Chelsea having a ball in Seattle
Romelu Lukaku scores his first Chelsea goal
by Carla Boers
SEATTLE, Wa. ● The Champions League Champs were in town and Seattle was taken by storm by the blues.
Where ever you went you could find Chelsea players having a ball. Whenever that was at world famous Pike Market, where the younger players were educated in catching the fish, ‘like a football, an American football’, or hanging out with Will Farrell, it seems the Londoners were enjoying their stay in the American North West.
Chelsea is on the Herbalife tour which takes them after Seattle to New York, Philadelphia and Miami, before returning to England, where the preparations for the new season will start in all seriousness.
It only seems yesterday that Chelsea was touring London after winning the Champions League and that most of the players afterwards moved on to the Euro 2012 in Poland and
It was no wonder that most of the big stars of the Euro’s, like Fernando Torres and John Terry, were still on vacation for the match in Seattle, although especially Torres regretted he could not be there in Seattle.
CHELSEA FC 4, SOUNDERS FC 2
Scoring summary: CFC – Romelu Lukaku (Josh McEachran) 3′ CFC – Eden Hazard (Mikel John Obi) 11′ SEA – Fredy Montero 14′ SEA – Fredy Montero (Mauro Rosales) 32′ CFC – Marko Marin (Josh McEachran) 40′ CFC – Romelu Lukaku (Marko Marin) 44′
Seattle Sounders FC: Bryan Meredith (Josh Ford 46), Zach Scott (Adam Johansson 71), Jeff Parke (Patrick Ianni 61), Jhon Kennedy Hurtado, Leo Gonzalez (Marc Burch 71), Mauro Rosales (Andy Rose 61), Brad Evans (Sammy Ochoa 71), Osvaldo Alonso (Steve Zakuani 82), Alvaro Fernandez (Servando Carrasco 75), Fredy Montero (Michael Seamon 82), Eddie Johnson (Roger Levesque 65).
Substitutes Not Used: Michael Tetteh, Daniel Steres.
Chelsea FC: Henrique Hilario (Jamal Blackman 46), Branislav Ivanovic (Todd Kane 63), David Luiz (Sam Hutchinson 46), Paulo Ferreira (Geroge Saville 63), Nathaniel Chalobah (Gary Cahill 46), Mikel John Obi (Ramires 46), Eden Hazard (Gael Kakuta 63), Josh McEachran (Frank Lampard 46), Marko Marin (Michael Essien 46), Yossi Benayoun (Devin De Bruyne 46), Romelu Lukaku (Lucas Piazon 63).
Substitutes Not Used: None.
Misconduct Summary: None
Referee: Ricardo Salazar Referee’s Assistants: Jeff Hosking, Mike Kampmeinert 4th Official: Yader Reyes
Weather: Cloudy and 70 degrees
“I am a big Nirvana fan, they’re from Aberdeen near Seattle, so it’s a place I would like to see,’ he told the Chelsea website earlier.
“There are a lot of punk rock groups that started their careers there, so the place is a big influence on the rest of the genre.
“I like Pearl Jam too who are from there, and from further south I am a big fan of Incubus and Red Hot Chilli Peppers.”
Torres will join Chelsea later during the tour and he is really looking forward to it.
“It will be great to go there again – in America it is so impressive the way they organize events and put on a huge show, so it’s great to see the difference from football games in Europe. Everything is done to make the fans part of the day and a part of the event.”
Lukaku talks to the press
Fernando Torres probably really would have enjoyed the Sounders fan zone, right outside Century Link Field where the fans instead of famous tail gating can wander from food stand to food stand and have a wonderful party before the game even starts.
Inside the stadium the crowd was loud, lively and foremost supportive of their home team. Are the Seahawks fans during the NFL season known as the loudest in the States, the Sounders fans are right up there with their clapping, singing and shouts of ultimate joy when Fredy Montero with two goals brings their team level with the Champions League winners.
Chelsea started their game against Seattle with Hilario in goal, although Petr Cech was with the team, only not yet in costume.
Branislav Ivanovic, David Luiz, John Obi Mikel and Yossi Benayoun were the other well-known players in the first half, while Frank Lampard and Gary Cahill during the second half on the, for this event, grass pitch appeared.
More interesting though was the presentation of new players like Eden Hazard, Marko Marin, Romelu Lukaku and, in the second half, Devin De Bruyne.
Although there is absolutely no question about the abilities of Eden Hazard, the player who made the biggest impression against the Seattle Sounders was with no doubt former Anderlecht player Romelu Lukaku.
Farewell, Roger (up and under)
If Torres thinks he is finally liberated from Didier Drogba, think again, Fernando.
Lukaku has a striking resemblance to the Big Man. He is strong as an ox, very hard to get off the ball and has a keen eye for the goal, which he proved with two fantastic goals against the Sounders.
The only 19 year old has been in London since last year, but although a loan spell to for instance Fulham is not out of the question, but he seems this season ready to take on the big names for a spot in the first Chelsea squad.
It was no wonder Lukaku received the most attention from the press after the Sounders game, which in the end ended in a 4-2 victory for Chelsea.
Lukaku said he was pleased with his goals. “It is not only good for my confidence, but also good for us as Chelsea.
“This victory is our first win as reigning Champion League winners and it is always great to get that out of the way.”
Lukaku was also grilled on his likeness to Didier Drogba and if he would be able to fill his shoes.
‘There are no shoes to fill”, was the quick answer of the Belgian international.
‘Drogba is Drogba and I am Lukaku. I want to make it in football my own way.”
The contrast was stark with the young Lukaku just at the beginning of his career and Roger Levesque ending his long football career in a Seattle Sounders jersey.
Brought on for Eddie Johnson in the second half, Fredy Montero immediately handed him the captain’s armband for his swan song in a with over 50.000 fans filled Century Link Field.
The Sounders fans showed the 31-year old with a chilling reception their love and Rooooooooger answered with a farewell that made many pink a tear.
“It really, really was a great way to go out. When you kind of come to the end of something, I find myself sort of thinking back and really appreciating the special moments, and this is one that’s going to stay with me forever”, Levesque said after the game.
Fredy Montero noted he was happy enough to give his captain’s band to Levesque.
“Well, we all know what this game was about. It was my passion to give the captain’s band to him.”
In the end Chelsea coach Roberto di Matteo, who now and then must have seen his team struggling defensively, was pleased with how to the game went.
“I know that the fans here in Seattle are crazy for soccer and they created a wonderful atmosphere in this friendly game.
For us it was a wonderful opportunity to see the new crop for the first time in action. They played well and I am very satisfied about the outcome of the game. On top of that we did not get any injuries. It was a good night.”
Roberto di Matteo enjoyed his time in Seattle. “We did not get any injuries.”
Everybody left Seattle in the end content and very happy.
So did I. After most of the Chelsea players had left the stadium for the bus, I suddenly almost walk into Romelu Lukaku. I couldn’t resist myself and said in Dutch: Good game, Romely.
He looks surprised, then a wonderful smile breaks through, when he answers in the same language: Thank you very much!”
No, thank you, Lukaku. We wish you all the best and a fantastic Chelsea career.