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March 12, 2012 at 1:32 PM

A stop and chat with David Estrada

estrada mug 2012.jpgSounders FC forward David Estrada scored his first professional goal last week, and it was a big one. The 24 year old opened the scoring in a CONCACAF Champions League quarterfinal against Mexico’s Santos Laguna as Seattle won 2-1 in the first leg.

Estrada talked to reporters recently about the goal and more, and here’s the transcript of that conversation:

* * *

(Can you take us back to your goal celebration? It looked pretty emotional. What were you thinking at that time?) “At first, I couldn’t believe it. I found myself (open) at the back post and it was a great ball by Fredy, and when it went in I just couldn’t believe it. I just ran to the corner, which is what everyone usually does, and it was a goal celebration is memory of my grandfather.”

(Did your connections to Mexico play into the excitement of the moment?) “I didn’t even really think about it until after the game, when family members mentioned to me: ‘You scored against Oswaldo Sanchez!’ For me, it was just scoring against Santos; scoring against them was big. Obviously Oswaldo Sanchez is very big in Mexico and, yeah, it was nice too to score on him.”

(Are you a Morelia fan having been born there? Because they’re at the top of the league table with Santos too…) “A lot of my family members are Morelia fans, but I’m a Cementero (a Cruz Azul supporter). Their coach (Santos Laguna’ Benjamin Galindo) is a big legend from back in the day with Cruz Azul, so when I shook his hand at the end of the game it was another big moment for me. I grew up watching him play for Cruz Azul.”

(What sort of atmosphere are you expecting at Santos?) “It’s going to be intense I think. The first time we went down to Monterrey I think there was like 20,000 people, so we expect the same. It’s going to be interesting.”

(Did you think you were coming off when Eddie Johnson was coming in? Does your versatility help keep you on the field?) “Yeah, that was the first thought that came to my mind. I saw Eddie going to sub in and I thought I was coming off. If coach puts me at left mid, I’m going to try my best — right mid, right back, doesn’t matter. I was happy to stay on the field a little bit longer because eventually I did come off.”

(Was it weird playing some minutes at left mid?) “I think it’s a pretty easy transition from right mid, so it wasn’t that difficult.”

(Was it nice getting a little applause and sendoff when you came off?) “That was nice. I hung out (on the opposite side of the field) and they started chanting my name, so that was pretty awesome. But I would’ve preferred to have gone off the other way, (waste) a little bit more time, but (the ref) said if I tried to walk that way he was going to give me another yellow. So I couldn’t afford to do that.”

(He was going to send you off?) “Yeah.”

(You seemed to be pretty intent on time-wasting in that game?) “Yeah, at the end we were scrambling.”

(And the ref was serious about it…) “I’m sure he knows how it works. He’s used to it, especially coming from Central America and reffing Mexican teams; they try to kill time at the end.”

(Do you think you’re making forward selections more difficult?) “I think Sigi knows best, and like I’ve said, I’m more than happy to come off the bench. My main motive this year was to come in and get more minutes early on in the season, and I think that’s kind of worked out. So I’m just looking to bring energy when I come onto the field, and the coach knows best.”

(So if someone told you last year you’d be scoring against Oswaldo Sanchez in the first game of the season, what would you have thought?) “My thought would be, ‘I don’t think I could score from the right back position.’ (laughs)”

(How did you end up back at forward? Did you lobby for it?) “That was totally their decision in the beginning of preseason. I was just happy to go back up top and be where I’ve felt the most comfortable, especially in college. Like I said, things have been working out so far.”

(Did it take a little time to feel more comfortable at forward?) “I don’t think I needed any adjustment, to be honest. One of the things I’m very comfortable with is my running, so if I make their backs run, it’s common sense that it opens up more space for Fredy and the midfielders. That’s something I can do all game, I think.”

(What did you think of Super Cyan?) “I really like this uniform. I like the color.”

(Like UCLA almost, right?) “Yeah, for sure.”


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