CARSON, Calif. - Fredy Montero became the fourth Sounders FC player to score a hat trick as Seattle (12-6-7, 43 points) defeated Chivas USA (7-10-6, 27 points), 6-2, at the Home Depot Center. Mauro Rosales set a team-record with three assists as the Rave Green tied the franchise record for most goals in a single game.
The win for Seattle, their fourth in five matches, moves them into a tie with Real Salt Lake for second place in the Western Conference. Their record of 12-6-7 is the best through 25 games in franchise history, and the six goals scored tied a team record (6-2, vs. Columbus, 8/27/11).
“We knew that we would have to take some risks and go forward,” said coach Sigi Schmid, “We knew it was going to present us opportunities, which it did.”
Brad Evans got Sounders FC on the board first in the 10th minute. Eddie Johnson flicked on a header to Montero, who slipped a ball to Evans behind the defense on the left side. Evans then beat Chivas keeper Dan Kennedy one-on-one with his right foot inside the far post. It was the second goal of the season for Evans, and his first since converting a penalty kick against Houston on March 23.
Montero, making his 100th career MLS start, scored his first goal in the 27th minute when he slipped into space in the box to receive a pass from Rosales. He finished from a tight angle eight-yards out to make 2-0.
In the 34th minute, Rosales played a ball to Montero in the box after getting behind the defense, and the Colombian chipped the oncoming Kennedy to make it 3-0.
Just three minutes later, Chivas was awarded a penalty kick after a Seattle hand ball in the box. Juan Agudelo converted past Michael Gspurning to cut the lead to 3-1. The Goats made it 3-2 in the 64th minute when Miller Bolanos fired low a shot from the top of the box past a diving Gspurning.
Three minutes later, Rosales played a through ball to Montero in space in the box, who then turned and blasted a low shot inside the far post to net the hat trick. Montero is the second player to record a hat trick this season for Sounders FC after David Estrada's three goal performance in the season opener against Toronto FC.
“He’s playing well,” Schmid said of Montero, “I think the [second] goal that he made where he played the ball to Mauro, he got the ball back and just chipped it over Kennedy as he was coming out, I thought that was a quality goal, a quality finish. He’s very sharp right now and very confident and obviously that’s a good thing for our team.”
Montero has now tied Johnson with a team-high 11 goals in 2012, including six in his last four games. The 25-year-old striker has now scored double-digit goals in each of his four seasons in MLS, becoming just the seventh player in league history to accomplish such a feat.
“[Chivas USA] was going forward and left a space behind the defense,” said Montero. “We tried to use those, and it was good for us to come in those spaces to score the first goal. After that we saw that we could use that again to keep scoring more goals.”
Rosales set up all three Montero goals and broke the team record with three assists. The Argentine now leads MLS with 13 assists in 2012, tying the club record he set in 2011.
Sammy Ochoa made it 5-2 when he headed in a Christian Tiffert cross in the 80th minute. It was the first MLS goal of the season for Ochoa, who has five goals across all competitions in 2012. The striker came on for Eddie Johnson in the 73rd minute.
It was the first MLS point for Tiffert, who was acquired as a designated player on July 27.
In second half stoppage time, Chivas defender Ante Jazic mis-directed a Montero cross into the goal for an own-goal, increasing Seattle's lead to 6-2.
Gspurning made five saves en route to his ninth MLS win, improving his league-best record to 9-2-1. In the 26th minute, he charged out and made a sliding stop on a Casey Townsend breakaway. Six minutes later he punched away a powerful Agudelo header for a corner kick, in the 75th he smothered a loose ball on the line after Jose Correa hit the post.
“We were very fortunate that they didn’t get more goals, we made some desperation saves,” said Schmid. “I thought that Michael [Gspurning] came up with a couple of good reactions on crosses on clearing them.”
Mario Martinez made his Sounders FC debut when he came on for Rosales in the 78th minute. The Honduran national was acquired on loan on August 1.
Steve Zakuani made his second appearance of 2012 when he came on for Tiffert in the 83rd minute.
Sounders FC returns to action Wednesday when they travel to Trinidad for a CONCACAF Champions League matchup with Caledonia AIA. The continue MLS play next Sunday at FC Dallas.
SEA – Brad Evans (Fredy Montero, Eddie Johnson) 10’
SEA – Fredy Montero (Mauro Rosales, Brad Evans) 27’
SEA – Fredy Montero (Mauro Rosales) 34’
CHV – Juan Agudelo (PK) 38’
CHV – Miller Bolanos (Tristan Bowen) 64’
SEA – Fredy Montero (Mauro Rosales) 67’
SEA – Sammy Ochoa (Christian Tiffert) 82’
SEA – Own goal 90+1’
Seattle Sounders FC – Michael Gspurning, Adam Johansson, Jeff Parke, Jhon Kennedy Hurtado, Leo Gonzalez, Mauro Rosales (Mario Martinez 78), Osvaldo Alonso, Christian Tiffert (Steve Zakuani 83), Brad Evans, Fredy Montero, Eddie Johnson (Sammy Ochoa 73).
Substitutes Not Used: Josh Ford, Zach Scott, Marc Burch, Alex Caskey.
TOTAL SHOTS: 12; SHOTS ON GOAL: 7; FOULS: 17; OFFSIDE: 5; CORNER KICKS: 1; SAVES: 5.
Chivas USA – Dan Kennedy, James Riley, Bobby Burling, John Valencia, Ante Jazic, Shalrie Joseph, Nick LaBrocca, Tristan Bowen (Jose Correa 69), Miller Bolanos, Juan Agudelo, Casey Townsend (Juan Pablo Angel 86).
Substitutes Not Used: Alejandro Moreno, Jorge Villafana, Ben Zemanski, Danny Califf, Tim Melia.
TOTAL SHOTS: 21; SHOTS ON GOAL: 8; FOULS: 14; OFFSIDE: 1; CORNER KICKS: 6; SAVES: 2.
SEA – Osvaldo Alonso (caution) 54’
CHV – Miller Bolanos (caution) 90+1’
Referee: Jose Carlos Rivero
Referee’s Assistants: Ian Anderson, Fabio Tovar
4th Official: Baldomero Toledo
Time of Game: 1:54
Weather: Sunny and 73 degrees