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Originally published September 13, 2013 at 9:30 PM | Page modified September 14, 2013 at 1:22 AM

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Sounders win 2-0, move into first place in West

Seattle’s winning streak reaches five games, and the Sounders now have an MLS-best 49 points. Seattle has never been in first place this late in the season.

Seattle Times staff reporter

SEPT. 21

Sounders FC @ L.A. Galaxy, 7:30 p.m., NBC Sports

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It all seemed worthy of being deemed best in MLS.

The home crowd of 55,107, another sensational turnout at CenturyLink Field.

The dazzling performance in Sounders FC’s 2-0 win against Western Conference power Real Salt Lake.

The winning streak of five games, longest in franchise history and best in the league this season.

Add it all up Friday and Seattle had indeed earned that title — at least for the weekend — after improving to 15-8-4, good for an MLS-most 49 points. The Sounders have never been in first place this late into the season.

“Now we have to make sure we stay there and enjoy the view a little bit,” said coach Sigi Schmid.

As the final seconds counted down in the win, the home fans chanted: “Who’s in first place?”

Rhetorically, of course.

The rest was quite literal as the Sounders improved to 6-0, with a 14-1 goal differential when playing MLS games in front of home crowds bigger than 55,000.

“This is the best feeling that we can have,” said midfielder Mauro Rosales, “and also seeing everybody happy leaving the stadium.”

RSL (14-9-6) had won the first two games in the season series.

The Sounders raced to an early 1-0 lead when Obafemi Martins slammed home a third-minute cross from midfielder Andy Rose after a sharp series of passes along the left flank, starting with midfielder Marc Burch.

The goal was the second-fastest in team history for an MLS game — Eddie Johnson scored in the second minute last year against Colorado — and also marked Martins’ eighth goal in just 17 games this season.

Martins had missed four games recently with an ankle sprain, but he showed he was back to full strength with his signature back flip goal celebration.

Seattle doubled the lead in the 38th minute, when Lamar Neagle finished a one-time shot in the penalty box after a sensational run down the right side from DeAndre Yedlin.

“Right from the start, we knew we wanted to come out hot, and we did,” said Neagle, who has scored in three straight games.

In celebration, Neagle and Yedlin — local products from Federal Way and Seattle, respectively — sat on the digital ad board behind the goal and acted like they were fishing.

Yedlin fell, however, during the act.

“Little kid man, I have to take him on some fishing trips or something like that,” Neagle said with a laugh.

Joking aside, the Sounders’ recent run of eight wins in nine games hadn’t been taken all too seriously around the league. Seattle was ranked as low as No. 6 in some power rankings despite the hot streak.

Leapfrogging RSL, which came into Friday with the best record, will go a long way in those efforts.

Said Schmid: “Before the game we talked about, ‘We believe. We believe in ourselves. We believe today is our day to (make) believers out of the doubters.’ That was our mission going out on the field.”

Notes

• About 90 minutes before the league’s roster freeze Friday, Sounders FC traded Servando Carrasco and a second-round draft pick to Houston for midfielder Adam Moffat, a seven-year veteran. Moffat played for Seattle coach Sigi Schmid with the 2008 Columbus Crew, which won the MLS Cup. He is expected to join the team Monday.

• The Sounders’ next game is at two-time champion Los Angeles on Sept. 21. Seattle hosts RSL in a reserve game Saturday at Starfire Stadium in Tukwila.

• Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson got a huge cheer in the 79th minute when he was shown on the big screen wearing a No. 3 rave green jersey.

• Seattle improved its unbeaten streak to 38-0-8 when scoring first, the longest active run in MLS and the second-longest in league history.

• The Sounders brought Johnson and Clint Dempsey off the bench after they played extensive minutes against both Costa Rica and Mexico.

• Goalkeeper Michael Gspurning earned his 10th shutout of the season, tied for the league lead.

MLS West Standings
TeamWLTPts
Seattle158449
Salt Lake149648
Los Angeles1310443
Colorado118942
Portland1051242
FC Dallas1071040
Vancouver1010737
San Jose1011737
Chivas USA615725
MLS West Standings
TeamWLTPts
Seattle158449
Salt Lake149648
Los Angeles1310443
Colorado118942
Portland1051242
FC Dallas1071040
Vancouver1010737
San Jose1011737
Chivas USA615725
MLS West Standings
TeamWLTPts
Seattle158449
Salt Lake149648
Los Angeles1310443
Colorado118942
Portland1051242
FC Dallas1071040
Vancouver1010737
San Jose1011737
Chivas USA615725

Joshua Mayers: 206-464-3184 or jmayers@seattletimes.com.

On Twitter @joshuamayers

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