SEATTLE — Wayne Rooney scored a hat trick as Manchester United torched Seattle Sounders FC 7-0 in a friendly match Wednesday night at CenturyLink Field. Midfielder Nani provided two assists as the English team improved to 2-0 in its 2011 United States tour.
Michael Owen, Mame Biram Diouf, Ji-Sung Park, and Gabriel Obertan also scored as a 1-0 score at halftime quickly became lopsided with the second-half insertion of Rooney.
Machester United’s starting lineup was all starters, with the exception of Federico Macheda in for Rooney with Dimitar Berbatov and Javier "Chicharito" Hernández both unavailable.
United fans were excited to see new signing Ashley Young on United’s left side. Most of the early action for Man. United came down that flank, with Young initiating the overlap-and-cross sequence that led to the first goal.
Young passed to Evra, who crossed it in to an unmarked Michael Owen for the header goal.
Seattle’s full-strength lineup struggled to make headway against the 19-time English champions. In the 31st minute, United captain Nemanja Vidic gave Fredy Montero a hard shove after the whistle.
The Sounders’ best chance to score came in the 37th minute. After Fredy Montero chased down his own rebound, he set up James Riley in the middle of the penalty area. The resulting shot was hard and low but too close to Anders Lindegaard.
The game went to halftime 1-0, thanks to a great Kasey Keller save against Owen in a one-on-one situation.
Both teams made wholesale changes at halftime, with Seattle making eight substitutions and United inserting Rooney, among others.
The visitors tacked on a second goal in the 49th minute, courtesy of Diouf. The Senegalese forward turned and scored from an acute angle after Seattle goalkeeper unsuccessfully challenged the initial pass from Nani.
In the 51stm Rooney scored off a cross from Nani again, finding the top of the net from close range.
Seattle valiantly tried to answer back. Lamar Neagle missed the goal with a wide-open attempt in the 52nd, while Mike Fucito forced a sprawling save from United goalkeeper Ben Amos.
Rooney added a goal in the 69th minute and another in the 72nd after finding space in the area.
Pat Noonan did his best to get the consolation goal for Seattle, twice coming close in the second half. However, the difference in competition was clear.
O’Brian White and Tanzanian trialist Mrisso Ngassa saw time for the Sounders, who resume competitive play on July 26 Tuesday with a CONCACAF Champions League preliminary game in Panama against San Francisco FC.
United roll on to Chicago for a weekend friendly before taking on the league’s best in the MLS All-Star Game. They close out the tour with a friendly against FC Barcelona at FedEx Field in Landover, Md., July 30.
MNU -- Michael Owen (Patrice Evra, Ashley Young) 15
MNU -- Mame Biram Diouf (unassisted) 49
MNU -- Wayne Rooney (Nani) 51
MNU -- Wayne Rooney (unassisted) 69
MNU -- Ji-Sung Park (Wayne Rooney) 71
MNU -- Wayne Rooney (Gabriel Obertan) 72
MNU -- Gabriel Obertan (unassisted) 88
Manchester United -- Anders Lindegarrd (Ben Amos 46), Rafael Da Silva, Nemanja Vidic (Jonny Evans 56), Rio Ferdinand, Patrice Evra (Fabio Da Silva 56), Nani (Gabriel Obertan 56), Anderson, Ryan Giggs (Ji-Sung Park 46), Ashley Young (Michael Carrick 66), Michael Owen (Mame Biram Diouf 46), Federico Macheda (Wayne Rooney 46).
Substitutes Not Used: Phil Jones, David De Gea, Danny Welbeck, Tom Cleverley.
Seattle Sounders -- Kasey Keller (Terry Boss 46), James Riley (David Estrada 73), Jeff Parke (Michael Tetteh 64), Patrick Ianni (Taylor Graham 64), Leo Gonzalez (Zach Scott 46), Mauro Rosales (Servando Carrasco 46), Osvaldo Alonso (Brad Evans 46) (Mike Seamon 64), Erik Friberg (Pat Noonan 46) (Mrisho Alfani Ngassa 76), Alvaro Fernandez (Lamar Neagle 46) (O'Brian White 76), Roger Levesque (Nate Jaqua 46) (Miguel Montano 76), Fredy Montero (Mike Fucito 46).
Substitutes Not Used: Jhon Kennedy Hurtado, Josh Ford.
Referee: Baldomero Toledo
Referee's Assistants: Fabio Tovar; Ian Anderson
4th Official: Juan Guzman
Time of Game: 1:48
Weather: Partly Cloudy and 70 degrees