Sounders' 'prolific' scoring duo getting help from midfield
Sounders FC's goal-scoring this MLS season has largely been a two-man show. Forwards Fredy Montero and Eddie Johnson are the team's co-leaders...
Seattle Times staff reporter
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TUKWILA — Sounders FC's goal-scoring this MLS season has largely been a two-man show.
Forwards Fredy Montero and Eddie Johnson are the team's co-leaders with 11 goals apiece, and each seem primed to break Seattle's record of 12 in a season, which Montero set in 2009 and matched in 2011.
The third-leading scorer, David Estrada, has five goals but hasn't played since May due to a broken foot, and heading into Saturday's 1 p.m. home game against Chivas USA, no other Sounder has scored more than twice in the regular season.
The Johnson-Montero duo, which coach Sigi Schmid described as "prolific," has recently started to get help, however.
In the past eight games, Seattle has had seven goals from six different midfielders to help fuel a 5-1-2 run in MLS play. The entire position group had just two goals in the team's first 18 league games.
"That just makes our offense more dangerous," Schmid said.
The spike in production has given the Sounders a 1.5 goals-per-game average, nearing last year's pace of 1.65 — the highest in MLS in 2011. Seattle hasn't been shut out in a league game since July 4.
Never was the effectiveness displayed stronger than in the last meeting with Chivas USA, a 6-2 road win for the Sounders that saw a scoring outburst that matched a franchise record.
With an increasing amount of goal-scoring threats, Montero said Seattle's opponents now have to "pay attention to the whole team. We need that for the next games coming up."
There could be a new addition to the arsenal in the coming days if the Sounders are able to sign Eidur Gudjohnsen, a former Chelsea FC star who joined the team this week for a tryout.
But did Seattle's star forwards view the arrival of another big name as a threat?
"He's a great player," Montero said of Gudjohnsen. "I'll try to learn as much as possible from him. (He's won) many trophies and he's been playing for the top teams around the world. It is like an honor to be with him, and hopefully he can stay here."
Johnson trained with Gudjohnsen for a couple months last year while both were with Fulham of the English Premier League.
"He's a great professional, a top player, and he can only bring experience into the team," Johnson said.
Added Schmid: "We're looking to win a championship this year. If we can make our team a little bit stronger, we're going to try and make our team a little bit stronger. We never leave any stones unturned. I think (Montero and Johnson) know that.... Having quality players on your team is never a detriment."
• Schmid indicated Friday that midfielder Osvaldo Alonso (head) should be good to go Saturday, but that midfielder Mauro Rosales (quad) will be a game-time decision.
• Midfielder Mario Martinez played as a substitute in Honduras' 3-0 win against Cuba in a FIFA World Cup qualifier Friday. Defender Adam Johansson played as a substitute Thursday for Sweden in an exhibition win against China. Both will play World Cup qualifiers again Tuesday before rejoining the Sounders.
• Gudjohnsen is expected to be in attendance Saturday and participate in Sunday's MLS Reserve League game against Chivas USA. Kickoff at Starfire Stadium is set for 11 a.m.