With second-leading scorer Obafemi Martins sidelined with a bruised shin until at least next week, Chad Barrett took over Martins’ role and notched his first two goals of the season as the Sounders overwhelmed the Vancouver Whitecaps 2-0 Saturday night. The Sounders (6-3-1) recorded their first victory over Vancouver since 2013 and their first (1-2-3) at B.C. Place.
Barrett split Vancouver’s center backs for goals in the fifth and 38th minutes on assists from Clint Dempsey and Marco Pappa. For the rest of the match, the Sounders spread the field and denied Vancouver possession.
Completing their third consecutive road match, the Sounders collected six points out of a possible nine on the trip, increasing the season total to 19. They trail the Whitecaps by a single point in the Western Conference standings with two games in hand.
“It’s always good to get points away from home and now we can look forward to three at home,” said Dempsey, who has tallied either a goal or an assist in 10 consecutive matches and has seven goals and five assists this season. “Once again, my teammates put me in a good position. After that, we just kept the ball away from them.”
The Sounders, coming off a 3-2 loss at Columbus last week, have won both of their Cascadia Cup matches. They defeated the Portland Timbers 1-0 April 26, and evened their all-time MLS ledger with the Whitecaps (6-4-2, 20 points) at 4-4-4.
Dempsey played a ball over the top of Vancouver’s defense in the fifth minute and Barrett slid it into the net past past goalie David Ousted with the outside of his foot. For the second goal, Pappa played a ball over the top and Barrett half-volleyed past Ousted at the far post.
“Coaches told me I needed to step up,” said Barrett, making his second start. “I was just trying to do what Obafemi does — score goals. I tried to confuse the two center backs and I got two great through balls from Dempsey and Pappa. We pride ourselves on how we play on the road. We played really good soccer today. To take six points out of nine (on the road trip), that’s great.”
Vancouver took 16 shots, but only eight were on target and three were blocked. The Sounders, who scored on their first two shots, finished with seven. More important, Seattle controlled the clock, keeping possession for 56 percent of the match to Vancouver’s 44.
Seattle goalkeeper Stefan Frei collected five saves, increasing his season total to 41. The clean sheet was his fifth. Frei made a fingertip save in the seventh minute on a Pedro Morales shot, denying Vancouver its best scoring chance of the match.
Martins, who has six goals and two assists, could return to practice next week, but that remains uncertain . . . Darwin Jones, 23-year-old Homegrown Player from the University of Washington, made his MLS debut in the 85th minute. Jones had a scoring opportunity in the 89th minute, but couldn’t get it past Ousted.
The Sounders return to CenturyLink Field at 7 p.m. Saturday to face Sporting Kansas City (JoeTV).