CARSON, Calif. – Three is the magic number for the Seattle Sounders.
Fredy Montero scored his first MLS hat trick and Mauro Rosales had three assists as the Sounders beat Chivas USA, 6-2, at The Home Depot Center on Saturday.
The victory, Seattle’s fourth in their last five matches, lifted the Sounders into second place in the West, tied on points with Real Salt Lake, with two games in hand.
HIGHLIGHTS: Chivas USA 2, Seattle 6
Meanwhile, Chivas USA lost for the second consecutive match at home and saw their playoff chances continue to worsen. They are now 10 points behind fifth-place Vancouver, who currently sit in the final playoff position in the West.
Chivas came out with a bit of fire. Having made five changes to the starting lineup, the shakeup seemed to work early on. Young attackers Tristan Bowen and Miller Bolaños put themselves in dangerous positions early on, but were unable to find the net.
And their failures set the stage for Seattle – whose lineup saw only one change from the one that beat Vancovuer last time out: Montero's return to the starting XI after two matches subbing on – to jump out in front. Montero slipped a ball to Brad Evans on the left side of the field, narrowly getting it by James Riley. Evans walked into the penalty area and easily beat Dan Kennedy as Seattle went up 1-0 with 10 minutes gone.
Montero, who made his 100th regular-season MLS start, scored his first goal in the 27th minute after a nifty combination. Evans found Mauro Rosales who knocked it into Montero. From 10 yards out, Montero made no mistake.
Barely seven minutes later, Seattle threatened to pull even farther ahead. Again Montero received a lovely pass from Rosales as he cut into the area. He ran onto the ball and chipped it coolly past Kennedy.
But Chivas weren’t dead yet. They got back into it in the 37th minute with the help of the match official. Seattle defender Jeff Parke was whistled for a penalty kick infraction just moments after Montero’s second goal. Juan Agudelo, who started his third straight match, easily beat Michael Gspurning to pull the hosts to within two.
Bolaños then made things interesting after the break. At least momentarily. The young Ecuadorian drove at the Seattle defense and, when no one closed him down, sent a blistering shot past Gspurning from 20 yards out in the 64th minute.
OPTA Chalkboard: Montero's deadly efficiency
But Bolaños’ goal boost didn’t last. Rosales again set up Montero, and for the third time on the night, the Colombian marksman buried his shot. It was his 11th goal of the season and the sixth in the last four matches. He has now scored in four games in a row.
Sammy Ochoa buried a header in the 80th minute to give Seattle a three-goal edge, and in stoppage time, the Rojiblancos’ Ante Jazic headed a ball into his own net to give Seattle their sixth goal.
This was the first time in Chivas USA history that the club has allowed six goals in a game.
They will have the chance to redeem themselves on Wednesday at New England.
Seattle return to CONCACAF Champions League action on Thursday, when they visit face Trinidadian side Caledonia. They are back in MLS action away to Dallas on Sunday, September 2.
MLSsoccer.com Men of the Match
|Rank||Player||What We Saw|
|1||Fredy Montero||The first hat trick of his MLS career, all three well taken. (Plus an assist.) Could he climb into Golden Boot contention?|
|2||Mauro Rosales||Had difficulty with his own finishing, but played provider on all three of Montero's goals.|
|3||Tristan Bowen||In first start since returning from loan, his speed and ambition gave Chivas at least a slight threat.|