Manchester United schools Sounders FC 7-0 before record crowd
Superstar Wayne Rooney scored three goals in an explosive second half Wednesday night before 67,052 fans at Seattle's CenturyLink Field, a record crowd for a soccer game in the Pacific Northwest.
Seattle Times staff reporter
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A record Seattle crowd was treated to world-class soccer Wednesday. Unfortunately it came at the embarrassing expense of the hometown team.
Sounders FC hosted English super-club Manchester United in a friendly at CenturyLink Field and the supremely talented visitors didn't disappoint. Whether it was the skillful touch of Ryan Giggs, the creativity and flair of Nani or the lethal finishing of Wayne Rooney, United displayed it all in an entertaining and dominant 7-0 win in front of 67,052 fans.
Rooney finished with a hat trick (scored in just 27 minutes after coming on as a second-half substitute) and United also got goals from Michael Owen, Mame Biram Diouf, Ji-Sung Park and Gabriel Obertan in the rout.
Every United celebration was met with deeper Sounders humiliation, especially in a horror-show second half, where Seattle was outscored 6-0.
"Hopefully it's a learning experience," said goalkeeper Kasey Keller, "because we put some young guys out on the field in the second half (and) everyone thinks they can play in the Premier League in America. Everybody thinks, 'Oh, if I just got the break, if I had this or if I had that, that I could be there.' Actually no you can't, and you need to learn to figure that out."
If there was any consolation for the home team it was the atmosphere.
The mostly pro-Sounders turnout was the largest in Pacific Northwest history, beating the previous mark of 66,848 set here in a friendly against FC Barcelona in 2009.
"We've been told that Seattle fans are the best in the MLS, and I think we witnessed that tonight," said Giggs.
With both teams fielding strong starting lineups, the first-half action was quite competitive considering the final score. United took a 1-0 lead in the 16th minute, when a Patrice Evra cross found Owen alone in front of the goal for an easy, tap-in header.
Sounders FC surprisingly outshot United 10-9 in the first half and had quality opportunities mostly through forward Fredy Montero, who had five shots, but nothing could get past Red Devils' starting goalkeeper Anders Lindegaard.
United manager Sir Alex Ferguson said the final score didn't reflect the chances created, particularly early on.
"The Sounders could have really scored a few goals," he said.
In the second half the floodgates opened, but in the opposite direction and against a mostly second-string unit for Seattle.
"We wanted to reward all the guys on the team, wanted to play everybody," said Sounders FC coach Sigi Schmid. "I think in retrospect that was a mistake."
Diouf started the head-spinning action in the 49th minute after beating Seattle goalkeeper Terry Boss to a pass from Nani and finishing a tight-angled shot into an open net to make it 2-0. Nani was again the provider when it went to 3-0, setting up a 51st-minute goal by Rooney.
Rooney tallied again in the 69th and 72nd minutes, and sandwiched in between was a 71st-minute goal by Park. Obertan capped the ugliness with an 88th-minute breakaway.
"Were they 6-0 better than us in the second half? Yeah, they were," said Schmid, who called the defensive effort "atrocious" and "horrendous."
The most lopsided result in Sounders FC history had little bearing on its loyal supporters, however. The Seattle fans cheered them off after the final whistle.
"Unfortunately we embarrassed ourselves," said midfielder Pat Noonan. "We were meant to enjoy it and it just didn't turn out that way at all."
• MLS will fly Keller out to the July 27 MLS All-Star Game against Manchester United, a league spokesman confirmed Wednesday. Sounders FC's veteran goalkeeper was named to the MLS All-Star First XI, but wasn't on the 22-man game-day roster, as announced Monday by all-star coach Hans Backe. That led Keller to believe he wasn't invited, he told KJR-AM in a radio interview Tuesday.
Seattle has a CONCACAF Champions League preliminary round game July 26 in Panama, which led many to believe the Sounders would be unavailable the next day. Keller will leave the following morning and will be the third goalkeeper for the league all-stars.
"It worked out in the end," Keller said. "Let's just put it that way."
• Sounders FC's next league game is July 30 at Houston. Seattle was originally scheduled to host Philadelphia on Saturday, but that game was rescheduled for Oct. 8 to accommodate the Union's friendly this weekend against Real Madrid.
• Tanzanian trialist Mrisho Ngassa was the only nonroster player to participate Wednesday, entering the game as a second-half substitute. Forward O'Brian White saw his first action since April 22 in the second half. He had leg surgery in April to remove a blood clot.
Joshua Mayers: 206-464-3184 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Manchester United 7,
Sounders FC 0
|Manchester United||1 6 — 7|
|Seattle FC —||0 0 — 0|
Sounders FC — Starters: GK Kasey Keller, D James Riley, D Jeff Parke, D Patrick Ianni, D Leo Gonzalez, M Osvaldo Alonso, M Erik Friberg, M Alvaro Fernandez, M Mauro Rosales, F Fredy Montero, F Roger Levesque. Bench: GK Terry Boss, GK Josh Ford, M Servando Carrasco, M David Estrada, M Brad Evans, F Mike Fucito, D Taylor Graham, D Jhon Kennedy Hurtado, F Nate Jaqua, M Miguel Montano, M Lamar Neagle, F/M Pat Noonan, D Zach Scott, M Mike Seamon, D Michael Tetteh, F O'Brian White, M Mrisho Ngassa
Manchester United — Starters: GK Anders Lindegaard, D Patrice Evra, D Rio Ferdinand, D Nemanja Vidic, D Rafael De Silva, M Nani, M Anderson, M Ryan Giggs, F Michael Owen, F Ashley Young, F Federico Macheda. Bench: GK David De Gea, GK Ben Amos, D Phil Jones, F Wayne Rooney, D Chris Smalling, M Ji-Sung Park, F Danny Welbeck, D Fabio Da Silva, D Jonny Evans, M Gabriel Obertan, F Mame Biram Diouf, M Tom Cleverly.
|Sounders vs. the world|
|Sounders FC played its sixth international friendly since joining the MLS. Here's how Seattle has done in each match.|
|July 18, 2009||Chelsea||L, 2-0||65,289|
|Aug. 5, 2009||FC Barcelona||L, 4-0||66,848|
|May 26, 2010||Boca Juniors||W, 3-0||40,122|
|July 18, 2010||Celtic||L, 2-1||45,631|
|Oct. 12, 2010||C.D. Guadalajara||W, 3-1||41,047|
|Wednesday||Manchester United||L, 7-0||67,052|
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