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Fucito's late goal wins it for Sounders

Michael Fucito is congratulated by Brad Evans and Freddie Ljungberg after scoring the winning goal in a 1-0 win against the Kansas City Wizards. It was Fucito's first MLS goal.
Michael Fucito is congratulated by Brad Evans and Freddie Ljungberg after scoring the winning goal in a 1-0 win against the Kansas City Wizards. It was Fucito's first MLS goal.

It was a far from perfect effort. The passing was sloppy. Our inability to finish once again reared its ugly head. It really looked like another scoreless tie was the inevitable result.

But Mike Fucito changed all that. A clever run was recognized by the much-maligned Brad Evans and Fucito absolutely buried his chance past KC keeper Jimmy Nielson, who has been sharp this year.

I don't know if this is the game that finally wakes up an offense that has looked off in one way or another all year, but Fucito definitely showed that he has the ability to make the most of opportunities. By all rights, he should have two goals in just about 25 minutes of play (that would be a PP90 of about 14.4 if you're keeping score, not that you should or that it really matters).

I thought the defense probably had its best game. Ryan Smith and Kei Kamara were basically neutralized and while KC definitely had a few strong chances (especially right after Fucito's goal), they were the results of quick counters and not sustained pressure.

Peter Vagenas looked strong defensively, but had some very rough moments on passes that nearly led to a couple goals.

Pat Noonan also had his best game as a Sounder. He missed a shot early, but had several nice passes -- and set up Fredy Montero for what should have been a goal. He was more of a non-factor in the second half, though.

This team definitely has some work to do, this victory can not mask that. Still, it was a quality win over an opponent that was in great form and came in with an unblemished record. You can't discount that. 

The Sounders needed this win, and it's not like they stole three points. You can argue that if they had tied, it would have been deserved. Three points is three points, though. I, for one, will allow myself to feel good about this win for at least a day or two.

Stats and quotes after the jump.

Scoring Summary:


SEA -- Michael Fucito 1 (Brad Evans 1) 92+

Kansas City Wizards -- Jimmy Nielsen, Michael Harrington, Jimmy Conrad (Matt Besler 32), Pablo Escobar, Roger Espinoza, Davy Arnaud, Stephane Auvray, Jack Jewsbury, Ryan Smith, Kei Kamara (Chance Myers 89), Josh Wolff (Teal Bunbury 82).

Substitutes Not Used:
 Birahim Diop, Santiago Hirsig, Craig Rocastle, Eric Kronberg. 

TOTAL SHOTS: 9 (Davy Arnaud 2, Pablo Escobar 2); SHOTS ON GOAL: 2 (Davy Arnaud 1, Chance Myers 1); FOULS: 12 (Kei Kamara 4); OFFSIDES: 0; CORNER KICKS: 9 (Ryan Smith 8); SAVES: 1 (Jimmy Nielsen 1)

Seattle Sounders
 -- Kasey Keller, James Riley, Jhon Kennedy Hurtado, Tyrone Marshall, Leo Gonzalez, Pat Noonan (Brad Evans 70), Osvaldo Alonso, Peter Vagenas, Steve Zakuani (Michael Fucito 85), Freddie Ljungberg (Patrick Ianni 89), Fredy Montero.

Substitutes Not Used:
 Nathan Sturgis, Tyson Wahl, Sanna Nyassi, Terry Boss. 

TOTAL SHOTS: 5 (5 tied with 1); SHOTS ON GOAL: 2 (Fredy Montero 1, Michael Fucito 1); FOULS: 9 (3 tied with 2); OFFSIDES: 3 (3 tied with 1); CORNER KICKS: 2 (Freddie Ljungberg 2); SAVES: 2 (Kasey Keller 2)

Misconduct Summary:

SEA -- James Riley (caution; Reckless Tackle) 29

SEA -- Steve Zakuani (caution; Dissent) 37

KC -- Stephane Auvray (caution; Delaying a Restart) 72

SEA -- Brad Evans (caution; Unsporting Behavior) 90


Referee: Jair Marrufo

Referee's Assistants: -Thomas Supple; Kevin Stott

4th Official: Paul Ward

Attendance: 35,924

Time of Game: 1:53

Weather: Cloudy-and-58-degrees


Sigi Schmid - Sounders FC Head Coach

(General comments . . .) "I'm happy with the win. I'll always take a win. Mike Fucito works hard in training and he battles. He was alert and made a good run behind the defense. He hit it and didn't take extra touches, which we sometimes do in the box. It felt good to win on a late goal. We played better than we did in Salt Lake but still not up to standards we set for ourselves." 

(On Brad Evans . . .) "It has been a tough week for Brad. He takes things pretty personal and pretty deep. He was still carrying a lot of responsibility in the early part of the week. Peter Vagenas does a lot for us on the field and he talks a lot on the field so he makes people around him better. For sure, Brad is not out of our plans and he showed that by contributing on the goal." 

(On referees . . .) "It was an interesting game from the referees standpoint. I see it both ways. I can't say anything on the offside call on Freddie. There are some calls that I'm far away from so I'm sure he got them right. There were others that I didn't fully understand. It was an interesting game." 


Michael Fucito - Sounders FC Midfielder 

(On game-winning goal . . .) "I remember from film that on throw-ins you always want someone to stretch. I saw Brad [Evans] had the ball and I ran through trying to stretch them. He made a great throw right in my path and I was one-on-one with the goalie. I hit it and I finished it well. It was unbelievable."


Brad Evans - Sounders FC Midfielder 

(On Michael Fucito's goal . . .) "We had eye contact and he made a good run. It was easy from there for him."

(On past week of training . . .) "The first couple days were tough. I took things pretty hard. Talking to other players on other teams and the coaches helped." 

(On his own performance . . .) "I thought I came on and made a good contribution. Whether it's coming off the bench or starting, whatever I can do to help get three points is what I'm going to do."

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