SEATTLE, Wash. – European champions Chelsea returned to the United States on Wednesday, getting goals from Eden Hazard, Marko Marin, and Romelu Lukaku to down the Seattle Sounders, 4-2.
Players of Note:
- Eden Hazard – Made his Chelsea debut and scored the match’s second goal, taking advantage of Zach Scott in the process. He provided a focal point for the Blues, but although he was able to periodically flash his skill, it was a relatively muted night.
- Marko Marin – Energetic on the left while doing good work in defense, Marin’s first half goal and assist were a strong start to his CFC career.
- Romelu Lukaku – Looked out of shape, but that’s understandable. Training just started. The Belgian still scored twice in the first half, including the opener in the third minute.
- Mauro Rosales – As is typically the case, Rosales rarely put a ball in the wrong place. His crossing was superb.
- Fredy Montero – The criticized, the defended – scored twice in the first half: one assisted by Rosales; one assisted by McEachran. Even if it’s only a friendly, two goals against Chelsea are something he’ll always remember.
Packaged for takeaway:
- Roberto Di Matteo’s 4-4-2 may have been a symptom of a team still at the onset of its preseason. It’s hard to imagine a fully stocked CFC playing that formation. Tonight, it was Hazard in support of Lukaku up top.
- Seattle played their now customary 4-4-2, but of note: Álvaro Fernández got the start. He’s still a Sounder.
- While Seattle started their first team, Chelsea’s was mixed, with Ramires and Frank Lampard on the bench. None of their Euro 2012 participants were with the team.
- The grass field brought in for the game seemed to give the Sounders trouble. Jeff Parke slipped on the first goal. Zach Scott had trouble on the second. Leo Gonzalez lost his footing once.
- Josh McEachran against flashed his unique vision from midfield, providing a nice ball on the opening goal and earning an assist on Marin’s score. Unfortunately, he also had a horrible giveaway on Seattle’s first goal, playing the ball across goal to Montero, standing just inside the top of the area.
- It was part of a six-goal first half that saw Chelsea threaten a blowout (two goals in 11 minutes), Montero pull Seattle back even, and the Blues score the last match’s last two goals by the 40th minute.
- There was a sense of relief, after Montero’s goals. The memories of last year’s 7-0 loss to Manchester United were on everybody’s minds in the days leading up to the match. After a scoreless second half, the Sounders could hold their heads high. It may only be their preseason, but a 4-2 result against the European champions is acceptable, for a friendly.
- The match ended on a high note because of Roger Levesque, who was playing his last match as a Sounder. The veteran attacker is going back to school, leaving a team he’d played with his its USL days. On the occasion, King County declared it Roger Levesque day, with 31-year-old set to pursue a masters in business at the University of Washington.