SEATTLE — Perhaps Seattle’s inability to add a striker in the transfer market won’t sting so badly after all. Mike Fucito certainly doesn’t think it will.
The Sounders are hoping Fucito’s remember-me performance in their CONCACAF Champions League opener will add a little more scoring punch to their forward lines.
With Seattle missing out on reinforcements before the Aug. 15 deadline, the reserve forward seized his opportunity on Tuesday night with a well-taken brace. Both of his finishes were clinical efforts to the far post, helping Seattle to a 4-1 victory over CSD Comunicaciones of Guatemala.
“I think it’s good for our forwards, especially Fucito, to get a couple goals and get his confidence going,” said defender Patrick Ianni. “I know he knows what he can do and we know what he can do. When you get goals, they just seem keep coming.”
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While Fucito will certainly have been aware of the front office’s actions in the past weeks, his face was a determined one in the post-match press conference. With head coach Sigi Schmid sitting next to him, Fucito was humble in victory.
Said Fucito simply, “Just trying to make the most of my opportunities. Just doing what I can to help the team when I get the opportunities.”
Fucito buried both of his shots on goal after the Sounders went down a man in the 55th minute and was in position to score a third in the late going as Seattle beat their Guatemalan visitors. Fucito also provided the assist on Brad Evans’ 35th-minute goal.
With Tuesday’s performance, the Harvard product increased his tallies in the Champions League to five goals in the past five games.
CCL performances aside, Fucito has yet to duplicate those efforts in league play. He owns only a goal and an assist in 15 career MLS regular-season games.
During a one-month stretch earlier this season, Fucito started six consecutive games before falling out of the lineup. However, his coach certainly noticed his play tonight.
“I told the guys before the game that every guy we’re putting out there has the ability to be a starter or is a starter on this team,” Schmid said. “Mike started for us in a series of games where we did well as a team.
“Sometimes you get in and out of form a little bit, but I thought he training had gotten a lot better of late and he deserved the opportunity to get out there and play,” Schmid added. “He rewarded me, but mainly he rewarded himself. When you do that you get more opportunities.”
Andrew Winner covers the Seattle Sounders for MLSsoccer.com. Follow him on Twitter @AndrewWinnerMLS