Gerso Fernandes scored a 13-minute hat-trick as Sporting Kansas City poured the misery on Seattle Sounders with a 3-0 win.
Seattle weathered the absences fairly capably in the first half and even had a couple of chances to open the scoring themselves just before the halftime whistle.
Seattle coach Brian Schmetzer orchestrated a starting lineup without United States men's national team forward Clint Dempsey (rest), captain Osvaldo Alonso (quadriceps injury) and defender Joevin Jones (suspension).
In the 56th minute, Fernandes had a deflected corner kick fall to his feet and he slotted it inside the near post. After a lackluster opening half in which Sporting KC did not even attempt a shot, Fernandes beat Seattle keeper Stefan Frei three times from close range in the 56th, 58th and 69th minutes. He stayed low to kick away Alvaro Fernandez's breakaway shot in the 45th and on the ensuing corner kick, Melia dove to his left to deny Cristian Roldan's shot from distance.
The Sounders managed to hold SKC off the scoresheet during the first half while outshooting the home side, but Gerso struck for his trio of tallies shortly after second half kickoff to seal the result for Seattle's Western Conference foes, knocking the Rave Green to 2-5-4 on the season. "So when he came here, the thing that I said to him is I said that he's going to find himself in a lot of positions that he didn't find himself in on his old team, which is in front of the goal". "We're a team that I don't think necessarily depends on scoring a ton of goals every game".
Even more impressively, it all came in a 13-minute span.
According to the Kansas City Star, Fernandes said of the improved effort after halftime: "Basically Peter had to scream at us in the locker room". The Sounders have scored one goal in their past six matches against SKC (6-2-4).
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He stepped into traffic to break a scoreless tie.
Each of them were followed with a bat-swing goal celebration that is becoming a recognizable sight inside Children's Mercy Park.
The question surrounding Sporting Kansas City has been, can anyone besides Dom Dwyer score goals?
Due to the proximity of teams and the logistics of scheduling, MNUFC and Sporting KC seem destined to be paired up often in this tournament over the coming years.
There was a bit of payback added to the win Wednesday.
Well, for a half.
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