The Sounders were missing five starters, but still managed to dominate last-place Chivas USA Wednesday night at the Clink, although the 1-0 final kept matters more tense than expected. The Sounders (13-8-4), running their home unbeaten streak to 11 in a row, moved into a second-place tie in the MLS West with Los Angeles.
The only goal came in the 24th minute when Lamar Neagle controlled a free kick off his chest from Marc Burch, leaped in the air before the ball touched the ground and delivered a right-footed side kick past goalkeeper Dan Kennedy from about seven yards. It was his sixth Neagle’s goal of the season.
The Sounders had numerous pressures in the first half, including an apparent second goal from Neagle that was ruled offsides. The third 1-0 result in a row also kept the Sounders undefeated in their last 11 matches (7-0-4) against Chivas.
The Sounders played without forwards Eddie Johnson and Clint Dempsey (national team), midfielder Brad Evans (calf), Obafemi Martins (ankle), Shalrie Joseph (knee), Steve Zakuani (surgery) and defender Leo Gonzalez (suspension).
Martins came out in warmups and tested the ankle, but was limping, and missed his fourth game in a row. Neagle and David Estrada started up front.
Chivas was missing its best player, Carlos Bocanegra, out because of a heel injury.
Nice to see the club pull out the win while missing Dempsey and Johnson. Wish they could have scored at least one more goal though. Won’t belong before they’re in second by themselves!