SEATTLE — Mike Fucito scored twice for 10-man Seattle as the Sounders defeated visiting CSD Comunicaciones 4-1 at CenturyLink Field on Tuesday night in the first round of CONCACAF Champions League group-stage play.
After Lamar Neagle’s red card in the 55th minute put Seattle down a man, Fucito scored in the 61st and 67th minutes to give Seattle the victory. Fucito also earned the assist on Seattle’s first goal, by Brad Evans, which equalized the score after a great start from the visitors.
HIGHLIGHTS: Seattle 4, Comunicaciones 1
The Guatemalans were handed a dream start in the second minute. Comunicaciones midfielder Bryan Ordoñez tracked down a long ball in the corner, sending in a hopeful cross. When Sounders goalkeeper Terry Boss wasn’t able to cut out the service, Jairo Arreola beat defender James Riley at the far post for the early lead.
Evans equalized for Seattle in the 35th minute. The midfielder, making his first appearance in a competitive match since July 16 against Colorado, judged the flight of the ball well and knocked a header off the underside of the crossbar and into the net.
Wearing the captain’s armband for the night, Evans posted a productive 90 minutes in the center of midfield.
With the score tied 1-1 in the second half, Neagle was shown a red card by referee Paul Delgadillo for a kick to the shins of Comunicaciones’ Juan Márquez in the 55th minute.
The ejection seemed to invigorate the Sounders. Fucito, in particular, became more active and the diminutive forward struck what would be the eventual winner in the 61st minute. Running onto a pass from Fredy Montero, he turned inside the penalty area and finished to the far post, giving Seattle a 2-1 lead.
Fucito then doubled that advantage six minutes later, capping a scintillating buildup from Evans and Álvaro Fernández.
Any chance of a Comunicaciones comeback was scuttled in the 80th minute, when Edgar Martínez was dismissed for foul and abusive language. Martínez was hot after the referee Delgadillo — who lived up to his card-heavy reputation, handing out eight yellow cards and two reds on the evening — failed to award a goal for a ball that replays showed appeared to cross the Seattle goal line before being cleared by centerback Patrick Ianni.
Fucito would have completed the hat-trick in the late going, but Comunicaciones defender Rigoberto Gómez beat him to the cross, only to knock the ball into his own net and finish the scoring.
The Sounders return to CCL action next Tuesday, August 23, traveling to Mexico to face defending CCL champions Monterrey. Comunicaciones host Costa Rican side Herediano that same day.
CMG -- Jairo Arreola (Bryan Ordonez) 2
SEA -- Brad Evans (Mike Fucito) 35
SEA -- Mike Fucito (Fredy Montero, Alvaro Fernandez) 61
SEA -- Mike Fucito (Alvaro Fernandez, Brad Evans) 67
SEA -- own goal (Rigoberto Gomez) 87
CMG -- Jairo Arreola (caution; Dissent) 9
SEA -- Patrick Ianni (caution; Tactical Foul) 16
SEA -- James Riley (caution; Reckless Tackle) 47+
CMG -- Carlos Castrillo (caution; Reckless Tackle) 50
SEA -- Leo Gonzalez (caution; Tactical Foul) 54
SEA -- Lamar Neagle (ejection; Violent Conduct) 55
CMG -- Adolfo Machado (caution; Reckless Tackle) 60
CMG -- Carlos Ramirez (caution; Unsporting Behavior) 69
SEA -- Jhon Kennedy Hurtado (caution; Unsporting Behavior) 69
CMG -- Edgard Martinez (ejection; Abusive Language) 80
CMG -- Fredy Thompson (caution; Reckless Tackle) 91+
Comunicaciones -- Juan Paredes, Edgard Martinez, Erwin Morales, Carlos Castrillo, Adolfo Machado, Juan Marquez (Rigoberto Gomez 77), Fredy Thompson, Bryan Ordonez (Carlos Mejia 70), Carlos Ramirez, Transito Montepeque (Hernan Sandoval 78), Jairo Arreola.
Substitutes Not Used: David Guerra, Dagoberto Arriola, Abner Trigueros, Marco Ciani.
Seattle Sounders -- Terry Boss, James Riley, Patrick Ianni (Roger Levesque 84), Jhon Kennedy Hurtado, Leo Gonzalez (Zach Scott 75), Lamar Neagle, Servando Carrasco, Brad Evans, Alvaro Fernandez, Fredy Montero (Mauro Rosales 63), Mike Fucito.
Substitutes Not Used: Erik Friberg, Nate Jaqua, Amadou Sanyang, Kasey Keller.
Referee: Paul Delgadillo
Referee's Assistants: Marcos Quintero; Salvador Rodriguez
4th Official: Alfredo Penaloza
Time of Game: 1:51
Weather: Clear and 77 degrees