Sometimes dreams come true, but it often takes grit and fight and maybe just a little bit of luck. In one of my first conversations with Mike he told me "I always wanted to be a professional soccer player." That dream last November took a plunge when he had a significant hamstring injury, one that meant that he wouldn't be able to play at the MLS Draft Combine. As a result this player with great success at Harvard and who had been coached by New England Revolution Asst. Paul Mariner on a youth side fell down to the 46th pick.
This all happened during the same year that MLS cut their roster sizes down by 4 all from the Developmental slots. Well inside all of the action this week with season ticket holder's and scarfing Seattle, in player salary releases and David Beckham drama, in Freddie Ljungberg's return to Seattle - some people missed this little nugget from one of the Sounders games down in Argentina.
Fucito, starting up front, opened the scoring in the 25th minute. He intercepted a ball just inside the halfway line, fed Roger Levesque and took the return pass to beat the onrushing keeper from 18 yards.
In light of that I tried to email him down in Argentina, as I didn't think the long distance bill would do either of us any good. Well, it took a few days, with time changes and 7,000 mile plane flights, but here is our brief email interview.
Dave Clark - How was taking the Left Wing for Seattle and working with Montero up front? and how do the larger expectation to track back effect your game?
Mike Fucito - It was great to finally start playing again and to be a part of the trip down to Argentina with the team. I had a great time. As for playing with Freddy, it was awesome. He is an outstanding player and so fun to watch. I think he will have a lot of success in the MLS.
I think the expectations at outside mid are demanding. I tried to prepare myself as best as I could coming into the trip, but I did just come off a fairly significant injury. It was my first game since November. My fitness is not where it needs to be, but its getting there. That is something I am going to be working on everyday. But I am confident that I will get there. The important thing is that my hamstring held up and felt good.
Dave Clark - Next week you get to play River probably a top 20 team in the world, even if just their reserves, for a guy from Westford Mass how does it feel knowing that you have a chance to face River Plate and Chelsea this year?
Mike - Being able to play teams like River Plate and Chelsea is really just awe-inspiring. I don't really have words to describe it. It's kind of like my mind won't let me comprehend it until I am actually there doing it. I have had to pinch myself everyday. The whole experience has been so cool I am just trying to stay in the moment and enjoy the ride.
Fucito has flown 15,000 miles in the past three weeks chasing this dream, and he still has a chance to make the last three spots on the Developmental Roster. From Westford, to Harvard now to Renton, and Tukwila and hopefully the dream is fulfilled on March 19th be it on the bench or the pitch. In just 12 days Mike's dream will be like so many here in Seattle.