Lamar Neagle earns the hat trick in a match that set multiple team records.
Goals were scored and records were broken at a dizzying pace Saturday at CenturyLink Field.
Sounders FC midfielder Lamar Neagle scored the franchise’s second hat trick and Seattle scored four first-half goals, obliterating the Columbus Crew 6-2 with head-spinning entertainment in front of 36,364 fans.
Neagle’s three goals tied the most by a Sounder. Mike Fucito and Mauro Rosales also tallied as Seattle (13-5-9) continued its blazing-hot run.
“With the amount of games we’re playing, to be able to come out and score six goals against the Eastern (Conference) leader is something that the team has to be very proud of,” said coach Sigi Schmid, whose team has gone 4-0-1 in an arduous 15-day stretch.
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Neagle was the driving force of that success Saturday, and while the Federal Way native couldn’t remember his last hat trick, this one is sure to stick.
“It’s great to finally score in front of family,” said the 24-year-old, whose other two MLS goals came on the road. “I think I had like 16 tickets I had to give out.”
Columbus (11-8-7) also produced a memorable goal as Jeff Cunningham became the MLS all-time leading scorer. The veteran forward converted a 59th-minute penalty kick for his 134th career goal, breaking a tie with Jaime Moreno.
The Sounders, who have won 13 of their past 17 games, set their share of records, too.
Neagle’s fourth-minute goal was the fastest in team history. Three first-half goals in a span of 17 minutes was also a new best. Six goals overall are a new franchise mark (the previous high was four).
“I’m very happy for (Neagle),” said Rosales, who also had two assists. “He’s working on it every day and trying to get his chance. Today, three goals, I’m very happy for him, and I hope he can keep up this performance.”
The rout began early when Neagle collected a pass from Fucito, muscled off a challenge from Crew defender Rich Balchan and sneaked a shot under goalkeeper William Hesmer.
Rosales added to the lead with a penalty kick in the 16th minute, his fourth goal in six games. Neagle found the net again five minutes later, hammering in a cross from James Riley at the far post.
Fucito capped the first-half scoring with a 40th-minute goal, his first in MLS this season.
“I knew it was going to come,” the 25-year-old said of the goal. “It was just a matter of time. … There’s going to be more to come.”
Neagle completed his hat trick in the 70th minute with a rocket shot that bounced in off the bottom of the crossbar. Seattle got its last goal in the 74th minute when Crew defender Josh Gardner knocked a Neagle cross into his own net.
A special night could’ve been historic for Neagle, who was the Sounders’ alternate choice to take the team’s PK but deferred to Rosales. Looking back on the potential missed chance at Goal No. 4 wasn’t any bother.
“It wasn’t a question of, ‘How many goals can I get today?’ ” Neagle said. “It was a question of winning the game.”
• Sounders FC’s O’Brian White has undergone a second surgery to repair an arterial blockage in his left leg. The 25-year-old had suffered a setback earlier this month in the final stages of his recovery from a similar procedure April 27. White will remain at Virginia Mason Medical Center for several days.
“It looks more like he’ll be done (for the season) rather than coming back at this stage,” Schmid said. “What’s most (important) for us is they’re able to resolve the issue on a permanent basis and that O’Brian will be able to resume his career.”
• Seattle next hosts FC Dallas in a U.S. Open Cup semifinal at 7 p.m. Tuesday at Starfire Stadium in Tukwila. The Sounders would host the final at CenturyLink Field on Oct. 4 if they win.
• Columbus hasn’t beaten its former coach, Schmid, and Sounders FC in seven games (0-4-3).
• Former Seattle forward Blaise Nkufo scored the franchise’s only other hat trick in a 4-0 road win against the Crew last season.
• Gardner, a former USL Sounder, scored Columbus’ other goal with a powerfully driven free kick in the 73rd minute.
Joshua Mayers: 206-464-3184 or firstname.lastname@example.org
|Columbus||0 2 — 2|
|Seattle||4 2 — 6|
First half — 1, Seattle, Neagle 3 (Fucito), 4th minute. 2, Seattle, Rosales 5 (penalty kick), 16th. 3, Seattle, Neagle 4 (Riley, Rosales), 21st. 4, Seattle, Fucito 1 (Rosales, Montero), 40th. Second half — 5, Columbus, Cunningham 2 (penalty kick), 59th. 6, Seattle, Neagle 5 (Alonso), 70th. 7, Columbus, Gardner 2, 73rd. 8, Seattle, Gardner (own goal), 74th. Goalies — Columbus, William Hesmer; Seattle, Kasey Keller. Shots — Columbus 19, Seattle 13. Shots on goal — Columbus 7, Seattle 7. Saves — Columbus 2, Seattle 5. Fouls — Columbus 12, Seattle 18. Corner kicks — Columbus 4, Seattle 5. Offsides — Columbus 3, Seattle 2. Yellow cards — Burns, Columbus, 65th; Parke, Seattle, 73rd; Scott, Seattle, 82nd. Referee — Baldomero Toledo. Assistant referees — Frank Anderson. Ian Anderson. 4th official — Alejandro Mariscal. A — 36,364.
Columbus — William Hesmer, Sebastian Miranda, Chad Marshall, Rich Balchan, Josh Gardner, Robbie Rogers, Dilly Duka (Jeff Cunningham, 56th), Kevin Burns, Emmanuel Ekpo, Emilio Renteria (Justin Meram, 76th), Andres Mendoza (Tom Heinemann, 56th).
Seattle — Kasey Keller, Jeff Parke (Zach Scott, 75th), James Riley, Tyson Wahl, Jhon Kennedy Hurtado, Mauro Rosales (Alvaro Fernandez, 71st), Lamar Neagle, Osvaldo Alonso, Erik Friberg, Michael Fucito (Nate Jaqua, 78th), Fredy Montero.