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June 20, 2014 at 9:38 AM

Chatting with Sean Okoli on his first goal for the Sounders, Fabio Pereira on his debut

Sounders FC homegrown player Aaron Kovar had a big impact in Wednesday’s U.S. Open Cup game, and he’ll be the main subject of a story coming up, but a couple other youngsters had some notable milestones.

Homegrown player Sean Okoli, a Federal Way native, recorded his first goal for the Sounders, a late tap-in on a cross from Chad Barrett, and rookie Fabio Pereira made his Seattle debut. We talked to them about it this week:

*     *     *

SEAN OKOLI

(How did it feel to get goal No. 1 for the Sounders?) “It was a good feeling. I thought I was having a little rough game, so getting that goal at the end really helped. So I was happy.”

(A lot of people have projected you as a forward, but how are you getting used to playing outside?) “Yeah, adjusting. Sig’s helping me adjust wide right now. You know I like to be up front, be the No. 9, but I can take guys on facing forward and I can use some of my abilities out wide or as a winger, too. I’m just trying to get better each day at it, trying to be effective out there until I get my chance up front.”

(You’ve come on as a sub in MLS games already. What was the Open Cup game like for you?) “This game helped me a lot. I’m not getting that many MLS games right now, so the Open Cup games are really big for me. I’m just trying to show well, help my team win, improve my game and just move forward.”

(It seems like with the loan with the OC Blues and this game it has been a busy couple weeks for you…) “Yeah, it has. A lot of flying, but I thought the games helped me out a little bit. Obviously the level is not as high as it is out here, but you have to go out there and put everything out and make sure you get something out of it. I thought I did that and I thought the OC Blues really helped me out and helped me get better, as well, so it was good.”

(Was it weird just going into a new team?) “Yeah, it was a little awkward at first, but sometimes that’s just how it is. The guys were really cool and helped me adjust and things like that, so it wasn’t a huge problem. But yeah, I probably got a couple looks at first.”

(How would you say the loan went?) “The games were all right. The Orlando game we had a good showing the first half but we couldn’t sustain it and ended up losing. The second game we got a late goal and got the win on that one. Me and Kovar both contributed well in those games, so I was happy.”

(Coach Schmid has helped DeAndre Yedlin at the World Cup shows there is a path for young, homegrown players. Do you look at him like that?) “Yeah, D has done a lot already. All of us homegrowns and all of us young players would like to have a start like that, but we’ve got to be realistic at times. I know I’m going to get there, I just have to follow my own path and wherever that takes me, I’ll go with it.”

(Did you notice there were five local guys, including yourself, who played in the Open Cup game?) “It’s kind of crazy. There are a lot of Seattle guys that are actually on the team right now. It’s good. We obviously joke around about it a lot. It’s a good atmosphere and we enjoy it out here.”

FABIO PEREIRA

(How did it feel to make your debut?) “Exciting. It took a little while for me to get on the field, but it’s a competitive group. I’m just really happy to get out there.”

(How have you felt about the season, knowing there might not be a lot of playing opportunities right away but perhaps developing in practice?) “It’s tough, because for me, every team I ever played for, I was always a guy who played all the minutes. But here is a competitive environment, it’s professional, and at the end of the day, I just want to develop, I want to learn, and that’s why I’m here. Whenever I get called, I just have to get ready.”

(What clubs did you play for in Brazil?) “I played for two different teams, mostly for Portuguesa. They are in the first division now, a smaller club, but it was good. It was a really competitive environment. I played there for over two years. It was a good time there, but I was really young when I was playing there. I left Brazil when I was 16.”

(Have you been watching the World Cup with closer interest?) “Yeah, my whole family is back in Brazil. They’ve got to go to some games. My dad and my brother went to the opening game against Croatia. We won, I won’t so anything else about it. Really exciting, really enjoying watching the World Cup there, and hopefully Brazil can pull it out.”

(Does it give you a sense of pride to have your home country and hometown of Sao Paulo at the center of the world’s attention?) “Yeah, little bit of pride and a little bit of embarrassment at the same time with the situation in the country. Brazil has a lot of issues, but we don’t want to talk about that. At the end of the day, the World Cup is there and hopefully no problems happen and Brazil can win the whole thing.”

| More in Sounders FC, Stop and chats

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