By Money Mike
Seattle's third year pro out of UCLA celebrated his first MLS goal. As a matter of fact, he celebrated two more. With Eddie Johnson out with a hip flexor injury, David Estrada was asked to partner up again with Fredy Montero, and he delivered in a big way. Estrada became the third player to record a hat trick in Sounders FC history and even better, the Sounders got off to a three point start in their new season by defeating Toronto FC 3-1. The Sounders have put their disappointing Champions League loss behind them and in front of their home crowd have picked up where they left off last season, scoring goals.
Estrada got it rollin' in the 18th minute. After some fancy footwork from Alvaro Fernandez that led to a collision between Ty Harden and Richard Eckersley, Fernandez sent a low ball to the near post for Estrada. Now at first it looked like Terry Dunfield broke up the attack, but Estrada was able maintain possession, dribble it around Milos Kocic and slot it home. It was a scrappy goal, but who cares? It counts all the same, 18 minutes gone and the Sounders were up 1-0.
In the 25th minute, TFC suffered a big blow. David Estrada had a breakaway opportunity, but their captain Torsten Frings broke up the attack from behind and forced a corner. However, Frings ended up hurting himself in the process and he had to leave the match early.
In the 51st minute, after linking up well with Alvaro Fernandez, Marc Burch sent David Estrada behind the TFC defense and calmly placed it perfectly past Milos Kocic to make it 2-0 Sounders.
Estrada was in the best form out of all the players on this team coming out of the preseason and he has shown that in this match, scoring his 2nd of the match and third in all competitions this season. After seeing limited playing time in 2010 and 2011, will this be the start of something new for David Estrada and the Seattle Sounders?
Toronto FC got one back in the 62nd minute on a curling ball to the far corner from Ryan Johnson who rediscovered his goalscoring touch since being traded to Toronto from San Jose last season. However it was short lived and one more time, it was David Estrada. After a give and go with Alvaro Fernandez, Estrada popped into the penalty area and slammed home his third goal of the match to complete his hat trick and the Sounders 3-1 victory over Toronto in the opener.
Once again, another sellout at CenturyLink Field just as always. The Fanbase here in Seattle continues to grow and grow every year. Tonight we had 38,709 in attendance after they opened up the Hawks Nest and for 90 minutes the crowd got behind the team in full voice and just as always, proved that Seattle is the #1 Soccer City in the U.S. and as long as this continues, that will never ever change. The fans are always out here doing their part to prove that soccer is a big deal in Seattle.
After watching David Estrada's career night, I start to wonder when Eddie Johnson recovers from his hip flexor injury what do you do? Do you keep Eddie on the bench for a while? Do you still bench David Estrada? Do you put Estrada in an attacking midfield possession? So many options for Estrada, but he is proving to be a difference maker for the Seattle Sounders.
I'm very happy about the win, it was a great performance after a rough trip to Mexico during the midweek, but Seattle came into this game like they were ready to play and they get the three points.
Seattle Sounders FC - David Estrada 1 (unassisted) 18'
Seattle Sounders FC - David Estrada 2 (Marc Burch 1, Alvaro Fernandez 1) 51'
Toronto FC - Ryan Johnson 1 (Miguel Aceval 1) 62'
Seattle Sounders FC - David Estrada 3 (Alvaro Fernandez 2) 63'
Seattle Sounders FC - Osvaldo Alonso (caution; Persistent Infringement) 26'
Seattle Sounders FC - Patrick Ianni (caution; Foul) 53'
Toronto FC - Aaron Maund (caution; Foul) 93'+
Toronto FC - Milos Kocic; Richard Eckersley, Ty Harden (Danny Koevermans 46'), Miguel Aceval, Logan Emory; Terry Dunfield, Torsten Frings (Aaron Maund 25'), Luis Silva; Nick Soolsma, Ryan Johnson, Eric Avila (Joao Plata 57')
Seattle Sounders FC - Michael Gspurning; Adam Johansson, Patrick Ianni, Jhon Kennedy Hurtado, Marc Burch; Mauro Rosales (Roger Levesque 79'), Osvaldo Alonso, Brad Evans, Alvaro Fernandez (Christian Sivebaek 65'); David Estrada (Servando Carrasco 87'), Fredy Montero