Soccer  > General Soccer  > Sounders beat Marathon to get first points
September 30, 2010, 02:20 PM
SEATTLE -- Michael Fucito accounted for all the offense his team would need as Seattle Sounders FC defeated Marathon 2-0 in a CONCACAF Champions League Group C match in Qwest Field on Wednesday night..

Unfortunately for his teammates, the midfielder couldn't stay on the field for the whole match.

Fucito scored one goal per half for the Sounders, who earned their first win in the Group Stage and first points of the 2010-11 campaign a night after being eliminated from advancing to the quarterfinal round when Saprissa drew with Monterrey 2-2, but was removed with an ankle injury in the 70th minute.

"It's a relief to finally get our first win in Champions League," Sounders defenseman Tyson Wahl said. "We're been in some games we should have won, so it's exciting."

Fucito's play was the most exciting development for the Sounders. He showed boundless energy and a powerful foot that injected life into the crowd of 11,768.

With the game scoreless in the 21st minute of play, both teams were fighting for possession near midfield and a high ball came out of a crowd and bounded toward the Marathon net. Fucito saw it and pounced alertly, beating a late-reacting Marathon defender, Adolfo Machado, and driving the ball past Marathon keeper Orlin Vallencillo for an unassisted goal.

"Giving up a goal like that was like a punch," Marathon coach Nicolas Suazo said through an interpreter. "It was very psychological and it was hard to recover from that."

Sounders coach Sigi Schmid agreed, saying Seattle noticed from the outset that Marathon was in a defensive posture that required his club to be patient. Taking advantage of what he called the Sounders' "first clean opportunity" to score helped set the tone for the remainder of the match.

"It certainly gave us some relief," Schmid said of the goal. "That's a little bit of a dagger to the opponent."

And in the 68th minute, after Seattle midfielder Miguel Montano was taken down near the edge of the 18-yard box and the Sounders were awarded a direct free kick, Fucito blasted the ball to the left of a motionless Vallencillo for his second goal.

Two minutes later, however, Fucito went for a tackle and came up limping. After the game, he was being treated and Schmid said the midfielder would have X-rays on the ankle on Thursday morning.

"He fights and he battles and he got into a tackle he probably didn't need to go into," Schmid said. "We hope it's not too bad [of an injury]."

Meanwhile, it was a quiet night for Marathon because the Sounders' offense pressured the Honduran club all match. Sounders goalkeeper Terry Boss didn't see much action, with his only save being registered on a shot by Marathon midfielder Mario Berrios in the 90th minute.

Seattle had seven shots on goal to Marathon's two, 10 corner kicks to Marathon's four, and 13 fouls to Marathon's 15.

Marathon fell to 2-0-3 and remained at six points in Group C. It remained seven points behind group leader Monterrey and one point behind Saprissa. Seattle inched closer to Marathon by putting up three points and splitting the six-point difference.

"We're still disappointed in our overall Champions League performance," Schmid said.

But despite his injury, it was a breakout night for Fucito.

"It felt great," Fucido said. "I always like to score and I'm glad that we were able to hold on and win. That makes scoring, I think, that much more meaningful when we can actually win the game."

Marathon's next Champions League match will take place October 20 when the club is home against Monterrey. The Sounders, who are on the cusp of an MLS playoff berth, will resume Champions League play a day earlier, October.19, when they welcome Saprissa.
 
October 5, 2010  11:34 AM ET

Well done to the Sounders, the northwest does really well at soccer!

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