Fredy Montero scores twice as Seattle claims Cascadia Cup
Seattle takes Cup with 2-0-2 record against Vancouver and Portland
Seattle Times staff reporter
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VANCOUVER, B.C. — The Cascadia Cup is coming back to Seattle.
Forward Fredy Montero scored twice in a five-minute span in the second half as Sounders FC came back from an early deficit to beat rival Vancouver 3-1 Saturday at Empire Field.
With the victory, Seattle was awarded the Cascadia Cup, a fan-sponsored competition between the three Pacific Northwest teams, for boasting the best head-to-head results this season against the Whitecaps and the Portland Timbers.
"It was a great feeling being able to hold the Cup up in front of (the fans) and having them be so involved," said Sounders coach Sigi Schmid. "I don't know what the top-of-the-line favorite beverage is here in Vancouver, but I'm sure it'll be filling the Cup tonight."
The Sounders finished 2-0-2 against their rivals to earn the trophy for the first time since 2007, when all three teams played in the United Soccer Leagues.
Vancouver, which plays host to Portland on Oct. 2 in a fruitless final Cascadia Cup game, fell to 0-2-1 in the competition. The Timbers are 1-1-1.
Seattle (15-6-9) also set a franchise record for MLS victories in a season.
In front of a bipartisan crowd of 21,000, Montero spectacularly broke a 1-1 tie Saturday in the 63rd minute. He first faked out defender Michael Boxall with a nifty move in the penalty box and then finished past goalkeeper Joe Cannon with his left foot.
The 24-year-old Colombian made it 3-1 in the 67th minute when his shot from outside the box deflected off a defender and looped over Cannon for Montero's team-leading ninth goal of the season.
"I just want to say thanks to the fans for their support," said Montero, who admitted the second goal was a little lucky. "We look forward to battle for them every single game out there."
Schmid said of Montero, "He's a special player and makes special plays."
The Whitecaps (4-15-10) pressed hard for an equalizer, mainly through midfielders Shea Salinas and Davide Chiumiento, to no avail.
Vancouver was aggressive to start the first half and got its reward with a 22nd-minute goal by Camilo, set up by Chiumiento and forward Eric Hassli. The Whitecaps wouldn't score again, mostly because of six saves by Sounders FC goalkeeper Kasey Keller.
Seattle leveled the game at 1-1 in the 33rd minute when Brad Evans calmly converted a penalty kick. The midfielder is 3 for 3 from the spot this season and the Sounders are 6 for 9 as a team.
The penalty kick was set up when Vancouver defender Jay DeMerit used his hand to block a shot by Seattle's Alvaro Fernandez in the penalty box.
"I just stuck with the way I always go, and I was fortunate that it went in the back of the net," Evans said.
The Sounders completed their fifth comeback of the season through Montero's second-half efforts.
"The rivalry is huge for MLS," said Keller. "This is great for soccer in America, and I'm just so proud that I've been able to be a part of it at this stage of my career."
• Sounders FC next travels to Guatemala for a CONCACAF Champions League game Tuesday at 7 p.m. against Comunicaciones. A victory or tie would clinch Seattle a quarterfinal berth.
• Seattle forward Nate Jaqua started for the first time in an MLS game since June 4 in Chicago, a 14-game streak. Midfielder David Estrada made his first appearance since April 2 as a second-half substitute. Forward Sammy Ochoa made his MLS debut in the second half and nearly had a goal, hitting the post with a header.
• Defender James Riley (concussion) and midfielder Erik Friberg (hip) were not available.
Joshua Mayers: 206-464-3184 or firstname.lastname@example.org
|Seattle||1 2 — 3|
|Vancouver||1 0 — 1|
Seattle — Kasey Keller, Jhon Kennedy Hurtado, Zach Scott, Jeff Parke, Leo Gonzalez, Alvaro Fernandez (David Estrada, 79th), Lamar Neagle, Brad Evans, Osvaldo Alonso, Fredy Montero, Nate Jaqua (Sammy Ochoa, 66th).
Vancouver — Joe Cannon, Jonathan Leathers (Jeb Brovsky, 46th), Jordan Harvey, Jay DeMerit, Michael Boxall, Gershon Koffie, Peter Vagenas, Davide Chiumiento, Camilo, Mustapha Jarju (Shea Salinas, 58th), Eric Hassli (Long Tan, 81st).
|Seattle clinched the Cascadia Cup trophy Saturday with one game to play: The Whitecaps host to the Timbers on Oct. 2.|