SEATTLE, Wash.— Seattle Sounders FC took advantage of their first opportunity to break in the "electric yellow" third kits when they entertained the visiting Boca Juniors of Argentina in an international friendly match. The flashy jerseys translated into a high level of play between the two sides which culminated in a first half lead taken by the Sounders. Roger Levesque cleaned up the scraps of a beautifully struck free kick by Fredy Montero in the 42nd minute.
The vast substitutions of the second half did not diminish the pressure of the Seattle Sounders as they scored twice more before the final whistle. The first was a well composed shot by Patrick Noonan in the 64th minute, beating first defender Gaston Sauro and then goalkeeer Javier Garcia. Six minutes later Sounders substitute Michael Seamon found space in the center of the field and struck a 35 yard shot that beat the Boca Junior's goalkeeper to the near post. That completed the scoring of the match, as the Sounders won in front of 40,122 cheering fans on a cool and calm night in Seattle.
The majority of possession and inspiration came from the home side. Boca Juniors had a few opportunities on crossed balls, including one header by Lucas Viatri that an outstretched Keller pushed over the crossbar. That headed attempt was Boca Junior's only on target in the half, with six shots total. The Sounders in comparison scrapped together 11 shots with five on target, one finding the back of the net.
With the half winding down, Sanna Nyassi beat one defender to be fouled by a second 25 yards in front of the Boca Junior's goal. This set up the freekick attempt by Fredy Montero. The Colombian curled the ball to the very right upper 90 which struck the inside of the post and bounced off the gloves of Boca goalkeeper Javier Garcia. Roger Levesque followed the shot and found the ball in front of him with nothing between him and the first goal of the match. He pushed the ball into the back of the net with his chest to put the Sounders up 1-0.
Throughout the rest of the half Steve Zakuani and Sanna Nyassi impressed the crowd with their speed and service from the wings as they pressured the Boca Juniors defense frequently. All was not good news for the Sounders, though, as midfielder Osvaldo Alonso appeared to re-injure his right quadricep in the 16th minute. Brad Evans replaced Alonso.
A plethora of subs started the second half in the normal fashion for these types of friendlies.
One substitute to take advantage of precious minutes was midfielder Michael Seamon, who came on in the 66th minute. The unsigned rookie struck a ball from distance to get his first goal on the big stage. Seamon received a pass from Patrick Ianni about 45 yards away from the goal. A few steps later Seamon wound up and struck a hard shot to the near post that beat Boca Juniors 'keeper Javier Garcia from 35 yards out.
The other goal of the half came from a strong individual effort by Pat Noonan. Noonan received a pass inside the 18 from David Estrada, shook the Sauro with a hard cut to the inside and then slotted with his left foot above the 'keeper. As Boca Juniors coach Roberto Pompei said in the post-game press conference, th shot knocked the wind out of Boca and the rest of the half was virtually all Sounders.
Overall the Sounders racked up 24 shots with 9 on target while Boca Juniors managed 13 shots with only 3 on frame. The play of the game was notably clean in the spirit of a friendly with only two bookings throughout, one to each team.
Both teams now have to get ready to travel for their next matches. Boca Juniors continue their tour of the West coast and visit Portland on Saturday. The Sounders head East to the Rockies to challenge the Rapids in Colorado.
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