Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Fredy Montero's Hat Trick leads the Sounders to a 6-2 beat down of Chivas USA

By Money Mike

The Seattle Sounders showed once again that they are a dangerous second half team. On Saturday, to know that this guy is the greatest goalscorer in the club's young MLS history, it's hard to believe that this is the first hat trick of Fredy Montero's career as he struck three times in the Sounders 6-2 blowout win over Chivas USA at the Home Depot Center. With the win, the Sounders climb into second place ahead of Real Salt Lake who knocked the Sounders out of the playoffs last season. If the regular season were to come to an end last weekend, the Sounders and RSL would face eachother again in the Western Conference semifinals with RSL hosting the first leg.

Chivas USA found some openings early on in the match. In the third minute, former LA Galaxy player Tristan Bowen who was making his first start of the season for Chivas was found on the near side with some space. Bowen worked a give and go with Nick Labrocca and looked to strike the ball on goal, but the angle was tight so instead he threaded the ball through to Miller Bolanos who tried to place his shot into the far corner, but instead he hit it straight at Michael Gspurning.

Two minutes later, Miller Bolanos played in a low ball toward the near post for Juan Agudelo who tried to direct it into the far corner, but the final outcome of that was another missed opportunity.

The Sounders first opportunity of the game didn't come until the 10 minute mark and they had no problem making it count. Eddie Johnson flicked the ball on for Fredy Montero who brought the ball down and played an excellent through ball to Brad Evans who got in behind James Riley and Evans calmly slotted the ball into the far corner for his second goal of the season and the Sounders took an early 1-0 lead.

In the 15th minute, Chivas USA had another opportunity to score. After a giveaway, Ante Jazic worked a give and go with Agudelo on the far side before whipping in a good cross for Casey Townsend to got in front of Jhon Kennedy Hurtado but he couldn't head the ball on target. There were so many openings on both side of the field all game long. As for Casey Townsend, he should've scored there. He was in perfect position to head the ball home and he ends up missing it. This is why Chivas USA have scored the fewest goals in the league.

In the 27th minute, Chivas loses possession and the Sounders pour down field in a counter attack and make them pay. Christian Tiffert sent Brad Evans in behind with a brilliant long ball. Evans was looking to try and score another goal, but James Riley tracked back and didn't give him any chance at that and had to wait for support. And he got it as he played the ball back to Mauro Rosales who slid the ball through to Fredy Montero and the Colombian did the rest as he turned and hit it low and hard into the far corner to double Seattle's lead with his ninth goal of the season and his 12th in all competitions. As for Mauro Rosales, remember in mid June he began to struggle on the right hand side and he only had a goal and two assists at the time? It's been a different story since than, that assist on Montero's goal was his 11th in 2012 and there was still more to come later on in the game.

What do I mean by later you ask? Well, let's say the 34th minute when he sets up Fredy Montero again for another goal. Fredy Montero picked up the ball from the near side and he stumbles a little bit and loses his footing, but he did very well to use his strength and maintain possession before James Riley could break up the play. The Sounders worked the ball around outside the area before Mauro Rosales played another excellent through ball to Montero who was all alone and Montero chipped the ball over Dan Kennedy and in to make it 3-0. That goal also put Montero into double figures yet again with his 10th league goal of the season.

A couple minutes later, Chivas USA were awarded a penalty kick. Juan Agudelo chipped the ball to the near post looking for Casey Townsend. Now as Townsend was about to volley the ball goalwards, I thought at first he caught one of the defenders with a high boot. I don't know why, I just did. But Townsend never made contact with any defender, and the ball apparently came off the hand of Jeff Parke and referee Jose Carlos Rivero pointed to the penalty spot. Juan Agudelo stepped up and calmly slotted the ball low into the right corner, sending Michael Gspurning the wrong way to cut the Sounders lead to 3-1.

In the 56th minute, Chivas USA let yet another chance slip away. Juan Agudelo played the ball back to Nick LaBrocca who whipped the ball in first time and getting up was Tristan Bowen for a snap down header which bounced just wide.

