Tag Archives: seattle

Former Liverpool defender Djimi Traore of comic own goal fame hits wonder strike

Djimi Traore once scored a comedy Liverpool own goal, but now he's struck a superb effort (and it went in at the right end!)

By
Gerard Brand

PUBLISHED:

10:22 GMT, 13 March 2013

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UPDATED:

17:25 GMT, 13 March 2013

He doesn't score many great goals, or many goals for that matter, but Djimi Traore yesterday hit one of the strikes of the year to help his Seattle Sounders side reach the CONCACAF Champions League semi-finals.

Best remembered for his comical own goal for Liverpool against Burnley in the FA Cup third round in 2005, this time Traore hit a rocket from 30 yards to put Seattle 2-1 up in the tie against Mexican side Tigres.

Scroll down for videos…

Better times: Traore (above left) in action Seattle Sounders yesterday, but his own goal against Burnley (below) is what he will be remembered for

Better times: Traore (above left) in action Seattle Sounders yesterday, but his own goal against Burnley (below) is what he will be remembered for

Liverpool's Djimi Traore looks back as he knocks the ball into his own net

Better times: Traore celebrating with Luis Garcia during his time at Liverpool

Better times: Traore celebrating with Luis Garcia during his time at Liverpool

The spaghetti-legged defender, who played for Liverpool, Charlton,
Portsmouth and Birmingham City fans during his time in England, saw the
ball bounce perfectly for him on the half volley, before hitting an
unstoppable shot past Jorge Diaz de Leon, and in off the crossbar for
good measure.

Seattle went on to win the match 3-1 (3-2 on aggregate), making history in the process by becoming the first MLS team to beat a Mexican club since the launch of the CONCACAF Champions League in 2008.

The Mali defender is also remembered for being one of the most average players to win a Champions League medal, starting for Liverpool against AC Milan in the 2005 final in Istanbul.

Just four months after his mistake at Turf Moor, he gave away a free-kick in the first minute of the famous final, from which Milan scored through Paolo Maldini.

But he later atoned for his error with a crucial goal-line clearance, and picked up a winners medal after Liverpool's heroic comeback.

In his seven years at Anfield, the 33-year-old also won the FA Cup in 2006 and the League Cup in 2003.

His wonder strike for Seattle is only his fourth ever senior goal.

Traore has also appeared in European competition 35 times throughout his career.

And to think Matt Le Tissier, who scored goals like this for fun, didn't make a single appearance on the continent…

What was he thinking With no player surrounding him, Traore rolled the ball into his own net with a Zidane-esque spin then got tangled up in the net, just for good measure

What was he thinking With no player surrounding him, Traore rolled the ball into his own net with a Zidane-esque spin then got tangled up in the net, just for good measure

Djimi Traore of Liverpool

VIDEO: Traore's wonder strike for Seattle

Traore wonder goal

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VIDEO: Traore's less than wonderful own goal for Liverpool

David Beckham has put MLS on the map in a way America fails to grasp – Laura Williamson

No MVP for DB… but Beckham has put MLS on the map in a way America fails to grasp (so ignore the phoney facts and figures)

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UPDATED:

00:01 GMT, 29 November 2012

MLS Best XI 2012

Goalkeeper:

Jimmy Nielsen (Sporting Kansas City) –

Defenders:

Victor Bernardez (San Jose Earthquakes)
Matt Besler (Sporting Kansas City)
Aurelien Collin (Sporting Kansas City)

Midfielders:

Osvaldo Alonso (Seattle Sounders FC)
Landon Donovan (LA Galaxy)
Chris Pontius (D.C. United)
Graham Zusi (Sporting Kansas City)

Forwards:

Thierry Henry (New York Red Bulls)
Robbie Keane (LA Galaxy)
Chris Wondolowski (San Jose Earthquakes)

When Major League Soccer (MLS) announced their 'best XI' this week, there was one name notably absent: David Beckham.

This list is not merely an arbitrary line-up scribbled down in a bar on the back of a beer mat. In a sporting culture obsessed with numbers and statistics, it is supposed to 'recognise the League’s top 11 players at each position on the field'.

