Sounders FC comes away from Southern California with 1-1 tie
Seattle is winless in its last four games, but earns a point when David Estrada scores the tying goal in the 61st minute.
Seattle Times staff reporter
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CARSON, Calif. — The Sounders had to weigh the good with the bad after Saturday's 1-1 road tie against Chivas USA.
The good? Seattle is on a 7-0-3 run in games after a loss and also 7-0-3 in its last 10 road games, the second-longest road unbeaten streak in MLS history.
The bad? Seattle's winless streak ran to four games, its longest since going 0-2-2 to start the 2011 season.
Coach Sigi Schmid favored more of the good, and was particularly pleased with how his team battled after allowing a goal. While the weary Sounders (7-3-3) have struggled recently with fatigue and form during a busy stretch, they have fought back from three deficits to earn two ties in the past three games.
"I think it's the attitude of the team," said Schmid of comeback ability. "The team has a great desire to get results. You sort of pull yourself up by the bootstraps, you concentrate a little better a little more and go after it."
Chivas USA (4-6-3) took the lead in front of 12,280 at The Home Depot Center when forward Juan Agudelo, a recent trade acquisition, headed in a cross from defender James Riley, a former Sounder, in the 57th minute. Seattle goalkeeper Bryan Meredith was one of a few who lost out in the air to Agudelo, who trained recently with the U.S. men's national team.
"When you come out, you're expected to win the ball, for sure," said Meredith of his own efforts to win the cross. "He just got in front of me and got in front of his defender and put it home — there's not really much else to say. ... I thought I had it all the way."
It was the fourth time in as many games Seattle has conceded the first goal and it came a minute after Sounders forward Fredy Montero curled a shot just wide of the post.
Seattle quickly responded in the 61st minute when Alex Caskey, just moments after subbing into the game, sent a cross into the penalty box toward David Estrada, where the forward slotted home his team-leading fifth goal of the season.
"I was just there at the right time," said Estrada. "Some people say it's luck, but I'm always looking to get myself in the right spots."
Caskey, a first-year midfielder, is the team's co-leader in assists with three.
Seattle nearly found a go-ahead goal in the 82nd minute, but rookie midfielder Andy Rose, making his fourth start, headed a corner kick from Mauro Rosales just over the net. Rose had another chance in the 90th minute, but his driven shot was cleared in front of the goal by defender Danny Califf.
On the other end, the Sounders' defense blocked a shot by Chivas midfielder Blair Gavin and defended two corner kicks in a frantic last few moments before the final whistle. Seattle is 2-0-3 on the road this season.
Seattle showed late life in the first half and very nearly took the lead moments before the halftime whistle. The same could be said in the second half before the final whistle.
"At least we got the tie in a tough game on the road," said Caskey.
• Sounders FC next hosts the Atlanta Silverbacks of the NASL in a U.S. Open Cup third-round game at 7 p.m. Wednesday at Starfire Stadium in Tukwila. Seattle's next MLS game is June 16 in Montreal.
• The Sounders started their 13th different lineup in as many games. Those unavailable included midfielder Osvaldo Alonso (suspension), goalkeeper Michael Gspurning (hip), and defenders Patrick Ianni (back), Adam Johansson (hamstring) and Leo Gonzalez (quad).
|Seattle||0 1 — 1|
|Chivas USA||0 1 — 1|
Seattle — Brian Meredith, Zach Scott, Jhon Kennedy Hurtado, Jeff Parke, Marc Burch, Andy Rose, Mauro Rosales, Brad Evans, Alvaro Fernandez (Alex Caskey, 61st), Fredy Montero (Eddie Johnson, 72nd), David Estrada (Cordell Cato, 80th).
Chivas USA — Dan Kennedy, Danny Califf, Ante Jazic, John Valencia (Rauwshan McKenzie, 65th), James Riley, Laurent Courtois, Ryan Smith (Cesar Romero, 89th), Peter Vagenas, Jose Correa (Blair Gavin, 76th), Juan Agudelo, Alejandro Moreno.