After peeling off his blue Montreal jersey this evening, Mike Fucito admits he was shocked to be traded away from the rave green of Seattle, along with Lamar Neagle as part of the Eddie Johnson trade.
"I was very surprised: shocked," he said. "I felt after getting through the expansion week that maybe that was in the past. I think Lamar and I were both pretty surprised. But after that set in, then there’s a bit of excitement too. It’s a new opportunity, an exciting new franchise. … Close to home. Close to a lot of my friends and stuff on the East Coast. I’ll definitely miss Seattle. I really enjoyed my time there. The fans were good to me."
More from Fucito:
Comparing Montreal's expansion start with Seattle's) There are definitely some similarities. But also it’s a lot different too, just being its own unique city and team. It’s a completely different group of guys. We’re going to have some of the same struggles, I think. But I also think the potential is there. Seattle that first year did well, and I don’t think there’s any reason we can’t do the same.
On Montreal culture) It’s good. I haven’t been there too long. I’ve spent maybe three days there, but so far so good. I’d like it if it was a little bit warmer, but hopefully soon.
On his French) It’s coming along slowly.
On whether his growing profile in Seattle makes him more of a leader with the Impact) Maybe. It’s my fourth year in the league. So I guess becoming a veteran and no longer a rookie plays a part of it. I think guys are still getting comfortable with each other and find their roles within the team. I think more of that stuff will come as the season progresses.
On having expansion experience) There are a lot of guys who have been in the league for a while, soI think collectively that will be good. I think four of the first five games are away, so that’s where the road experience and dealing with that sort of stuff will help.
On his role envisioned by coach Jesse Marsch) I think he’s been pretty clear with his expectations and maybe some of the things he’d like to see from me. I think he watched me a lot prior to coming here. It’s a constant work in progress. Today, he just wanted me to go in and bring some energy and see if I can steal some shots.