It is an honour to be included and Beckham was not, yet again. The former England captain has only made the cut once in his six seasons in the USA.

Beckham has never been shortlisted for the MLS’ Most Valuable Player, either. He has never even been LA Galaxy’s footballer of the year. Being an ‘MVP’ might sound like some sort of four-wheel drive to British ears, but awards and titles such as this really do matter in the States; try as they might to bring a quantitative appraisal to the whimsical, wonderful world of sport.

Take a bow: David Beckham is set to play his final game for LA Galaxy in the MLS Cup final on Sunday

Take a bow: David Beckham is set to play his final game for LA Galaxy in the MLS Cup final on Sunday

But, judging by the numbers – 20 goals in 117 matches in five-and-a-half years and one MLS Cup, with the prospect of another on Saturday – Beckham’s figures do not add up to success. That the former Manchester United and Real Madrid star is not thought to be even one of the best four midfielders in US soccer suggests they are hardly in mourning that this weekend’s clash against Houston Dynamos will be his last match for LA Galaxy.

Off the field measures suggest muted improvement, but nothing like the ‘history-making’ Beckham pledged when he joined the Galaxy in 2007. Average attendances have risen from 15,500 per match to 18,800. There are now 19 franchises in the MLS, compared to just 13 in Beckham’s first season.

Living the American Dream: Beckham arrived in Los Angeles in a blaze of publicity in July 2007

Living the American Dream: Beckham arrived in Los Angeles in a blaze of publicity in July 2007

Television viewing figures remain fairly stagnant, with just over one million people tuning in to watch Beckham win his first MLS Cup with the Galaxy last November. That is a miniscule figure in a country of that size. It’s no wonder the taxi driver taking me to the game did not even know how to get to the stadium.

The millions of dollars of cash, the razzmatazz, all those journeys back and forth across the Atlantic: were they really worth it Or has Mrs Beckham, with her highly successful fashion line, been a more productive British export than her husband

‘Beckham was paid 21million to change the face of soccer in Los Angeles and barely hung around long enough to change his socks,’ wrote Bill Plaschke in the Los Angeles Times after Beckham’s first MLS triumph last year. ‘He helped bring this town a soccer title, but he was supposed to help bring it an entire soccer movement, and he never even tried.’

Love-hate relationship: Galaxy supporters make their feelings known in July 2009 after Beckham's first loan deal with AC Milan. Beckham also exchanged angry words with fans during a match

Love-hate relationship: Galaxy supporters make their feelings known in
July 2009 (above) after Beckham's first loan deal with AC Milan. Beckham also
exchanged angry words with fans during a match. But the former England captain proved his loyalty and went on to help the Galaxy win the MLS Cup last December (below)

Glory days: Beckham helped the Galaxy to win the MLS Cup last December

Glory days: Beckham helped the Galaxy to win the MLS Cup last December

But just take a look at some of the other names on the ‘best XI’ this year. Thierry Henry, Robbie Keane, Landon Donovan. Would these ‘designated players’, whose wages do not count towards their clubs’ salary caps, have joined the MLS – or stayed – without Beckham It’s hard to imagine.

Beckham’s influence, I would argue, cannot be boiled down to the cold facts and figures American sport so reveres. There is no magic Moneyball formula here. He has brought much-needed focus and attention to the MLS; not always with his performances on the pitch, but by moving to the States when he did and, crucially, seeing out his five-year contract – and then extending it.

Beckham went to America as a Spanish league champion at the age of 32. He was not in the prime of his career but he was certainly not a battered old has-been. The general consensus was he was leaving top-class European football too early; something Beckham, perhaps, quickly realised, too, resulting in two loan moves to AC Milan when he understood former England boss Fabio Capello would not entertain trekking to Los Angeles to see him play.

Star attraction: Beckham helped Galaxy to rake in money from new sponsorship deals

Star attraction: Beckham helped Galaxy to rake in money from new sponsorship deals

But Beckham went to American – and he
stayed. He even persuaded Donovan to start singing his praises after
the pair’s very public falling out. He saw out his contract and he
extended it by another 12 months, with the option of a further year. If
this was ever going to work, there had to be a long-term commitment from
Beckham, and he delivered.

