Sounders strike quickly, rout Chivas USA 4-2
Obafemi Martins and fill-in Andy Rose each score two goals in first half as Seattle throttles California club missing two of its top players.
Special to The Seattle Times
CARSON, Calif. — Early in Sounders FC’s game Wednesday night, members of the Emerald City Supporters sitting in the northeast corner of the StubHub Center held a sign that would provide prophetic understatement.
That sign — in light green with white stencil lettering reminiscent of Home Depot’s emblem — simply read, “Our House.”
Obafemi Martins and Andy Rose transformed that sentiment into reality by scoring two goals apiece in a 4-2 victory over Chivas USA in front of an announced crowd of 4,021.
That victory, their third in a row, gives the Sounders (16-7-3) a five-point lead over the second-place Los Angeles Galaxy in Major League Soccer’s Western Conference.
“Obviously, it’s a big deal for us,” said midfielder Brad Evans, who tied an MLS record with three assists in one half. “To be able to get nine points in three games at this stage of the season is invaluable, especially with the quick turnaround and the travel.”
The Sounders played four days after defeating the Colorado Rapids, 1-0, at CenturyLink Field.
Both teams missed key players Wednesday night. With Sounders midfielder Marco Pappa playing for Guatemala in the Copa Centroamericana, Lamar Neagle took Pappa’s spot on the left flank. Meanwhile, Rose gave regular starter Gonzalo Pineda a rest by joining Osvaldo Alonso in central midfield.
“Pappa is a different type of player than Neagle,” Sounders coach Sigi Schmid said. “Neagle is more of a player who’s going to get behind the defense. Pappa is a guy who is going to connect, pass and look to get the ball back.”
Chivas USA (6-14-6), however, had to play without two of its most important starters.
Forward Erick Torres, fourth in MLS with 14 goals, joined the Mexican national team for Saturday night’s friendly against Chile. Defender Carlos Bocanegra, a veteran of the 2006 and 2010 World Cups for the United States and Chivas USA’s captain, has not seen the field since suffering a concussion July 20.
The Sounders exploited those absences by besieging Chivas USA early and often to score four goals in 32 minutes in building a 4-0 lead.
Martins began the onslaught by converting a 4-yard shot in the 11th minute. Evans began the scoring sequence with a corner kick from the right side that Chad Marshall headed to Martins.
Then in the 16th minute, Martins scored his 12th goal of the season to assume the team lead in scoring.
Rose scored his first two goals of the season off free kicks from Evans. In the 38th minute, Rose used his left foot to redirect Evans’ 33-yard free kick inside the right-wing post on a 9-yard diagonal shot.
Then in the 42nd minute, Evans’ 35-yard free kick found Rose for a 10-yard header that settled inside the right-wing post on one long bounce.
“I thought he was sharp,” Schmid said. “He turned, collected the ball and looked forward. He was getting a lot of our passes into our forwards.”