Heading into a busy stretch of games that will see them travel to Trinidad and Tobago for a CONCACAF Champions League match against Caledonia on Thursday, followed by a road match at FC Dallas, the Seattle Sounders looked to make the most of Saturday’s matchup against Chivas USA.
Led by Fredy Montero’s three goals, all assisted by Mauro Rosales, Seattle started out strong, withstood a comeback attempt by the home side before finding the back net yet again en route to a 6-2 win over Chivas USA at the Home Depot Center.
“It was an open game,” Montero said. “We got an opportunity to be in the right spots where the ball was coming.”
Of course Montero was the only Sounder to score on Saturday night, as two Southern California natives, Brad Evans and Sammy Ochoa, also found the back net en route to a win that now forges a tie for second place in the Western Conference with Real Salt Lake. Chivas USA meanwhile sees its playoff hopes take another hit, as they remain ten points behind the Los Angeles Galaxy and Vancouver Whitecaps for the final playoff spot in the conference.
“It was a tale of two stories,” Chivas USA head coach Robin Fraser said. “The attacking side was really good, we created a ton of opportunities and could’ve scored a number of goals, but our defending group didn’t play very well.”
After nine free-flowing minutes of soccer, Seattle (12-6-7, 43 points) struck in the 10th minute when a forward ball by Montero got past Chivas right back James Riley and to the feet of midfielder Brad Evans on the left flank. A sprint inside the box and Evans fired the ball past Chivas keeper Dan Kennedy, beating him far post to open the scoring. The Sounders were just warming up, as Evans again had the ball inside the box in the 27th minute, but this time, opted to pass to Mauro Rosales, who them spilt the Chivas defense with a perfectly timed ball to Montero and the striker’s shot beat Kennedy to the same spot as Evans’ goal. Montero capped off the first half scoring for Seattle in the 34th minute when he had the ball outside the box and even stumbled, but still got a pass off to Eddie Johnson, Johnson gave it up to Rosales, who again split the Chivas backline with another great ball to Montero, and he chipped Kennedy into the back net.
“He’s playing well,” Sounders head coach Sigi Schmid said of Montero. “He’s just very sharp and very confident right now and obviously, that’s a good thing for our team.”
Despite the large deficit, Chivas was keen on simply being toyed with. Chivas (7-10-6, 27 points) got an opportunity in the 37th minute when Seattle’s Adam Johansson handled Juan Agudelo’s short cross in the penalty area and Chivas was awarded the penalty. Agudelo stepped into the penalty spot and went right while keeper Michael Gspurning went left, resulting in Chivas getting on the board. Chivas made it even more interesting in the 64th minute when Miller Bolanos sprinted for the box from the left side, took on two Sounders defenders and volley a shot on goal past Gspurning far post to make it a one goal game. Three minutes later however, the Sounders were back on the offensive, as Rosales sprung Montero with another great ball, Montero raced between two Chivas defenders to win the ball, juked out one of those defenders, John Valencia, then fired the ball past Kennedy far post to restore the Sounders’ cushy lead. The Sounders finished off the math in the last ten minutes, as Sammy Ochoa headed in Christian Tiffert’s cross in the 80th minute and Seattle tallied number six on an own goal in the 91st minute when Chivas left back Ante Jazic cut off a cross, but sent the ball into the back net.
“I was there at the right moment at the right time,” Ochoa said of his goal. “It was a perfect cross by Christian and I just tapped it in.”
Chivas will try to bounce back on Wednesday when they face the New England Revolution at Gillette Stadium.