Don
Garber, the MLS commissioner, said: ‘He said he was not coming here to
retire. He was coming here to be part of a team and work hard and win
some championships and very importantly, he was coming here to grow the
sport of soccer in America, to make MLS more popular here and abroad.

‘I don’t think anybody would doubt he hasn’t over-delivered by every one of those measures. There’s arguably not a soccer fan on this planet that doesn’t know the L.A. Galaxy and Major League Soccer, and David played a significant role in helping us make that happen.’

Cheer up: Beckham enjoys himself at the LA Lakers game at Staples Center on Tuesday

Cheer up: Beckham enjoys himself at the LA Lakers game at Staples Center on Tuesday

Cheer up: Beckham at the LA Lakers game against Indiana Pacers at Staples Center on Tuesday

Beckham has not revolutionised
American soccer, but he has certainly helped it to grow. MLS academies –
like the one Beckham’s oldest son, Brooklyn, has attended – are now
attempting to find and develop homegrown players. It costs in excess of
$100m to set up an MLS franchise now, compared to around $10m six years
ago. The Galaxy play with a brand name emblazoned across their shirts
these days. This is all part of the Beckham effect.

Chris
Klein, Beckham’s former team-mate at LA Galaxy and now the club’s vice
president, said: ‘If you look at David and his time here, his influence
has spanned everything that our league touches: from commercially what
our league looks like, to ticket sales, to soccer-specific stadiums, to
designated players being more interested in our league.

‘I don’t know that it can all be
attributed to him, but I don’t think you can deny that he’s had an
influence over this. When he came, we didn’t have MLS academies, and now
everyone has them and they’re thriving.’

The most famous man in the world... and President Obama: The Galaxy squad at the White House in May

The most famous man in the world… and President Obama: The Galaxy squad at the White House in May

Beckham’s concrete legacy will be if
clubs really can start developing more players themselves and attract
foreign designated players in their 20s, rather than those edging
towards the ends of their careers; family men seduced by the lifestyle
and the pay cheques of the American Dream.

But his short-term impact is much
simpler than that. Beckham put the MLS on the map. We started taking
notice of it in 2007 and we are still talking about it now.

He
hasn’t changed American soccer history, but he’s played an important
part in it. He went and he stayed. Who cares if the numbers do not add
up Football is about so much more than facts and figures, anyway.

David Beckham denies he will move to Australia

It's the first I've heard of it! Beckham denies all knowledge of move to Australia

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UPDATED:

09:26 GMT, 17 November 2012

David Beckham has dismissed the idea of making a short-term move to Australia's A-League.

The Los Angeles Galaxy midfielder's representatives were rumoured to have approached Australia's Football Federation (FFA) over a switch from America.

Beckham, 37, spoke to deny any knowledge about a potential move Down Under during the MLS off-season.

That's news to me: David Beckham said the rumours were unfounded

That's news to me: David Beckham said the rumours were unfounded

'No, definitely not true,' he said.
'Bruce (Galaxy coach Bruce Arena) told me that this morning – the first
I'd heard about it. Like I said that's the first I'd heard of that, this
morning.'

Arena, also present, jokingly added: We've booked his tickets already.'

An FFA spokesperson had said: 'The
approach from David Beckham's people is another sign of how much the
Hyundai A-League has grown in stature on a global basis.

'Beckham is a superstar on the world
stage and he would be another massive signing for the Hyundai A-League
after the arrivals of Alessandro Del Piero, Emile Heskey and Shinji Ono.

'But this approach remains at a very preliminary stage.'

Head boy: A spokesperson for Beckham has dismissed the story

Head boy: A spokesperson for Beckham has dismissed the story

A spokesman for Beckham, however,
refuted the claim, saying: 'David is completely focused on the MLS play
offs and winning another Championship with the Galaxy.

'There's always enormous interest from clubs across world in signing David. He has absolutely no plans to play in Australia.'

