Went to the game tonight. The first competitive match of 2012. It’s the first leg of a home and away series with Santos Laguna of Mexico in the CONCACAF Champions League, with aggregate goals determining who moves on.
The Sounders played really well. None of my issues with the Sounders play last year cropped up in this game. The team passed well. They did not rely on the long ball. Every player worked their butt off.
David Estrada continues to impress me. I don’t know if he’s really ready to be the starter all the time, but I am not going to be pissed when he does get starts. He’s way better than Pat Noonan. My only concern is that he got pushed off the ball a few times on the left, but so did Alvaro Fernandez. The Sounders seemed to get more crosses from the right.
Eddie Johnson substituted in for the final 10 minutes or so. I liked his performance as well. It’s still too early to tell if the Sounders
overpaid for him, but I’m somewhat less concerned about how he’ll turn out now.
Johanson continues to move forward to create attacks. Fredy Montero created all sorts of opportunities too. Even Leo Gonzalez was pushing forward more frequently too.
And despite all the attacking, I never once felt like our defense fell apart, even when Santos scored. Santos had so many attacks fall apart against smart defending.
I was jazzed about the season before. Now I really am.