After the final whistle many players exchange kits. This tradition gives the two players a memento of their efforts for a given match, and helps to display to all that after the 90 we are after all just people.
Several Sounders had that opportunity Saturday with Chelsea. Here is one.
Hearing about Mike swapping with Micheal Essien, I asked him simply if he sought out Essien. We also talked a bit about the match, Seattle and Fucito's future here.
Dave Clark: According to the Seattle Times you exchanged kits with Essien. Any reason you chose him, or he you? Is there a player on Barca that you will try to meet?
Mike Fucito: And yes, I sought out Michael Essien. I think he is beast on the field. I have so much respect for him as a player. It was an honor for me to be able to have traded jerseys with him. I will be hanging that on my wall for sure. I am looking forward to Barcelona and playing against another world all-star team.
DC: Today (interview via email sent Sat), you got on the pitch by replacing an EPL legend against a team of legends. What thought was going through your mind?
Mike Fucito: Overall, I was so happy to be a part of that incredible experience. For my first game to be in front of 65,000 people against one of the top teams in the world was so amazing. Not only that, but I subbed in for Freddy. Not many people can say they did any of those things, let alone all three at once. My heart was racing the entire day. I was just trying to take it all in and make the most of what a great opportunity and experience it was. I feel so lucky to have been a part of it.
DC: Seattle sent in several solid crosses throughout the match, but lacked a bit in finishing. What is the next step for Sounders FC to make those shots, shots on goal?
Fucito: I thought we played them well. Chelsea did teach us a lot. When they did things, it was on a different level, one that we are striving to get to. So as for finishing the crosses, etc. I think it is a combination of things. When we make runs, they need to be with a purpose and done at 110%. I think it is just a matter of a little more concentration and urgency in the box. Although we played well, there were still many things to improve on. Sigi said it right when he told us that we can never be satisfied. So obviously while we did a lot of things well, Chelsea showed us why they get paid the big bucks. There are always things we can work on and improve as players and as a team. Whether it be crossing, finishing, defending, or whatever, there are always little things that can be improved.
DC: How is the foot?
Fucito: My foot is doing better. I think my fitness is still not where it needs to be, so that will be my main focus in the weeks ahead. For me to have the impact on the game that I know I can have, I need to be very fit. And more fit than I am now. That is something I can always improve so its a constant work in progress.
DC: What has the city's support shown you about the future of Major League Soccer in this community?
Fucito: As far as the fans, they were top notch. Never have I experienced anything like that. I couldn't hear anything on the field, because it was so loud. Absolutely incredible. Seattle fans are the best, hands down. I hope that the other teams around the MLS can step up and come close to the standard that the fans have set here so far.
Who should Mike try to swap with come the Barca match? Who would you swap with? Did you read that last paragraph twice?