LA Galaxy play the Seattle Sounders in
the second leg of the Western Conference final on Sunday and lead 3-0
from the opening leg.

Lyall Gormal, executive chairman of
the Western Sydney Wanderers said the former Manchester United and Real
Madrid star would have obvious commercial appeal.

Centre of attention: Beckham was described as a 'fantastic commodity'

Centre of attention: Beckham was described as a 'fantastic commodity'

Big Emile: Heskey has moved to the A-League and is thriving there

Big Emile: Heskey has moved to the A-League and is thriving there

He told Sky Sports News: 'We haven't
had formal or informal contact over this, but clearly we are aware of
the iconic vale of David Beckham.

'Beckham is outstanding. We've seen
him here before on a couple of occasions. There was an 80,000 sell-out
at the Olympic Stadium and he was here with the Galaxy the year before
last for a game against the Newcastle Jets.

'He would be a fantastic commodity to bring to Australia.'

On the contradictory statements from the FFA and the Beckham camp, Gormal added: 'It is puzzling isn't it

'My understanding is there have been
informal approaches to other clubs. One or two have already come out and
talked about their interest. Clearly there has been some informal
discussions.'

Perth Glory chief executive Paul Kelly
said: 'We are always happy to speak to players of the calibre of David
Beckham, who would be great for the Hyundai A-League.

'At the end of the day it's the coach,
Ian Ferguson, who makes these decisions and we as a club, have a
process that we follow when recruiting players.

'But we would be mad not to seriously consider David Beckham.'

Yet Melbourne Victory coach Ange Postecoglou has ruled out making an approach for the football superstar.

'That's great if he is coming,' he said. 'Would we be interested Nah.'

David Beckham"s boys gorge on hotdogs, pizza and goals as Daddy delivers LA Galaxy win… with a little help from Robbie Keane

Beckham boys gorge on hotdogs, pizza and goals as Daddy David delivers Galaxy win… with a little help from two-goal Keane

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UPDATED:

11:36 GMT, 12 November 2012

Daddy didn't become England captain on a diet of hotdogs and pizza… but that didn't stop the three Beckham boys chomping through a snack list of junk food as they watched their father cruise to victory in the MLS play-offs last night.

Robbie Keane scored two and set up another as Beckham's LA Galaxy beat the Seattle Sounders 3-0 to take a commanding lead in the first leg of the Major League Soccer Western Conference finals.

Relishing the match: Cruz (left) and Romeo Beckham chomp on hotdogs as dad David stars in LA Galaxy's 3-0 win over Seattle Sounders last night

Relishing the match: Cruz (left) and Romeo Beckham chomp on hotdogs as dad David stars in LA Galaxy's 3-0 win over Seattle Sounders last night

David Beckham plays in a MLS play-off home game between LA Galaxy and Seattle

Beckham in action at The Home Depot Cente

Woah boys: David Beckham feels the pressure during LA Galaxy's 3-0 MLS play-off victory at the Home Depot Center last night, as he three sons snacked on junk food in the stands

We're here, Dad: Cruz tries to catch his father's attention while big brother Brooklyn (right) tackles a slice of pizza

We're here, Dad: Cruz tries to catch his father's attention while big brother Brooklyn (right) tackles a slice of pizza

Play me in: Becks was still visibly frustrated, despite his side's comfortable win

Play me in: Becks was still visibly frustrated, despite his side's comfortable win

Mike Magee added the other goal for
defending champions who will head to Seattle next Sunday in prime
position to earn their third MLS Cup appearance in four years.

The Beckham brothers Brooklyn, Romeo
and Cruz clearly enjoyed themselves in the stands at The Home Depot
Center, waving to their dad and smiling throughout the 90-minute rout.

Mum Victoria was not present and the boys took advantage by tucking into their favourite treats.

