After spotting Chivas USA 1-0 and 2-1 leads in the first 18 minutes, the Sounders roared back to snuff out Major League Soccer’s reigning dregs, thumping the Goats 4-2 Saturday in front of 38,713 at CenturyLink Field. Obafemi Martins tallied half the scores and moved past Eddie Johnson in the franchise record books.
Martins notched his 14th goal n the 14th minute and his 15th in the 51st to break the Sounders’ single-season franchise record of 14 set by Johnson in 2012. Martins also collected an assist on Clint Dempsey’s 13th goal, that coming in the 45th minute. Martins twice had great opportunities for a hat track, but the feat eluded him.
Although the Sounders played horrendous first-half defense against the league’s worst team (Chivas had ceded 20 goals in its previous six matches and hasn’t won since July 12), they had more than enough to pick up three points.
The 57 points for Seattle (18-9-3) left it three clear of the LA Galaxy in the race for the Supporters’ Shield. The Galaxy, who have played 29 games to Seattle’s 30, play Sunday.
“I am going to thank my teammates, and I am going to thank myself,” Martins said postgame. “But it’s all about my teammates. We are having fun, and that makes it easier. We are doing our best. We just keep trying to look forward and keep going and win.”
Coming off losses to the New York Red Bulls and FC Dallas by a combined 7-2, but playing against a Chivas USA club with a -31 goal differential, the Sounders quickly found themselves in a hole when Erick Torres, Chivas’s entire offense, caught the Sounders snoozing, scooped up a loose ball and poked it past Stefen Frei for his 15th goal of the year.
Martins left-footed a shot inside the far post in the 14th minute from about 25 yards to tie, giving Martins five career goals against Chivas USA.
Torres was credited with the second Chivas goal in the 18th minute, but that was changed to an own goal, given to Jalil Anibab. But in the 37th minute, Lamar Neagle slotted the ball past Chivas goalkeeper Dan Kennedy, tying the match at 2-2.
Just before halftime, Martins fed Dempsey, running free in the box, and Dempsey left-footed his shot inside the far post for his 13th goal of the season.
Martins’ second goal, in the 51st minute, emerged from a scrum. Martins didn’t get much on it, but after some dazzling footwork his shot deflected off a Chivas player past Kennedy.
Dempsey nearly added another goal in the 60th minute when he knocked a ball off the inside post from 22 yards, and Martins nearly completed the trifecta with two close chances.
For the rest of the match, the Sounders eschewed sending players forward, opting to shut down Chivas USA defensively.
The Sounders improved to 10-2-4 all-time against Chivas and have won the last eight between the clubs . . . Neagle’s was his eighth goa and second in two games . . . The Sounders produced 17 shots, nine on target, to three on target for Chivas . . . The Sounders dominated time of possession, controlling the ball for 64.4 percent of the match.
The Sounders play at Colorado Sunday, Oct. 5 and return to CenturyLink Field Oct. 10 to face the Vancouver Whitecaps.