On Saturday night Fredy Montero made sure that his 100th regular season MLS start was a memorable one by scoring his first hat-trick. It was a night where the Sounders showed that when they are at their best, they can be one of the most clinical shooting teams in the MLS. It was a night where 5 out of the 7 shots on goals where scores. The scoring started from an unlikely source with Brad Evans in the 10th minute, collecting a well-placed through ball from Montero down the left side, and slotting it past Chivas keeper Dan Kennedy.
The early score didn’t shake Chivas. The trio of youngsters Juan Agudelo, Tristen Bowen, and Miller Bolanos found themselves repeatedly in dangerous positions but were unable to find the back of the net. This allowed Seattle to settle into the game and Montero made Chivas pay for missing their earlier chances by scoring in the 27th and 34th minute. The second being the most impressive of all, drawing the praise of manager Sigi Schmid; “I think the one goal that he made where he(Montero) played the ball to Mauro, he got the ball back and just chipped it over Kennedy as he was coming out, I thought that was a quality goal, a quality finish. He’s very sharp right now and very confident and obviously that’s a good thing for our team.”
Despite Montero’s finishing Chivas were able to get to one goal down after a penalty strike from Agudelo and a blistering 20 yard shot from Miller Bolanos in the 64th minute. Yet Seattle’s deadly efficiency proved too much for Chivas. Montero completed his hat-trick in the 67th minute followed by goals from Sammy Ochoa and an own goal from Ante Jazic to complete the scoring for the night.
Offensively the night was a success for the Seattle Sounders. They were able to start four of their offensive workhorses, getting Montero, Eddie Johnson, Mauro Rosales, and Christian Tiffert on the field at the same time. They also were able to interject Steve Zakauni and newly acquired Mario Martinez into the match. Though only brief, Martinez showed him quality on the ball and it was evident that his teammates already trust in that quality. The night wasn’t a total success for the Sounders as the speed of Chivas tested their backline. Out of the 6 MLS matches played Saturday night, Seattle allowed the most attempts on goal with 21. Seattle cannot allow that to happen on a regular basis or they will have another quick exit from the playoffs. It will be interesting to see if they have to sacrifice some of their defensive strength now that they are starting all of their newly acquired offensive weapons. They may have to sacrifice the bombing runs of right back Adam Johanssonn, while effective; it left Seattle’s back line and specifically the slower Jeff Parke vulnerable. Saturday was a night for the coaching staff of the Sounders to celebrate to realization of their offensive vision, but also a night where they may realize the need for balance.