From the day he joined the Sounders FC, Fredy Montero has been the scoring king, leading the team in goals in each of his first three seasons.
On Saturday, though, Eddie Johnson surpassed Montero’s single-season club scoring record when he netted his second goal of the night and 13th of the season in the 89th minute of a 2-1 win over Chivas USA.
While Montero may be a prideful soccer player, particularly when it comes to scoring goals, he is just fine with Johnson holding the scoring crown for now.
"It is always good when you have someone on your team who can score goals,” Montero said. “The past years I was the guy who liked to score goals, but we didn’t make the final. Hopefully this year he’s going to take us together and put Seattle Sounders in the final.”
Fittingly, it was Montero who assisted on the game-winning tally, rocketing a left-footed cross into the box that Johnson headed into the net for the club-record score.
In Seattle’s last meeting with Chivas on August 25, Montero scored his first MLS hat trick in a 6-2 win, drawing him even with Johnson with 11 goals. That match, Johnson said, set the table for him to find space for his double on Saturday.
“I think their focus was coming into the game and trying to shut Fredy down and I knew that would free me up because he scored a hat trick against them last time,” Johnson said.
This season has been full of happiness for Johnson. In his first season in MLS since 2007, he has regained the goal-scoring form that escaped him during his years in Europe. He also had the opportunity to play in his first cup final when the Sounders reached the US Open Cup final.
All of that success has been a boon for Johnson in this, his year of MLS redemption.
“That’s a bonus and I couldn’t ask for a better team to share that with,” he said. “All the hard work we’re putting in week-in and week-out is paying off. It’s a humbling moment and I couldn’t ask for a better team to share it with.”
For his two-goal effort, Johnson was named MLS Player of the Week, the second time this season he has earned the recognition.
Johnson and Montero will look to continue their combined scoring dominance on Saturday when the Sounders face the Portland Timbers at Jeld-Wen Field. Kickoff is set for 12:30 pm Pacific in the nationally-televised network broadcast on NBC.