Sounders rout Chivas, hat-trick Montero
Fredy Montero scored a hat-trick iduring his centennial for the Seattle Sounders
CARSON, CA. ● In his 100th game as a Sounder, Fredy Montero celebrated with his first career hat trick in a wild, 6-2 triumph over Chivas USA Saturday night in Carson, CA., to move into a tie for second place in the MLS Western Conference ahead of Real Salt Lake.
The Sounders (12-6-7, 43 points) shot out to a 3-0 lead in the first 34 minutes, then became careless on defense, allowing Chivas to close to 3-2. Montero took off the pressure when he scored his third goal in the 67th minute. Mauro Rosales fed the ball ahead to Montero, who cut between two defenders for a hard shot to the far post.
It was the fourth hat trick in Sounders history — joining Blaise Nkufo, Lamar Neagle and David Estrada – and his sixth goal in Montero’s last four games. He has 11, tying Eddie Johnson for the club lead. The six goals matched the club high, which came a year ago at home against Columbus.
The game was the first time the Sounders deployed their “big four” of Montero, Rosales, Eddie Johnson and Christian Tiffert, the designated player from Germany who signed in July. He scored his first assist on a long pass to Sammy Ochoa, a late sub, who slammed in a header from 15 yards in the 79th minute for a 5-2 lead.
The weird game for teams known for their defense climaxed in the 90th minute when Chivas defender Ante Jazic, attempting to control a long cross in front of the goal, headed the ball past beleaguered goalie Dan Kennedy.
Chivas entered the game having given up only 26 goals all season, but surrendered a quick one in the 10th minute. Montero saw Brad Evans streaking down the left flank past former Sounder James Riley. The ball came to Evans in stride and left him one-on-one with Kennedy, whom he beat with a low, easy shot to Kennedy’s left, Evans’ second score of the season.
In the 27th minute, Evans broke away again, stopped and centered the ball to Rosales, who delivered a no-look assist to Montero behind the defense for his ninth goal of the season.
The Sounders went up 3-0 in the 34th minute in a nifty bit of teamwork. Montero, nearly falling but maintaining control, pushed the ball sideways to Johnson, who sent it backward to Rosales, who then found Montero again behind the defense. He had an easy score after Kennedy over-committed forward.
Chivas got one back on a handball committed by Jeff Parke. Juan Agudelo scored on the penalty kick to make it 3-1 at halftime.
Matters grew tense for the Sounders in the 64th minute when Miller Bolanos took an almost leisurely solo drive toward the goal that was barely challenged by the Sounders’ back line, then drove the ball under diving goalie Michal Gspurning on his left.
But Montero came through 15 minutes later, improving the Sounders mark in the last nine gasmes to 5-1-3. The Sounders move to play in the CONCACAF Champions League play against Caledonia at 5 p.m. Thursday at Couva, Trinidad.
COLUMBUS CREW 4, NEW ENGLAND REVOLUTION 3
The New England Revolution rushed to a two-goal lead but the hosting Columbus Crew roared back, eventually winning 4-3.
The goals started with a bang. Ryan Guy took a one-time shot from 30 yards out which looked to take a deflection as it whistled into the net.
Jerry Bengtson doubled the lead a few minutes later. Josh Williams kept him onside, and Bengtson swirled around Andy Gruenebaum, who came charging off his line. The Honduran executed a full spin before sneaking a shot off the post and in ahead of Williams’ last-ditch slide.
The next goal followed even more quickly. Federico Higuain scored his first MLS goal from a free kick. The newly-acquired Designated Player curled the set piece over the wall and inside the top corner of the goal, with Matt Reis sprawling.
The Crew drew level after half an hour. Milovan Mirosevic juggled and lifted the ball over the Revs defense with the outside of his right foot. Jairo Arrieta sprinted onto it and uncorked a frighteningly powerful shot which beat Reis at the near post.
Higuain, the older brother of Real Madrid striker Gonzalo, put Columbus ahead minutes before halftime. With another free kick, the 27-year-old hit it with a similar arc as his first but to the opposite side. It proved just as successful.
The game settled down in the second half, until it had 10 minutes remaining. Julius James pulled down Diego Fagundez in the box, and Lee Nguyen easily sent substitute Matt Lampson the wrong way from the penalty spot.
Arrieta, celebrating his 29th birthday, scored the winner in the 86th minute. Tony Tchani put him through this time, and the Costa Rican prodded the ball past Reis..
MONTREAL IMPACT 3, DC UNITED 0
Patrice Bernier scored from the penalty spot and added another goal late in the second half and Montreal defeated D.C. United.
The victory extended the Impact’s winning streak to five games and moved the club to within a point of the fifth-place United for the final playoff spot in the Eastern Conference.
D.C., which hasn’t won back-to-back games since late May, has three games in hand.
Marco Di Vaio also scored for Montreal (12-13-3).
United fell to 12-9-4 on the season.
HOUSTON DYNAMO 1, TORONTO FC 1
Terry Dunfield scored in the 85th minute and Toronto FC earned a draw with Houston.
Dunfield headed a shot from 8 yards off the glove of Houston keeper Tally Hall, off the bottom of the crossbar and into the net.
Toronto (5-15-6, 21 points) has two ties in its past four games.
Houston (11-6-9, 42 points) got its second straight draw and is unbeaten in 10 of its past 11 games.
Will Bruin put Houston ahead 1-0 in the 21st minute, taking a pass from Oscar Boniek Garcia, cutting through two Toronto defenders and chipping a shot from 12 yards in the middle over Toronto FC goalkeeper Freddy Hall and into the net.
EARTHQUAKES 4, RAPIDS 1
Simon Dawkins and Alan Gordon each scored a pair of goals and the Earthquakes cruised to a victory over the Rapids.
The league-leading Earthquakes (15-6-5) extended their unbeaten streak at Buck Shaw Stadium to 10-0-4 since Aug. 13, 2011. San Jose’s only home loss in MLS play this season occurred at AT&T Park, where Houston beat the Earthquakes 1-0 on March 17.
Gordon extended his career-best single-season scoring mark to 11 goals with strikes in the 43rd and 75th minutes. Dawkins put San Jose up in the 11th minute and tallied again in the 68th for his fifth and sixth goals of 2012