The Sounders FC had not had much luck in international friendlies and had struggled in their previous two MLS home matches, including a 4-0 loss to the LA Galaxy and a 1-0 loss to the San Jose Earthquakes on Saturday.
A 3-0 victory over Argentina’s Boca Juniors in front of 40,122 fans at Qwest Field on Wednesday night was just what the doctor ordered.
“It's a happier day in Sounder land today than it was on Saturday,” Sounders FC head coach Sigi Schmid said.
Wearing their “electricity” third jerseys for the first time, Roger Levesque got the Sounders on the board in the first half and Pat Noonan and Mike Seamon added second half goals while Kasey Keller and Terry Boss combined on a shutout in Seattle’s 3-0 win over Boca Juniors.
“I think it was just an all-around good team performance,” Noonan said. “The opportunities were coming all night, so it was good that it wasn’t just the three opportunities. We gave the fans something and each other in the locker room some confidence going into the weekend.”
Seattle took 11 shots in the first half and finally got on the board when Fredy Montero’s free kick rebounded to Levesque for a goal. Montero blasted the shot from 28 yards out and Boca Juniors goalkeeper Javier Garcia got his hand on it, but parried it off the crossbar and toward the goal line. Levesque chased down the rebound and knocked it in off his stomach for a 1-0 lead in the 42nd minute.
“That was one I wasn’t gonna miss, regardless of what it took to put it in,” Levesque said.
Seattle made some halftime substitutions that paid off early. In the second half, they continued the barrage of shots on the Boca Juniors net with 13 attempts. Noonan carried that first-half momentum when he took a pass from David Estrada up the right side, cut back on a defender and blasted it with his left foot to beat Garcia for his first goal in a Sounders uniform and a 2-0 lead in the 64th minute.
“I was able to shield off the defender and avoid falling,” Noonan said with a laugh. “I didn’t know how great my angle was, so I was able to bring it back and put it over the keeper.”
Minutes later, Seamon entered the game and made an instant impact. Patrick Ianni passed to him in the middle of the field 35 yards out and Seamon took one touch forward before unleashing a rocket of a shot that beat Garcia inside the left post for a 3-0 lead in the 70th minute.
“We had a feeling that if we could get a goal here then the dam would open up for us a little bit,” Schmid said. “It gives you confidence when you see the ball hit the back of the net in a real game - the feeling you have is something that helps carry you.
The Sounders hope to carry that momentum into MLS play Saturday when they face the Colorado Rapids at Dick’s Sporting Goods Park in Commerce City, Colorado.
Sounders FC - Roger Levesque 42; Pat Noona 64; Michael Seamon (Patrick Ianni) 70.
Boca Juniors - None
Seattle Sounders - Kasey Keller (Terry Boss 46), Zach Scott, Jeff Parke (James Riley 46), Tyson Wahl, Taylor Graham, Sanna Nyassi (Pat Noonan 46), Nathan Sturgis (Patrick Ianni 66), Osvaldo Alonso (Brad Evans 19, Michael Seamon 66), Steve Zakuani (Miguel Montano 46), Roger Levesque, Fredy Montero (David Estrada 46).
Boca Juniors - Javier Garcia, Leandro Aguirre, Hugo Ibarra, Ezequiel Munoz, Fabian Monzon (Matias Gimenez 76), Gaston Sauro, Jesus Mendez (Leandro Marin 59), Gaston Rossi (Sergio Arajuo 67), Cristian Erbes, Lucas Viatri (Nicolas Blandi 77), Pablo Mouche.