BY ADAM SERRANO
The Seattle Sounders have finally shaken their Chivas USA jinx in regular season play.
Goals by Steve Zakuani and Osvaldo Alonso were all the Sounders needed to defeat Chivas USA, 2-1 in front of 36,356 at Qwest Field. The victory was the Sounders' first over Chivas USA in league play. Seattle has now defeated each MLS team during their two-year existence.
Zakuani scored the first of the night inside the opening ten minutes after a thrilling rush around Chivas goalkeeper Zach Thornton for his tenth goal of the year. The winger's goal was the first goal that Chivas USA had ever conceded against the Sounders in league play. Seattle doubled its lead in the 25th minute when Alonso fired a shot past Zach Thornton. The Cuban midfielder was directly responsible for the goal after winning the ball in midfield and setting up a pass combination that led to him scoring the goal.
Seattle dominated throughout the match against a poor Rojiblancos side. Seattle was unlucky not to get their third goal in the 61st minute when a diving Thornton stopped a shot by Fredy Montero. Thornton was the hero again only a minute later making a reaction save on a shot by Zakuani. The ball fell to Nathan Sturgis, who pushed the shot wide of net. Seattle will be without Montero in their final match after the forward picked up his fifth yellow card and will serve a one game suspension.
The Rojiblancos got a consolation goal just a minute before time when Jesus Padilla beat Keller after a scrum in front of goal. Chivas USA finishes their season next week with two matches, first on Wednesday on the road against the San Jose Earthquakes and then closing the season on Saturday at home against the Chicago Fire.
With the victory, it is likely that the next time the Sounders take the field at Qwest Field, they will host the Los Angeles Galaxy, FC Dallas or Real Salt Lake in their first playoff match. The San Jose Earthquakes have a game in hand on Seattle, but need to win their last two games and have the Sounders lose next week at the Houston Dynamo to jump ahead of the Sounders in the standings.
Here are the highlights:
What did you think of Seattle's victory? See the Sounders being a real threat to win MLS Cup? Think Chivas USA needs to consider a coaching change after one season with Martin Vasquez in charge?
Share your thoughts below.