Gerso Fernandes scored a second-half hat trick in a 14-minute span, pacing Sporting Kansas City to a 3-0 romp over the Seattle Sounders in their Wednesday night matchup at Children’s Mercy Park.
The Sounders managed to hold SKC off the scoresheet during the first half while outshooting the home side, but Gerso struck for his trio of tallies shortly after second half kickoff to seal the result for Seattle’s Western Conference foes, knocking the Rave Green to 2-5-4 on the season.
Seattle were sporting a makeshift backline once again on Wednesday, with starting center back Roman Torres out with a hamstring strain and left back Joevin Jones suspended due to a red card in Seattle’s previous game against the Chicago Fire. The Sounders were also without forward Clint Dempsey (rest) and midfielder Ozzie Alonso (quad tightness).
Seattle weathered the absences fairly capably in the first half and even had a couple of chances to open the scoring themselves just before the halftime whistle. The first came after midfielder Alvaro Fernandez got on the end of a through ball from forward Jordan Morris and found himself with a one-on-one opportunity against Kansas City goalkeeper Tim Melia, who made a snap reaction save to deny the attempt and keep the game scoreless.
Sounders midfielder Cristian Roldan then had a look of his own at the opener off a rocket shot from just outside the penalty box, but Melia also thwarted that look with a sprawling save and the contest would stay in the scoreless deadlock as it reached halftime.
Gerso exploded to start the second half, however, starting with a 55th minute tally that he cashed home after teeing up a shot off a corner kick delivered by Benny Feilhaber that he snuck past Sounders goalkeeper Stefan Frei.
The 26-year-old winger doubled that just two minutes later after smashing home a rebound off his own shot that had deflected off the post, pushing the lead to 2-0. Gerso then topped off the hat trick in the 69th minute, finishing off a cross from right back Graham Zusi.
The contest marked a disappointing end to a two-game road trip for the Sounders, who also fell 4-1 to the Chicago Fire at Toyota Park on Saturday. Seattle will hope a return home will help right the ship, with their first opportunity to do so coming with a clash against Real Salt Lake at CenturyLink Field on Saturday afternoon.