The Seattle Sounders returned home to Seattle looking to pull within three points of the Los Angeles Galaxy, and it turned out to be easy for them. Lamar Neagle, a Federal Way native, scored a hat trick for the Seattle Sounders as they stomped the Columbus Crew by a final score of 6-2. A history making day for the Seattle Sounders and also for one player on the Columbus Crew side. The Sounders scored three goals in the first 20 minutes of the game, they scored four first half goals (a club record) and they scored a total of six goals in the match (another club record). Not only that, so far, they lead the entire league in goals scored this season with 42 goals. So all you fools who say, "they can't score", put a cork in that.
Lamar Neagle got the party going in the fourth minute of the game. After a nice give and go with Mike Fucito, Neagle cut inside his defender and directed a low shot on goal. Columbus Crew goalkeeper Will Hesmer failed to corral the ball, letting it slip behind him and in the goal.
In the 16th minute, the Sounders added another. After a nice turn in the box by Mike Fucito, the ball struck the hands of defender Rich Balchan in the penalty area and referee Baldomero Toledo pointed to the spot. Mauro Rosales, who also played a fantastic game, stepped up to take the penalty and he burried it inside the right post to make it 2-0. Rosales then ran over to the fans with their banner that says "VIVA ROSALES" as you can see on this picture.
They need to re-sign this guy to a long term deal. I mean $42,000 this year? He's playing like he deserves a lot more than that. He's got 5 goals and 9 assists now and I think he should be a candidate for the MLS MVP. I don't know how Sounder fans would react if he wasn't MVP.
Seattle weren't done though. In the 21st minute, James Riley made an overlaping run from right back position and put in a touchline cross. The ball fell to Lamar Neagle who volleyed the ball into the goal for his second of the match.
In the 40th minute, things just got better and better for the Men in Rave Green. Mauro Rosales sent in a short cross and Mike Fucito made the Columbus defense pay for standing around as he rounded the goalkeeper and put away the forth goal for the Sounders. It was Fucito's fifth goal in all compitions this season and his first in MLS since April 17, 2010 when he scored a late winner over Sporting Kansas City. This guy's been in and out of the starting lineup with Sigi Schmid trying to find a replacement for O'Brian White, who by the way just underwent a second blood clot surgery. My guess is Fucito will be dropped to the bench again after the Sounders acquired forward Samuel Ochoa yesterday.
The only major highlight for the Columbus Crew, came in the 59th minute of the match. After a miscue, Jhon Kennedy Hurtado took down Emilio Renteria in the box and the referee pointed to the spot. Hurtado was lucky not to be shown a straight red card for the challenge. Jeff Cunningham, who coming into the game was sittin' on 133 career MLS goals, tied with Jamie Moreno, was given the green light by head coach Robert Warzycha to try and break the All-time MLS goalscoring record. Cunningham stepped up and calmly converted the PK into the left corner of Kasey Keller for his 134th career MLS goal which makes him the all-time leading goalscorer in Major League Soccer history.
In the 70th minute, Lamar Neagle struck for a third time. A brilliant effort hit the underside of the crossbar and just barely crossed the goal line. This made Neagle the second player in Sounders history to record a hat trick in a game and the first to do it at home. Columbus made it 5-2 after a brilliant free-kick by the former USL Sounder Josh Gardner in the 73rd minute, but a minute later, Gardner got credited with an own goal to make it 6-2 Sounders.
Seattle has another match on Tuesday, the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup semifinal against FC Dallas at Starfire Sports Complex in Tukwila. Kickoff time is at 7pm and will be streamed live on soundersfc.com. They don't return to MLS play until September 10th when they host Real Salt Lake.
Seattle Sounders FC - Lamar Neagle 3 (Mike Fucito 2) 4'
Seattle Sounders FC - Mauro Rosales 5 (penalty kick) 16'
Seattle Sounders FC - Lamar Neagle 4 (James Riley 2, Mauro Rosales 8) 21'
Seattle Sounders FC - Mike Fucito 1 (Mauro Rosales 9, Fredy Montero 7) 40'
Columbus Crew - Jeff Cunningham 2 (penalty kick) 59'
Seattle Sounders FC - Lamar Neagle 5 (Osvaldo Alonso 3) 70'
Columbus Crew - Josh Gardner 2 (unassisted) 73'
Seattle Sounders FC - Own goal (Josh Gardner) 74'
Columbus Crew - Kevin Burns (caution; Tactical foul) 64'
Seattle Sounders FC - Jeff Parke (caution; Reckless foul) 73'
Seattle Sounders FC - Zach Scott (caution; Reckless tackle) 81'
Columbus Crew - Will Hesmer; Sebastian Miranda, Rich Balchan, Chad Marshall, Josh Gardner; Dilly Duka (Jeff Cunningham 56'), Kevin Burns, Emmanuel Ekpo, Robbie Rodgers; Emilio Renteria (Tom Heinemann 56'), Andres Mendoza (Justin Meram 76')
Seattle Sounders FC - Kasey Keller; James Riley, Jeff Parke (Zach Scott 75'), Jhon Kennedy Hurtado, Tyson Wahl; Mauro Rosales (Alvaro Fernandez 71'), Osvaldo Alonso, Erik Friberg, Lamar Neagle; Mike Fucito (Nate Jaqua 78'), Fredy Montero