from an injury to Brad Evans. The extent of his injury is not yet known. Sadly, that result will be more meaningful than tonight's score and possibly even overshadow Roger Levesque's final moments in uniform.