By MATT GASCHK
Sounders FC Insider
SEATTLE – For the second straight match at CenturyLink Field, the Sounders FC dominated from first kick to final whistle and walked away with a shutout victory.
Mauro Rosales scored his first goal of the season and Bryan Meredith earned a shutout in his first MLS start as the Sounders won their fourth in a row, running their unbeaten streak to five straight matches, winning all three matches they played in a one-week span.
“Obviously three games in a week is not an easy task, but we came out with nine point which is something that we are very happy about,” Sounders FC head coach Sigi Schmid said. “I thought we had chances to get more than one goal and we were a bit unlucky. One day those flood gates will open up, but it just wasn’t today.”
The Sounders made six changes from their lineup that shutout the LA Galaxy 2-0 on Wednesday, with midfielder Andy Rose making his MLS debut.
Even with all of the change, Seattle outshot Philadelphia 19-6, forcing Union goalkeeper Zac MacMath into four saves and two moments of pause when the Sounders hit the post.
Fredy Montero led the team with seven shots on the night, having a 19th minute header off a great ball from defender Adam Johansson saved at the line by MacMath and the match held at 0-0 at halftime.
Seattle continued their barrage on the net, though, and Rose hit the crossbar with a header just out of the halftime break.
While they continued to press forward, the Sounders didn’t have another threatening scoring chance until Eddie Johnson subbed on in the 61st minute.
Two minutes later, Johnson chested down a throw-in from Marc Burch and Montero ran on the ball to carry it toward the middle of the field. He then played Rosales up the right side and the Argentine dynamo took two touches before putting it back across the box, beating MacMath inside the far post for his first goal of the season and a 1-0 Seattle lead.
“It was a great pass from Fredy and I just tried to score my chance in the game,” Rosales said.
Montero nearly added to the lead in the 72nd minute, but his shot from 24 yards out on the right side was speared down by MacMath. Then in the 86th minute he had a beautiful chip that beat MacMath, but banged off the crossbar to keep the score at 1-0.
The Sounders held off a late charge by the Union, sealing their third straight clean sheet at home, running their shutout streak to 336 straight minutes at CenturyLink Field.
“We played against tough teams in the last three games and we always want to win,” Rosales said. “We work for that victory and today we got it.”
The Sounders continue on their path of five matches in 15 days when they take to the road to face FC Dallas on Wednesday, then return home to conclude the busy stretch on March 12 against Real Salt Lake.
Sounders FC – Mauro Rosales (Fredy Montero) 63.
Union – None.
Sounders FC – Andy Rose (caution) 18.
Union – Gabriel Gomez (caution) 78.
Sounders FC – Bryan Meredith, Adam Johansson, Jeff Parke, Patrick Ianni, Marc Burch, Mauro Rosales (Leo Gonzalez 82), Osvaldo Alonso, Andy Rose (Eddie Johnson 61), Alex Caskey (Servando Carrasco 93+), Fredy Montero, David Estrada.
Union – Zac MacMath, Sheanon Williams, Carlos Valdes, Danny Califf, Raymon Gaddis, Gabriel Gomez (Josue Martinez 83), Michael Farfan (Danny Mwanga 76), Keon Daniel, Kai Herdling (Brian Carroll 61), Freddy Adu, Lionard Pajoy.