Mike Fucito is the first guy to play for both Seattle Sounders FC and the Portland Timbers of MLS.
On Sunday, he will become the first player will to view their Cascadia Cup rivalry from both sides as Seattle visits Portland, his current team.
“Seeing him in the green of Portland is going to be definitely different,” Seattle coach Sigi Schmid said. “I know he still has good friends on our team and there are guys that he stays in contact with. But once you put the shirt on and once the game begins, he’s going to be fully committed to their efforts; and we’re going to be fully committed against him.”
The Sounders selected Fucito out of Harvard in the fourth round of the 2009 SuperDraft. Over three seasons, he appeared in 24 games and started 13 while recording three goals and two assists.
In February, he was sent to Montreal as part of the trade that brought Eddie Johnson to Seattle.
“I was very surprised: shocked,” Fucito said after his first game in an Impact uniform. “… Then there’s a bit of excitement, too. It’s a new opportunity, an exciting new franchise.”
However, moving to the expansion team did not provide the career boost Fucito had hoped. He made only one 26-minute appearance for the Impact before being traded to Portland, where he has made three short appearances off the bench.
“He’s been getting himself really fit,” Portland coach John Spencer said. “He wasn’t really involved too much in Montreal – for whatever reason, I can’t comment on what they were doing. … He wasn’t as fit as we’d have liked him to be, and he’s worked ever so hard: a tremendous character, a great trainer and just an infectious little character. He actually reminds me of myself a little bit when I played, and he puts a smile on my face every single day. So, we’re delighted to have him, and I think he’s looking forward to the game on Sunday.”
Fucito confirmed that.
“I’ve settled in nicely, and it’s completely normal,” he said in a report at PortlandTimbers.com. “I think it would be hard to put on the other (jersey) at this point.”
Last week in Montreal, the other player included in the Johnson trade – Lamar Neagle of Federal Way – scored against the Sounders.
Seattle defender Jeff Parke said the club would like to prevent Fucito from similar satisfaction.
“He’s a good player,” Parke said. “If he gets on there we’ll have to be careful. I hope he doesn’t score any goals or have any chances.”
The Sounders placed midfielder Christian Sivebaek on waivers Friday. He made three appearances with the club after moving from Denmark over the offseason. …The club also announced the signing of defender Daniel Steres, 21, who had been selected earlier this month in the MLS Waiver Draft. Chivas USA had selected Steres out of San Diego State with the 28th pick of the 2012 SuperDraft. … Sounders FC will begin 2012-13 CONCACAF Champions League group play Aug. 2 with a home match against Caledonia AIA of Trinidad. The Sounders also will visit Caledonia on Aug. 30, visit CD Marathon of Honduras on Sept. 19, and play host to Marathon on Oct. 24. … Because of Portland’s home green jerseys, the Sounders will play in their cyan alternate kits Sunday.firstname.lastname@example.org 253-597-8808 blog.thenewstribune.com/soccer @donruiztnt