Brace yourself: Keane scored twice as Galaxy eased to victory over Seattle

Brace yourself: Keane scored twice as Galaxy eased to victory over Seattle

Brace yourself: Keane scored twice as Galaxy eased to victory over Seattle

If LA survive and Houston Dynamo wrap-up the Eastern Conference finals after beating DC United 3-1 in the first leg earlier Sunday, the MLS Cup would be a rematch of last season's game, which David Beckham and the Galaxy won at Home Depot Center.

Andre Hainault, Will Bruin and Kofi Sarkodie each scored second-half goals at Houston to give the Dynamo the win over United.

Nick DeLeon scored for United in the 27th minute.

Double delight: The former Premier League heroes inspired Galaxy to victory

Double delight: The former Premier League heroes inspired Galaxy to victory

Double delight: The former Premier League heroes inspired Galaxy to victory

The win gives Houston a two-goal aggregate lead heading into next Sunday's decisive match at RFK Stadium in Washington. United will have to win that match by three goals to advance.

The Dynamo extended their home unbeaten streak to 30 games, dating to June 18, 2011. Houston are four wins or draws away from matching Real Salt Lake's league-record 34-game home unbeaten run.

Over he goes: Keane performed his famous celebration after scoring for Galaxy

Over he goes: Keane performed his famous celebration after scoring for Galaxy

Over he goes: Keane performed his famous celebration after scoring for Galaxy

Keane on you: Robbie Keane's wife Claudine and son Robert Ronan Jnr cheer on Galaxy last night

Keane on you: Robbie Keane's wife Claudine and son Robert Ronan Jnr cheer on Galaxy last night

David Beckham and Robbie Keane inspire LA Galaxy to victory over Seattle

Beckham and Keane inspire LA Galaxy to victory over Seattle in step towards MLS Cup glory

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UPDATED:

06:27 GMT, 12 November 2012

Robbie Keane scored two and set up another as LA Galaxy beat the Seattle Sounders 3-0 on Sunday to take a commanding lead in the first leg of the Major League Soccer Western Conference finals.

Mike Magee added the other goal for defending champions who will head to Seattle next Sunday in prime position to earn their third MLS Cup appearance in four years.

Brace yourself: Keane scored twice as Galaxy eased to victory over Seattle

Brace yourself: Keane scored twice as Galaxy eased to victory over Seattle

Brace yourself: Keane scored twice as Galaxy eased to victory over Seattle

If LA survive and Houston Dynamo wrap-up the Eastern Conference finals after beating DC United 3-1 in the first leg earlier Sunday, the MLS Cup would be a rematch of last season's game, which David Beckham and the Galaxy won at Home Depot Center.

Andre Hainault, Will Bruin and Kofi Sarkodie each scored second-half goals at Houston to give the Dynamo the win over United.

Nick DeLeon scored for United in the 27th minute.

Double delight: The former Premier League heroes inspired Galaxy to victory

Double delight: The former Premier League heroes inspired Galaxy to victory

Double delight: The former Premier League heroes inspired Galaxy to victory

The win gives Houston a two-goal aggregate lead heading into next Sunday's decisive match at RFK Stadium in Washington. United will have to win that match by three goals to advance.

The Dynamo extended their home unbeaten streak to 30 games, dating to June 18, 2011. Houston are four wins or draws away from matching Real Salt Lake's league-record 34-game home unbeaten run.

Over he goes: Keane performed his famous celebration after scoring for Galaxy

Over he goes: Keane performed his famous celebration after scoring for Galaxy

Over he goes: Keane performed his famous celebration after scoring for Galaxy

Kevin de Bruyne joins Werder Bremen on season-long loan

Chelsea send youngster De Bruyne to Werder Bremen on season-long loan

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UPDATED:

13:37 GMT, 2 August 2012

Fantasy football 2012

Chelsea winger Kevin de Bruyne has agreed to join German side Werder Bremen on a season-long loan.

The 21-year-old Belgian arrived at Stamford Bridge during the January transfer window and was immediately loaned back to former club Genk.

He made his Chelsea debut in the 4-2 friendly victory over Seattle Sounders during the recent tour to America, but Chelsea confirmed he is to continue his development at Werder Bremen.

