Quick! If I told you the Seattle Sounders scored two goals, who would you guess scored them? Eddie Johnson? Fredy Montero? You would be right on both counts.
Seattle’s dynamic duo put both goals in the net on Saturday against the Vancouver Whitecaps. After a scoreless first half that saw Whitecaps striker Darren Mattocks dissecting the Sounders back line from the opening whistle, both teams were very even in the statistics.
Vancouver looked like they were settling into a defensive posture. They must have decided that one point on the road against a big rival was worth playing for, and they would have been right. It worked until the 61st minute, anyway.
That’s when Freddy Montero walked onto the field. Montero didn’t wait long, scoring only three minutes later. Mauro Rosales hefted in a free kick from 35 yards out to Jeff Parke. Parke chested it down to Montero, who took a moment to settle the ball before putting it through two defenders and past Vancouver keeper Joe Cannon.
The expected Vancouver rebuttal came in the 80th minute as Dane Richards beat Leo Gonzales down the left side before delivering a cross to Mattocks. Mattocks was able to wrestle the ball away from Parke before turning and scoring. Unfortunately for Mattocks and Vancouver, Mattocks fouled Parke so the goal didn’t count.
It was a pit of the stomach moment for Sounders fans but the foul was blatant and deserved to be called. After that burst, the Whitecaps never again threatened the Seattle goal. The Sounders were able to keep possession while the halftime adjustments in the back line took away Mattocks’ threat.
Eddie Johnson put the game away in the 87th minute, barely tapping a perfectly placed pass from Brad Evans just inside the post. Johnson had missed a wide open shot from almost the exact same spot in the 53rd minute.
The match was feisty and almost ended in a brawl when Vancouver’s Gershon Koffie threw a flying kung fu kick into Sounders player Andy Rose’s chest on a high ball. Koffie didn’t seem too worried about it all since he flipped off a Sounders player while standing behind the referee.
The Sounders took the three points and are 4-1-3 in the last eight MLS games. Seattle moves into a tie with Portland in the Cascadia Cup and to sole possession of third place in the West with 40 points. Seattle’s next match is on the road against Chivas USA on Aug. 25.