CARSON, Calif. — Fredy Montero scored three goals, all on assists from Mauro Rosales, as the Sounders erupted for their biggest offensive explosion of the season Saturday night.
Montero’s hat trick led the Sounders to a 6-2 victory over Chivas USA in front of 11,973 at the Home Depot Center.
Brad Evans and Sammy Ochoa also scored and the Sounders (12-6-7) tallied another on an own goal in a win that moved them into a tie with Real Salt Lake for second place in the Western Conference.
Rosales’ three assists allowed him to tie the season club record he set last year with 13 and made him the league’s leader in assists — at least for now. Landon Donovan, Graham Zusi and Dwayne De Rosario shared first place with 11 assists before Saturday night’s schedule. Donovan’s Los Angeles Galaxy and Zusi’s Sporting Kansas City play today.
The Sounders took early command by scoring three goals in the first 34 minutes. Montero’s through ball in the 10th minute found an unmarked Evans, who scored on a diagonal 13-yard shot that beat Chivas goalkeeper Dan Kennedy.
In the 27th minute, Rosales found Montero cutting into the penalty area, sending him a ball that Montero converted with a 10-yard diagonal shot.
Seven minutes later, Montero’s 13-yard chip off another Rosales pass gave the Sounders a 3-0 lead.
Chivas (7-10-6) narrowed its deficit to 3-2 after Juan Agudelo’s penalty kick in the 38th minute and Miller Bolanos’ low 23-yard blast in the 64th minute.
But three minutes later, Montero and Rosales again combined to frustrate the hosts.
Rosales passed a ball into space that Montero retrieved in the penalty area. Montero beat defender John Valencia before slotting a shot inside the left post from eight yards out.
Montero’s first MLS hat trick gave him 11 goals this season, tying teammate Eddie Johnson and moving to one shy of his team record for a season. Six of Montero’s goals have come in the past four games.
Ochoa added to the lead with a glancing 12-yard header in the 79th minute, and Chivas USA defender Ante Jazic headed the ball into his own net for an own goal in stoppage time.
Mario Martinez, who played for Honduras in the 2012 Olympics, made his debut by replacing Rosales in the 78th minute and Steve Zakuani saw his first action with the first team since July 7 when he subbed on in the 84th minute.