Temporary home: Kevin de Bruyne is unveiled at Werder Bremen after completing a season-long loan from Chelsea

Temporary home: Kevin de Bruyne is unveiled at Werder Bremen after completing a season-long loan from Chelsea

Chance to shine: De Bruyne featured during Chelsea's tour of the US but manager Roberto Di Matteo wants him to continue his education in Germany

Chance to shine: De Bruyne featured during Chelsea's tour of the US but manager Roberto Di Matteo wants him to continue his education in Germany

Will Ferrell and Zack Galifianakis meet Chelsea players

More star signings for Chelsea! Ferrell and Galifianakis turn up at Blues' Seattle hotel

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UPDATED:

09:27 GMT, 20 July 2012

Fantasy football 2012

Eden Hazard, Oscar, Will Ferrell… just some of the big names Chelsea have picked up this season.

The Blues' tour of America took a star studded turn as actors Ferrell and Zack Galifianakis showed up at the players' hotel in Seattle.

The two stars, best known for their roles in comedies Anchorman and the Hangover respectively, met with players including Frank Lampard, Petr Cech and Paulo Ferreira.

Top line up: (from left) Ross Turnbull, Frank Lampard, Will Ferrell, Petr Cech, Zach Galifianakis, Paulo Ferreira

Top line up: (from left) Ross Turnbull, Frank Lampard, Will Ferrell, Petr Cech, Zach Galifianakis, Paulo Ferreira

Oh hello European Cup: Ferrell with the precious trophy

Oh hello European Cup: Ferrell with the precious trophy

Ferrell is a long-time Chelsea fan, has
visited Stamford Bridge and has even acted as honorary captain for the
Blues during their US pre-season tour in 2009.

He has often been spotted in a Blues top – including on The Daily Show – and now both he and Galifianakis can sport the latest edition, having been given personalised shirts by the club on Thursday.

In return they handed Chelsea a signed St. Louis Rams helmet – the Rams are an American football team based in Missouri.

Think of the printing costs: Galifianakis gets his shirt from Cech

Think of the printing costs: Galifianakis gets his shirt from Cech

Chelsea are busy chasing other signatures at the moment. New signing Eden Hazard's brother, Thorgan, is likely to seal a switch to west London sooner rather than later.

The 19-year-old plays for RC Lens at the
moment, but manager Jean-Louis Garcia said in an interview on the club
website that Thorgan is on the verge of leaving.

Industry legends: Lampard and Ferrell come face to face

Industry legends: Lampard and Ferrell come face to face

The Blues will head to New York next to play Paris St Germain at the Yankee Stadium on Sunday, which will be the first time the venue has ever been used as a football stadium.

After that they take on an MLS all-stars side and AC Milan before returning home.

Eden Hazard scores on Chelsea debut against Seattle Sounders

Seattle Sounders 2 Chelsea 4: Di Matteo backs Hazard to star as 32m signing scores first goal

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UPDATED:

06:53 GMT, 19 July 2012

Fantasy football 2012

Roberto Di Matteo has backed Eden Hazard to take England by storm after the 32million man scored on his Chelsea debut.

The Belgium international struck in the first half of Thursday morning’s comfortable win over Seattle Sounders as the Blues’ US tour got off to a triumphant start.

And Di Matteo admits he has seen enough from Hazard to assume the 21-year-old will become a Premier League star attraction.

Making his mark: Hazard got his first goal in Chelsea colours

Making his mark: Hazard got his first goal in Chelsea colours

Getting on the scoresheet: Eden Hazard scored on his Chelsea debut

Getting on the scoresheet: Eden Hazard scored on his Chelsea debut

‘He [Hazard] can have a great impact in the Premier League next season. He has great qualities and you can see that everyday in training,’ admitted the Chelsea boss.

Hazard’s countryman, Romelu Lukaku, also got his pre-season off to a blistering start with a first half, while summer signing from Werder Bremen Marko Marin also marked his Chelsea debut with a goal.

Di Matteo added: ‘It is good for Marko and Eden to score in their first game for the club and it was good to see they have a good understanding with their new team-mates.

