Johnson had two goals — his 12th and 13th of the season — in a 2-1 comeback win over Chivas USA.
Milestone games aren’t always memorable.
Saturday’s was for Eddie Johnson.
Playing in his 150th MLS game, the Sounders FC forward scored twice, including a game-winner in the 89th minute, to lead Seattle to a 2-1 comeback win against a defensive-minded Chivas USA in front of 38,934 at CenturyLink Field.
Johnson’s goals were his 12th and 13th of the year, which set a new franchise record for goals in a season.
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“I couldn’t ask for a better team to share that with,” Johnson said. “They’re the reason why I’m getting my goals. All the hard work we put in week-in and week-out, it’s paying off. It’s a humbling moment.”
The Sounders’ fourth straight win at home vaulted them into sole possession of second place in the Western Conference with seven games left in the regular season. It also marked the first win for Seattle this year after allowing the game’s first goal; the Sounders (13-6-8) had come into the weekend as the only MLS team without one.
“Coming from behind is something that we haven’t done this year and (it was good) to show our character being able to do that,” said coach Sigi Schmid, who called the team’s previous 0-6-4 record when allowing the first goal a fluke.
“We left it a little late, but that’s important, too, because the team has to know that no matter how long it goes, we’re always in it to win it.”
Seattle’s winner was set up when forward Fredy Montero, who held the previous record for goals in a season at 12, collected a pass and beat the Chivas USA defense along the left flank. From a tight angle, he whipped in a pinpoint left-footed cross to Johnson, whose header powered through the glove of goalkeeper Dan Kennedy and into the net.
“It was good because Eddie was right at the right place,” Montero said.
Johnson passed off a lot of credit to the pass. Schmid called Montero’s cross “tremendous.”
Chivas USA (7-12-7) had opened the scoring in the eighth minute when midfielder Nick LaBrocca got free in the Seattle penalty box, collected a pass from Shalrie Joseph and calmly finished a left-footed shot past goalkeeper Michael Gspurning.
The goal snapped Seattle’s home shutout streak at 274 minutes and Gspurning’s personal home shutout streak at 389.
The Sounders answered in the 28th minute when Johnson leapt high to head in a free kick from Christian Tiffert on the left side.
Johnson has a league-leading nine goals off headers this year. His forward partner, Montero, was gracious in seeing his own team record for goals in a season go to a teammate.
“In the past, I was the guy who had to score goals, but we didn’t make the final,” Montero said. “Hopefully this year it’s going to take us together to get the Seattle Sounders to the final.”
• Sounders FC next travels to rival Portland for a Cascadia Cup game Sept. 15, the league’s first game televised on NBC. Seattle hosts Chivas USA in a reserve game at 11 a.m. Sunday, though it is unclear if high-profile trialist Eidur Gudjohnsen will play.
• Both teams were without a pair of players serving on international duty. For Seattle, defender Adam Johansson and midfielder Mario Martinez are with Sweden and Honduras, respectively. Chivas USA was without midfielder Oswaldo Minda (Ecuador) and defender Ante Jazic (Canada).
• Seattle midfielder Mauro Rosales was unable to play Saturday due to a calf injury. Tiffert was forced to leave in the second half with an ankle injury that’s bothered him for a couple weeks. He will undergo an MRI.
• The Sounders fielded their 26th different lineup in 27 games. Midfielder Steve Zakuani made his first start at home since his devastating leg injury on April 9, 2011. He played 74 minutes and drew the free kick that set up Seattle’s first goal.
Joshua Mayers: 206-464-3184 or email@example.com.
On Twitter @joshuamayers
|Chivas USA||1 0 — 1|
|Seattle||1 1 — 2|
First half — 1, Chivas USA, LaBrocca 2 (Joseph, Bolanos), 8th minute. 2, Seattle, Johnson 12 (Tiffert), 28th. Second half — 3, Seattle, Johnson 13 (Montero), 89th. Goalies — Chivas USA, Dan Kennedy; Seattle, Michael Gspurning. Shots — Chivas USA 7, Seattle 13. Shots on goal — Chivas USA 4, Seattle 5. Saves — Chivas USA 3, Seattle 3. Fouls — Chivas USA 14, Seattle 7. Corner kicks — Chivas USA 2, Seattle 8. Offsides — Chivas USA 0, Seattle 2. Yellow cards — Joseph, Chivas USA, 66th; Townsend, Chivas USA, 77th. Referee — Kevin Stott. Assistant referees — Mike Rottersman. Jeremy Hanson. 4th official — Kevin Terry. A — 38,934 (32,400).
Chivas USA — Dan Kennedy, Rauwshan McKenzie (Jose Correa, 90th), Danny Califf (Tristan Bowen, 63rd), James Riley, Nick LaBrocca, Shalrie Joseph, Jorge Villafana, Ben Zemanski, Miller Bolanos, Juan Agudelo (Laurent Courtois, 67th), Casey Townsend.
Seattle — Michael Gspurning, Patrick Ianni, Zach Scott, Jhon Kennedy Hurtado, Leo Gonzalez, Osvaldo Alonso, Christian Tiffert (Alex Caskey, 61st), Brad Evans (Cordell Cato, 84th), Steve Zakuani (Andy Rose, 75th), Eddie Johnson, Fredy Montero.