David Estrada had played against the University of Washington plenty of times before, but Monday was the first time he did so as a professional.
Estrada, a former four-time All-Pacific-10 Conference player at UCLA, headed in the final goal as the Sounders FC reserves ran past the Huskies, 5-0, at Starfire Sports Complex in Tukwila.
Seattle’s first-round pick this year said he found things easier as part of an MLS team.
“Having a good cast like the Seattle Sounders is a big difference, so it was a little bit different,” he said. “I especially felt like when (UCLA) played UDub, I had off games. So I felt a little bit more comfortable with such a good supporting cast.”
Also scoring for the Sounders were Michael Facito – who scored twice – Tyson Wahl and Pat Noonan. Sanna Nyassi had two assists, including a cross that Estrada headed home.
“I thought I did OK,” Estrada said. “I was happy to get a goal. But there are times when I have to let the ball go a little bit quicker.”
Most Sounders regulars had a second day off after Seattle’s 1-0 loss to the New York Red Bulls on Saturday.
That game also marked Estrada’s professional debut, as he came on in the 83rd minute.
“There was a little bit of nervousness, a little bit surprise,” he said. “But at the same time, I was very happy – and disappointed that we came away with the loss.”
Estrada sat out the Sounders’ opening victory over Philadelphia, when Fucito - a 2009 fourth-round pick out of Harvard - came on as a reserve. On Saturday, Fucito was inactive after Estrada edged ahead in their competition for minutes.
“They’re battling there,” Sounders coach Sigi Schmid said. “We thought the one week Fucito was a little bit ahead, we thought the next week Estrada was a little bit ahead. It’s good. The competition side is good to get yourself in there, so they have to continue to battle for the time.”
From MLS to UW
Wearing purple at Starfire on Monday was Brandon Prideaux, who played in MLS for 11 seasons before beginning his coaching career this season at Washington.
Prideaux, who made the decision to retire last season while playing with the Chicago Fire, said he has no regrets.
“Of course, I miss playing,” he said. “Playing is the best thing ever. But I feel like I have the next best thing. I’m really enjoying working with the guys and teaching. It’s been a great transition.”
Despite the one-sided score Monday, he said sharing the pitch with pros should be useful for the Huskies, who continue their spring season Saturday against Portland at Husky Soccer Field.
“We’ve got to learn from experiences like this,” he said. “We give up two corner-kick goals after missing some clear scoring opportunities. It changes the course of the game, and we really didn’t rebound from that. It just goes to show we’ve got some work to do, and we have to respond a little bit better when we have adversity. We’ll kind of work on those things, and we have enough talent to do well and turn it around.”
Schmid said additional viewings of the loss to New York didn’t significantly change his original opinions. “You’re hoping some of those things go in,” he said. “They didn’t go in even watching them on tape. … Our execution – our runs off the corner kicks and the free kicks – wasn’t good enough. That has to be better. That’s something we have to improve upon.” … The Sounders will train this morning at Starfire. Wednesday will be another day off. Their next game comes Saturday at Real Salt Lake.
Don Ruiz, 253-597-8808