Sounders FC moved into sole possession of third place in MLS’s Western Conference by shutting down Vancouver, which didn’t get a shot on goal.
Fredy Montero came off the bench in the second half and almost immediately scored a goal, and Eddie Johnson added an insurance tally 20 minutes later as the Sounders defeated the Vancouver Whitecaps 2-0 in front of 55,718 at CenturyLink Field Saturday afternoon. The Sounders (11-6-7) collected three points with the Cascadia Cup victory and moved into sole possession of third place in the Western Conference.
The Whitecaps, who were tied for third with Seattle entering the match, dropped to fifth place.
The Sounders, 7-0-1 in their past eight home matches, did not allow Vancouver a shot on goal.
“We did well in the defense again,” said Sounders goalkeeper Michael Gspurning. “We had a tough start today and didn’t play well for the first 20 or 30 minutes. But finally we got the game under control. We did more in the second half. We earned three very important points today.”
The teams played to a 2-2 draw earlier in the season at B.C. Place and played to a 0-0 draw over the first 45 minutes. That nearly changed in the 49th minute when, with Seattle dominating the run of play, Osvaldo Alonso nearly scored two goals in a two-minute span. Johnson also just missed in the 53nd minute.
Montero, who did not start, came on in the 61st minute and changed the match in the 64th when he notched his sixth goal in seven Cascadia Cup contests. Montero floated into the box and connected on a right-footed dribbler past Whitecaps goaltender Joe Cannon. Assists went to Jeff Parke and Mauro Rosales.
Vancouver had a goal taken away in the 81st minute due to a tripping foul in the box.
In the 86th minute, defender Brad Evans placed an excellent ball in front of the net and Johnson easily knocked in his team-leading 11th goal of the season to effectively clinch the match.
Johnson has scored eight goals in his last 10 league outings, and scored eight of the team’s last 17 in MLS play.
Sounders will head out on the road for five of seven games across all competitions. Half the remaining 14 will be away, including the longest trips of the year to Trinidad and Honduras for CONCACAF Champions League play. Sounders travel to Los Angeles for their next league match against Chivas USA at 7:30 p.m. Aug. 25.
NOTES: The Sounders, 2-1-1 all-time in MLS play against Vancouver, have scored at least two goals in each Cascadia Cup match . . . Jhon Kennedy Hurtado received his first yellow card of the season in the 58th minute. He had a debatable red card earlier in the season . . . . The Sounders have attracted three crowds in excess of 50,000 in the past month. In addition to the 55,718 that watched yesterday, the Clink held 53,309 for the Chelsea friendly July 18 and 60,908 for the LA Galaxy match Aug. 5 . . . Sounders are now 6-2-5 when tied at the half and 11-0-1 when scoring first.
Seattle Sounders FC 2012 Schedule / Results
(10-6-7, 37 points, MLS; 2-1 CCL; 4-1 U.S. Open Cup)
|4/7||^at DC United||4:30||KING||D||0-0||2-1-1|
|5/9||^at FC Dallas||5:30||KONG||W||2-0||7-1-1|
|6/26||&at San Jose||7:30||Webcast||W||1-0||3-0-0|
|6/30||^at New England||4:30||KONG||D||2-2||7-5-5|
|7/15||^at New York||1:00||ESPN||D||2-2||8-5-7|
|8/5||^vs. LA Galaxy||6:00||ESPN2||W||4-0||10-5-7|
|8/8||&at Sport KC||6:00||GolTV||L||2-1||4-1|
|8/11||^at San Jose||7:30||KONG||L||2-1||10-6-7|
|9/2||^at FC Dallas||4:00||KING||—||—||—|
|10/21||^vs. FC Dallas||6:00||ESPN||—||—||—|
|10/28||^at LA Galaxy||6:00||ESPN||—||—||—|
*=CONCACAF; ^=Major League Soccer; #=International friendly; &=U.S. Open Cup