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  • August 27, 2011
  • • 4:07 PM
  • • CenturyLink Field, Seattle, Washington
  • Referee: B. Toledo
  • • Attendance: 36364

Seattle Sounders FC 6-2 Columbus Crew: Sounders obliterate Crew on the back of Neagle hat-trick

Seattle Sounders FC 6-2 Columbus Crew: Sounders obliterate Crew on the back of Neagle hat-trick

Steve Dykes

Lamar Neagle bagged a hat-trick as Seattle routed Columbus for a record win, though the Crew's Jeff Cunningham set a record of his own

Seattle Sounders FC scored the most goals in franchise history on Saturday, with the Columbus Crew's misery against the Sounders continuing, finding themselves on the wrong end of a 6-2 scoreline. Local boy Lamar Neagle grabbed a hat-trick while Jeff Cunningham's penalty ensured the veteran striker a place by himself at the top of the all-time MLS scoring chart.

The Sounders got themselves on the board early, setting the tone for the whole game. A quick throw-in found Mike Fucito on the left side and he in turn found the onrushing Neagle, who brushed off a challenge from Rich Balchan and took the ball into the area, powering a shot past Will Hesmer in the fourth minute.

Balchan's game only got worse as he conceded a penalty in the 15th minute. He was called for handball after Neagle peeled away from him and the ball bounced up and hit him in the hands unexpectedly. It might have been a harsh call on Balchan, but nonetheless Mauro Rosales stepped up and dispatched a perfect penalty past Hesmer to make it 2-0.

The Sounders were playing scintillating soccer and it didn't take long for them to make it three, with Neagle was again the protagonist. A pass from Rosales sent James Riley to the endline, and his cross found an unmarked Neagle on the far post to volley home in the 21st minute.

The Sounders wouldn't let up at three, though Columbus did manage to steady the ship for about 15 minutes, with the Crew's Emilio Renteria proving a handful for the home side. However, the fourth for the Sounders game five minutes before the break, as Fucito tallied his first MLS goal with an off-balance goal to round off a well-worked passing move.

The second half started in much calmer fashion than the first, with the Sounders content to play it safe, but before there was an hour on the clock, another ball was in the back of the net.

Renteria was fouled by Jhon Kennedy Hurtado as he prepared to take on Kasey Keller, giving referee Baldomero Toledo no choice but to point to the spot. Jeff Cunningham stepped up calmly placed it past Keller, a goal that leaves Cunningham alone at the top of Major League Soccer's all-time scoring chart with 134 goals, one more than former D.C. United legend Jaime Moreno.

However, there was no joy to be found for Cunningham and the Crew, as in the 70th minute Neagle completed his hat-trick with the best goal of them all. The Tacoma native cut in from the left side and unleashed a belter of a shot that crashed in off the underside of the bar. There were initially doubts as to whether the ball had crossed the line, but replays showed Toledo and his team made the correct call in awarding the goal.

The goals kept flowing, and three minutes after Neagle sealed his hat-trick, Columbus pulled one back. Renteria earned a free kick 30 yards out and Josh Gardner hammered the ball home, leavin Kasey Keller with no chance given the pace on the shot.

Gardner's joy would dissipate in a matter of seconds, though. Almost immediately after the restart, Neagle sped down the left wing and put in a cross, which Gardner awkwardly turned into his own net, making it 6-2 in the 74th minute.

True to the nature of the game, both sides pressed for more in the last 15 minutes and created some good chances, but were unable to add to the scoreline. Still, it was the Sounders' largest ever goal haul on a thrilling afternoon at CenturyLink Field.