In the 64th minute, Chivas were able to finish their chance and what was once a 3-0 Sounder lead has now become a 3-2 Sounder lead. Tristan Bowen fed the ball to the near side for Miller Bolanos. Bolanos had a bit of space to decide whether to pass the ball or strike it from distance. He had Ante Jazic making an overlapping run, but Bolanos decided to go for it alone as he cut inside of Jeff Parke and struck the ball low and hard and it skipped underneath Michael Gspurning and into the back of the goal to make it a one goal game. So things started to look pretty interesting in this match as Chivas USA looked like they were down and out earlier in the game before they scored two unanswered goals to get back in this match.

That is until the 67th minute when Seattle restored their two goal lead and began to pull away from there. Mauro Rosales was once again the set up man as he played another brilliant ball to Fredy Montero. Montero avoided the sliding challenge from John Valencia and rifled his shot into the far corner to complete his hat trick and more importantly to extend Seattle's lead to 4-2. Montero is the fourth Sounders player to record a hat trick in the clubs young history. Blaise Nkufo did it on the road against the Columbus Crew in 2010, Lamar Neagle did at home in 2011 which was also against the Columbus Crew, of course David Estrada did it against Toronto FC in the Opener back in March and now Fredy Montero finally joins that list with three impressive goals against Chivas USA.

The Sounders weren't done there. In the 80th minute, the Sounders put together a lot of passes in this move as they worked the ball out wide to Christian Tiffert who looked and curled the ball near post for Sammy Ochoa and the big man got in on the act with a terrific header to make it 5-2 Seattle.

The Sounders would get one more in the 91st minute. Fredy Montero waited for support and chipped the ball into the area looking for Mario Martinez who was making a run toward the far post and Ante Jazic headed the ball into his own net to make it 6-2 and that's how it would end.

The Sounders road trip continues. Right now they're in Trinidad and Tobago preparing for their Champions League match tomorrow against Caledonia AIA. After that they will head to head to FC Dallas Stadium this Sunday to, well take on FC Dallas. Their confidence should be really high right now the way they've played lately. As for Mario Martinez, if you never heard of him, he's a Honduran international who joined the team on loan from Real Espana following the Olympics. This was his debut match for the Sounders, coming on in the 78th minute. In his short time on the pitch, I thought his movement on the ball was good, he's a good passer, he's got a great vision and he's a fast paced athlete. I think the Sounders need to get Martinez completely involved in these late stages as the Sounders get set for another playoff run.

Scoring summary:

Seattle Sounders FC - Brad Evans 2 (Fredy Montero 5) 10'

Seattle Sounders FC - Fredy Montero 9 (Mauro Rosales 11) 27'

Seattle Sounders FC - Fredy Montero 10 (Mauro Rosales 12) 34'

Chivas USA - Juan Agudelo 2 (penalty kick) 38'

Chivas USA - Miller Bolanos 2 (Tristan Bowen 1) 64'

Seattle Sounders FC - Fredy Montero 11 (Mauro Rosales 13) 67'

Seattle Sounders FC - Sammy Ochoa 1 (Christian Tiffert 1, Brad Evans 3) 80'

Seattle Sounders FC - Own goal (Ante Jazic) 91'+

Misconduct summary:

Seattle Sounders FC - Osvaldo Alonso (caution; foul) 54'

Chivas USA - Miller Bolanos (caution; off the ball foul) 93'+


Seattle Sounders FC - Michael Gspurning; Adam Johansson, Jeff Parke, Jhon Kennedy Hurtado, Leonardo Gonzalez; Mauro Rosales (Mario Martinez 78'), Osvaldo Alonso, Christian Tiffert (Steve Zakuani 84'), Brad Evans; Eddie Johnson (Sammy Ochoa 73'), Fredy Montero

Chivas USA - Dan Kennedy; James Riley, John Valencia, Bobby Burling, Ante Jazic; Tristan Bowen (Jose Erick Correa 69'), Shalrie Joseph, Nick LaBrocca, Miller Bolanos; Juan Agudelo, Casey Townsend (Juan Pablo Angel 86')

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