Sounders FC new starter Mike Fucito is "a little bulldog"
Seattle forwards haven't scored in the last 623 minutes. Mike Fucito has started the past four games, but he's still looking to break through on offense.
Seattle Times staff reporter
Sounders FC @ Toronto, 4 p.m., KONG
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TUKWILA — First, Mike Fucito was the victim of a highlight-reel save against FC Dallas. Then he saw his next shot slam off the post.
In the following weeks against Real Salt Lake and Vancouver, breakaway chances for the Sounders FC forward were each illegally disrupted by opposing defenders — only one of which, however, drew a foul call and red card from the referee.
Four consecutive starts. Four quality scoring chances. No goals.
"It's encouraging and it's frustrating, for sure," said Fucito.
Speedy and powerfully built, the 25-year-old Fucito has always boasted the physical tools to contribute. Injuries impacted each of his previous two seasons in Seattle, but the Harvard graduate finally broke into the starting lineup May 25 against FC Dallas, and he has remained in the lineup ever since.
Now it's time for his minutes to translate into goals.
Sounders FC forwards haven't scored in the last 623 minutes, dating back seven games to a May 7 road match at Columbus.
"I think once one comes, then there's going to be a lot more. It will happen, I promise," said Fucito.
"We want to score more than anyone."
So far, Fucito has found a way to make an impact even if it's not yet on the scoresheet. With a combination of brute strength, quickness and a tireless attitude, teammate Jeff Parke equates the 5-foot-9 Fucito to "a little bulldog."
"He causes havoc everywhere because he's got that 'no quit' attitude," said Parke. "You know what you're going to get out of him, game in and game out, because you know he's going to put that effort in."
Coach Sigi Schmid would like to see more. While Fucito produced well as a substitute, that hasn't consistently been the case as a starter.
Said Schmid: "I know it always seems like when somebody comes off the bench and has some good moments (that it will carry over) if he was out there all the time ... and the one goal he scored in 10 minutes would translate to five goals in 90 minutes. Well, it doesn't work out that way a lot of times."
Fucito knows there will be no substitute for hard work amid the first extended playing time of his career. Practicing hard will refine the good habits needed to produce, and his confidence grows with every game.
"It's also (having) a little patience," Fucito said, "and trusting that it will come."
• Sounders FC will host a U.S. Open Cup third-round game against the winner of a second-round match between the Kitsap Pumas and Real Colorado Foxes. The two PDL teams play at 7 p.m. Tuesday at Bremerton Memorial Stadium.
Should Colorado win, the third-round game would be 7 p.m. June 29 at Starfire Stadium in Tukwila. If Kitsap wins, the game will be either June 28 or 29 at the same time and location.
Seattle has won the past two Open Cups.
• Midfielders Alvaro Fernandez (hamstring) and Servando Carrasco (knee) practiced without restriction Wednesday. Schmid will decide Thursday if they'll travel with the team for Saturday's game in Toronto.
Joshua Mayers: 206-464-3184 or firstname.lastname@example.org
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