Whenever there is an injury, the Sounders FC has viewed it as an opportunity for another player to shine.
Through their first 12 games, David Estrada has done just that, scoring four goals while filling in for injured players at both the forward and outside midfield positions.
As those players return from injuries, Estrada is seeing his minutes drop, but that’s never been a problem for him. Now in his third year out of UCLA, Estrada has never lost sight of the main goal – helping the Sounders win games.
“David can play a number of different positions. He just has to keep doing what he’s doing,” Sounders FC head coach Sigi Schmid said. “The minutes are there for him because there’s still a ton of games. For him to continue to perform as he did early on in the season is just a reflection of minutes and him continuing to make good decisions when he’s on the field.”
Estrada started the club’s first ten matches and came off the bench against Vancouver before starting again Wednesday against Columbus.
He also started in the club’s Champions League quarterfinal matches against Santos Laguna, scoring the first goal of a 2-1 home win in the first leg. He carried that momentum into the club’s first two games, scoring a hat trick in the season-opening 3-1 win over Toronto FC and adding another goal against the Houston Dynamo in a 2-0 victory.
Since then, he hasn’t figured into the scoring, but has remained a contributor to the Sounders FC’s best start in club history at 7-3-2.
This weekend, though, they are looking to bounce back after losing two of their last three matches with a road match against Chivas USA on Saturday.
“We’ve come off three bad results and it’s a chance to bounce back,” Estrada said.
For Estrada and midfielder Andy Rose, both UCLA products, along with midfielder Servando Carrasco and forward Sammy Ochoa, who was raised in the area, the trip to southern California is an opportunity to play in front of friends and family.
“For myself and for Andy and a lot of the guys from California, it holds a lot of meaning for us,” Estrada said. “Being able to play in front of my family is a big motivation for me. We’re always looking forward to those trips. More than anything, we hope to get a result down there.”
Kickoff is set for 7:30 pm with television coverage on KONG 6/16 and the radio broadcast on 97.3 KIRO FM.