12/21/2014

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Sports

Neagle has winner in Sounders' 2-1 win over Chivas

SEATTLE (AP) - If Lamar Neagle never quite felt at home last year in Montreal, that's no longer a problem now that he's back in Seattle.

Neagle scored in the 57th minute and the Sounders rallied for a 2-1 victory over Chivas USA on Sunday night.

Obafemi Martins started the winning play when he sprinted down the right side to catch up with the ball just inside the penalty area. He sent it across to Mauro Rosales on the penalty spot, and Rosales, as he was falling down, tapped it to his left to Neagle.

From 13 yards in front, Neagle, who grew up in Federal Way, about 30 minutes south of Seattle, drilled it into the back left corner past goalkeeper Dan Kennedy for his fifth goal of the season.

"It was a good build-up by everybody - Oba taking it down the line, getting a cross to Mauro, and Mauro barely getting a touch on it perfect to me," Neagle said. "I just put it back where it came from."

Neagle played for Seattle in 2009 and 2011 before being sent to the Montreal Impact prior to last season in the trade that brought U.S. national teamer Eddie Johnson to the Sounders. Seattle reacquired Neagle this past winter.

"I think his year in Montreal ended up being a little bit of a lost year," Sounders coach Sigi Schmid said. "When he first came back here, he seemed to be a little off his touch. But I think slowly and gradually, his confidence has grown. He has given us what we expected - that's the reason we made the trade (in January) to bring him back."

Brad Evans also scored for the Sounders (8-7-4), who are unbeaten in their last eight games at home (4-0-4) to tie a franchise record. Seattle's only home loss was 1-0 to Montreal in the season opener.

Erick Torres tallied late in the 16th minute for Chivas (4-12-5), which was playing for the first time since it snapped a 14-game winless streak on July 17.

It was the first time since Sept. 8, 2012, - also a 2-1 victory against Chivas - that the Sounders came back to win after allowing the first goal of the game. They had been 0-9-1 when the opponent scored first.

"It was three points. Whether the scoreline was 2-1 or 3-1 or 1-0 doesn't matter as long as it was three points," Schmid said after the Sounders halted a three-game winless streak. "I was pleased that we played better soccer today. That was the emphasis before the game - let's not worry about the 'W'. The 'W' will take care of itself. Let's be immersed in the game, let's be focused, let's have our concentration level. I thought we had that for the majority of the game."

Chivas took a 1-0 lead when Carlos Alvarez got past two Seattle defenders and tapped the ball to his left. Torres ran onto it, and from 14 yards out fired it across the penalty area and past Sounders goalkeeper Andrew Weber into the back right corner.

That was the second goal in two games for Torres, who scored in his MLS debut on July 17 to beat Toronto 1-0.

"There were two parts to the game," Chivas USA coach Jose Luis Real said. "In the first half, Chivas couldn't have gotten a better result, in my opinion. In the second half, however, we played differently. During the second half, we lost a lot of the balls and the possession of the ball. That was the main defect that we had."

Rosales and Martins factored into Evans' tying goal. Controlling the ball along the right sideline, Rosales crossed it to Martins. He sent a through ball toward the top of the box and Evans ran onto it, sending it to the back left corner for his second of the year.

Kennedy played his 100th MLS game, all with Chivas USA.
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