Dream debut: Marko Marin scored on his first appearance for Chelsea

Dream debut: Marko Marin scored on his first appearance for Chelsea

‘I’m pleased with the game and performance – it was everything we were looking for from our first pre-season game, it was a good work out.

‘I felt we showed good energy, the new players integrated in well and showed the talent coming through can be the future of this club.

The Italian manager named a strong starting line-up with Hazard, Marin, Branislav Ivanovic, David Luiz and John Obi Mikel all included.

And Marin nearly got his Chelsea career off the most perfect of starts inside the first minute, forcing Sounders keeper Bryan Meredith into a save, easily cutting inside Zach Scott before firing in a low shot.

But the tourists only had to wait two more minutes before scoring the first goal of their US visit when Lukaku unleashed an angled drive from 12 yards past Meredith after Josh McEachran – who started the game brightly – found the Belgium striker with a perfectly weighted pass.

In the goals: Romelu Lukaku goes round Seattle Sounders goalkeeper Bryan Meredith to score

In the goals: Romelu Lukaku goes round Seattle Sounders goalkeeper Bryan Meredith to score

Leo Gonzalez fired well over Hilario’s cross bar in the seventh minute after the Portuguese made a hash of dealing with former Fulham forward Eddie Johnson’s cross.

And Hazard made the Sounders winger pay for his wastefulness in the 11th minute.
Collecting a pass from Mikel, the Belgian cut inside the over-worked Scott before seeing his shot deflect off John Kennedy Hurtado and past Meredith to double Chelsea’s advantage.

All together now: The Chelsea players congratulate Lukaku after his goal

All together now: The Chelsea players congratulate Lukaku after his goal

Seattle were gifted a way back into the clash when McEachran ruined his good early work with a woeful pass straight to the feet of an unmarked Fredy Montero, who duly slotted past Hilario from the 15 yards to half the deficit.

And the goal sparked a Sounders onslaught as Johnson and Alvaro Fernandes both missed excellent chances to equalise.

Safe hands: Chelsea goalkeeper Henrique Hilario makes a save on a shot from Alvaro Fernandez

Safe hands: Chelsea goalkeeper Henrique Hilario makes a save on a shot from Alvaro Fernandez

However, Seattle found the leveller their dominance deserved and it was Montero again who found a way past Hilario in the 32nd minute with a low curling effort the Portuguese keeper really should have done better with.

But Marin capped off his promising first half display with his debut goal in the 40th minute – a virtual carbon copy of Hazard’s deflected strike as Chelsea regained their advantage.

The Germany international turned provider a minute before the break, setting up Lukaku who expertly rounded Meredith before firing into an empty net to make it 4-2.

Fan favorite: Frank Lampard signs autographs for supporters after the game

Fan favorite: Frank Lampard signs autographs for supporters after the game

Di Matteo made seven changes at half-time. On came Jamal Blackman, Michael Essien, Ramires, Frank Lampard, Kevin De Bruyne, Gary Cahill and Sam Hutchinson.

The second half got off to a much slower start than the frenetic opening period – Seattle carving out the best chance of the opening 15 minutes with Andy Rose just failing to connect with Fernandez’s back-post cross.

The raft of substitutions clearly disrupted the flow of the game as both side’s struggled to replicate the cut and thrust of the opening 45 minutes.

Big turnout: Fans packed CenturyLink Field to see Chelsea beat the Seattle Sounders

Big turnout: Fans packed CenturyLink Field to see Chelsea beat the Seattle Sounders

De Bruyne looked lively in patches while the Blues endured an injury scare when Cahill was left clutching his face after a nasty looking collision, sparking fears of a recurrence of the broken jaw that ruled him out of Euro 2012.

Substitute Todd Kane stung the hands of replacement Sounders keeper Josh Ford with a long range effort in the 82nd minute – Chelsea’s first shot on target of the second half as the Blues strolled home to record their pre-season victory.

John Terry back at Chelsea but could still face charge

Terry's back in blue but Chelsea skipper may still be facing an FA charge

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UPDATED:

22:20 GMT, 18 July 2012

Fantasy football 2012

John Terry found no shortage of well-wishers at Chelsea’s training ground on Wednesday after returning for the first time since he was found not guilty of a racially aggravated offence.

