Montero's hat trick leads Sounders in rout of Chivas
Fredy Montero scored three goals for the first time in an MLS game, all on Mauro Rosales assists, in a 6-2 victory in California.
Special to The Seattle Times
Latest from the Sounders FC blog
Marco Pappa wins Univision MLS player of the year award NEW - 12/19, 05:00 PM
CARSON, Calif. — As Saturday night's game between the Sounders and Chivas USA wore on, a group of Sounders fans at the northwest corner of the Home Depot Center chanted a paraphrased refrain from a 1980s rock song.
"Our house," they sang. "In the middle of L.A. Our house!"
Fredy Montero and Mauro Rosales made sure, at least for one night, that the chant was geographically correct.
Montero scored three goals, all on assists from Rosales, in the Sounders' 6-2 rout of Chivas USA in front of 11,973.
Brad Evans and Sammy Ochoa also scored as the Sounders (12-6-7) moved into a tie with Real Salt Lake for second place in the Western Conference.
Rosales' three assists allowed him to match the season club record he set last year with 13, and made him the league's leader in assists — at least for now.
Landon Donovan, Graham Zusi and Dwayne De Rosario shared first place with 11 assists entering Saturday night. Donovan's Los Angeles Galaxy and Zusi's Sporting Kansas City play Sunday.
"The team is strong when he has the ball," Montero said of Rosales. "He's very intelligent and very experienced. If you make a good move, he'll put the ball wherever you want it."
Even with Rosales and Montero, Sounders coach Sigi Schmid sensed a potential trap.
"We knew it was going to be a strange game because of where they are in the standings," Schmid said of Chivas, which is 7th place in the West. "We knew they were going to have to take some risks and go forward.
"One of the things we talked about was that, in their desire to go forward, it's going to provide us with opportunities, which it did."
The Sounders took early command by scoring three goals in the first 34 minutes. Montero's through ball in the 10th minute found an unmarked Evans, who scored on a diagonal 13-yard shot.
In the 27th minute, Rosales found Montero cutting into the penalty area, and Rosales sent a ball that Montero converted with a 10-yard diagonal shot.
Seven minutes later, Montero's 13-yard chip off another Rosales pass gave the Sounders a 3-0 lead.
Chivas USA (7-10-6) narrowed its deficit to 3-2 on Juan Agudelo's penalty kick in the 38th minute and Miller Bolanos' low 23-yard line drive in the 64th minute.
"I don't think it was the best game individually for some of our players in the back in terms of winning duels, headers and loose balls," said Schmid.
But in the 67th minute, Montero and Rosales again combined to frustrate the hosts.
Rosales passed a ball to Montero in the penalty area and Montero beat defender John Valencia before slotting the ball to the far left post from 8 yards out.
Montero's first MLS hat trick gives him 11 goals this season, tying teammate Eddie Johnson and putting him one shy of his season team record. Six of Montero's goals have come in the past four games.
Chivas USA nearly drew within one goal in the 75th minute when Jose Correa struck a soft 4-yard shot that hit the right post, then tried to convert the rebound. The ball deflected underneath goalkeeper Michael Gspurning, who barely kept it from crossing the goal line.
Agudelo swooped forward to poke the ball into the net, but fouled Gspurning before reaching the ball, nullifying the goal.
Ochoa converted a glancing header from 12 yards out in the 79th minute, and Chivas USA defender Ante Jazic headed the ball into his own net for an own goal in stoppage time.
Mario Martinez, who played for Honduras in the 2012 Olympics, made his first-team debut by replacing Rosales in the 78th minute. Steve Zakuani saw his first MLS action since July 7, subbing on in the 85th minute.
|Seattle||3 3 — 6|
|Chivas USA||1 1 — 2|
Seattle — Michael Gspurning, Jeff Parke, Adam Johansson, Jhon Kennedy Hurtado, Leo Gonzalez, Mauro Rosales (Mario Martinez, 78th), Osvaldo Alonso, Christian Tiffert (Steve Zakuani, 84th), Brad Evans, Eddie Johnson (Sammy Ochoa, 73rd), Fredy Montero.
Chivas USA — Dan Kennedy, James Riley, Bobby Burling, John Valencia, Ante Jazic, Miller Bolanos, Nick LaBrocca, Shalrie Joseph, Casey Townsend (Juan Pablo Angel, 86th), Tristan Bowen (Jose Correa, 69th), Juan Agudelo.