Kasey Keller stopped goals and alumni from USL stepped up, but the night belonged to Fredy Montero and no one else.Colombian national Fredy Montero led the expansion Seattle Sounders FC to a 3-0 win in their season opener over the New York Red Bulls.
Montero didn’t disappoint the delirious sellout crowd of 32,523, scoring twice and assisting on another goal.
festivities reminiscent of a Super Bowl delaying kick-off slightly, the teams appeared tense and
hesitant in the first ten minutes.
Yet Seattle, the Major League Soccer newcomers, overcame their nerved first.
In the 12th minute Montero received the ball from ex-USL Sounders midfielder Sebastien Le Toux at the edge of the box. He quickly shot a low ball past a sprawling New York goalkeeper Danny Ceprero. Montero thus netted his first MLS goal.
The Montero show was then on in full force. Montero made a nifty pass between two Red Bull defenders to Brad Evans, who scored in the 25th minute to secure Seattle’s second goal and Montero’s first assist.
New York head coach Juan Carlos Osorio had seen enough and pulled defender Andrew Boyens in the 34th minute, replacing him with rookie Jeremy Hall.
New York then attempted to rally, throwing numbers forward to test goalkeeper Kasey Keller. The former U.S. national team star was up for the challenge every time.
However, the spotlight remained on Montero. Reminiscent of a Hollywood premiere, a new star continued his assault on the New York Red Bulls. With glitter thrown from the fans littering and shimmering on the field, Montero scored an unassisted second goal in the 75th minute on a counterattack. The new MLS star owned Seattle and basked in the crowd's raucous celebration.
Coach Sigi Schmid paid
tribute to his new wunderkind and to the USL Sounders when he
substituted Montero with Roger Levesque. Levesque is one of several
ex-USLers that make up the core foundation of the MLS version of the
Kasey Keller, the veteran keeper playing in his first MLS game, was equally caught up in the atmosphere. “I know the Seahawks talk about the 12th Man. I don’t know what our catch phrase is going to be, but there’s probably not a better atmosphere in soccer in America.”
The evening ended with
the entire Sounders team and their newest sports hero celebrating in
the end zone with their passionate fans.
John Zielonka, Goal.com