The Chelsea skipper left the country for a holiday in Portugal after the court case.

Now, after returning to training at Cobham, he is expected to join his Chelsea team-mates in Seattle at the weekend after taking extended leave because of Euro 2012.

/07/18/article-2175636-12EBDF5A000005DC-825_468x588.jpg” width=”468″ height=”588″ alt=”Feeling Blue: John Terry was back at Chelsea training on Wednesday ” class=”blkBorder” />

Feeling Blue: John Terry was back at Chelsea training on Wednesday

An independent QC is considering the 15-page court judgement from chief magistrate Howard Riddle and is expected to make recommendations to FA bosses this week.

Terry could still be charged under Rule E3, which concerns foul and abusive language. A sub-section relates to racial comments.

He has maintained throughout that he used the words ‘f****** black c***’ at Loftus Road last October only in a rhetorical sense.

He has been interviewed by Jenni Kennedy, the FA’s head of off-field regulation, and warned there is no place for such language in football. Terry is prepared for another fight to clear his name if charged.

Meanwhile, Birmingham are set to sign Chelsea left back Ben Gordon, 21, on a six-month loan deal.

John Terry to join Chelsea in USA as Blues prepare for Seattle Sounders test

Terry set to join Chelsea in US as Blues prepare for Seattle pre-season opener

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UPDATED:

06:52 GMT, 18 July 2012

Chelsea warmed up for their pre-season opener in Seattle boosted by the news captain John Terry will link-up with them this weekend.

England defender Terry will meet up with his Blues team-mates on the East coast leg of their US tour, with Roberto Di Matteo's side scheduled to arrive in New York on Friday night, ahead of Sunday's clash against Carlo Ancelotti's Paris St Germain.

Hundreds of fans turned up to witness the European champions being put through their paces by the Italian boss at the CenturyLink Field, where they take on MLS side Seattle Sounders in their first game.

Hands on: Hilario catches a cross as Chelsea prepare for their pre-season opener against Seattle Sounders

Hands on: Hilario catches a cross as Chelsea prepare for their pre-season opener against Seattle Sounders, as the players signed autographs for supporters (below)

Fan-tastic: American fans went wild for the European champions, who signed autographs after their training session

The Blues are Stateside for the remainder of the month with further games against MLS All-Stars and AC Milan to follow and manager Di Matteo is looking forward to getting started.

'Pre-season friendly games are important to transfer what we are doing in training. It's a physical test, and we're still trying to increase our physical performance,' he said.

'The freshness won't be there yet but we will try to set our stamp on our first games and try to develop that.

On the ball: Frank Lampard

Hair we go: Brazilian defender David Luiz

Main attraction: Frank Lampard and David Luiz were two of Chelsea's big stars on show in Seattle

'We're looking forward to playing, we've been training for a while and the game just wakes those nerves a bit and brings excitement for the players.

'The experience so far has been excellent. The training facilities are very good and we've been able to train twice a day for the first two days.

'The weather has been pretty good as well, not too hot, not too cold and it's perfect for pre-season.'

All smiles: Michael Essien will be looking to prove his worth to Di Matteo during the club's tour of the USA

All smiles: Michael Essien will be looking to prove his worth to Di Matteo during the club's tour of the USA

Calling the shots: Roberto Di Matteo has been pleased with Chelsea's pre-season preparation so far

Calling the shots: Roberto Di Matteo has been pleased with Chelsea's pre-season preparation so far

One player who could be on his way out of west London is Florent Malouda.

The Frenchman has been linked with a move to South America and Di Matteo hopes to speak to the midfielder to discuss his future in the next few days.

Di Matteo added: 'I still haven't had a chance to speak to Florent, so I need to speak to him first and see what his intentions are, then we will see what the best interests are for him and the club.'

Cheer we go: Fans in Seattle show their appreciation for Di Matteo's men

Cheer we go: Fans in Seattle show their appreciation for Di Matteo's men