SEATTLE, WA - AUGUST 18: Fredy Montero #17 of the Seattle Sounders FC celebrates after scoring a goal against the Vancouver Whitecaps at CenturyLink Field on August 18, 2012 in Seattle, Washington. The Sounders defeated the Whitecaps 2-0. (Photo by Otto Greule Jr/Getty Images)
Teams around MLS at the first third of the season were worried about the forward pairing of Thiery Henry and Kenny Cooper. They were as good as can be. It was a big-small style of pairing with Henry playing behind Cooper and doing it as well as couple be done. Then emerged Chris Wondolowski and his duel pairings. Early it was Steven Lenhart who attracted attention and then Alan Gordon. That "pair" plays along the same plane using spaces that should be too small for success and then just put goal home. Their use of space is such that the goals aren't spectacular.
There's a third pair and it isn't the DP fueled forwards of the LA Galaxy. Robbie Keane and Landon Donovan are doing ok. They've combined for 22 goals all competitions (MLS, Cup, CCL) in the 2012 and Landon is mainly a forward these days. There is a tandem in MLS that plays in Southeast Alaska and it should be taking the league by storm. Say hello to the Fredy and Eddie show.
Fredy Montero and Eddie Johnson are tied for second in the league for combined all competitions goals by a forward tandem with their 26 goals (Red Bulls' pair are the other). Only Wondo-Gordon beat them. The Goonies have 29 total. Sure, there are games tonight, but there's a little caveat.
Summer in Seattle is HOT. In the last 10 MLS matches in MLS play the Seattle pair have 14 combined goals. San Jose's pair is at 11, as is LA's pair. New York's is at only at 5 combined goals.
|Player||MLS Goals||Cup Goals||CCL Goals||Total||In Last MLS 10|
Summer and early Fall are the stretch run and the Sounders are clicking. Up and down the team things are quickly looking good. The team is averaging more than 3 goals a game over a 4 match stretch. It hasn't been shutout in MLS play since road draw against Real Salt Lake on the 4th of July. Since the Summer solstice the Sounders are 5-2-4 with a +10 goal differential.
It's stretch run time and though the Sounders are playing in the CCL, they aren't slowing down. They are in fact speeding up. Like last year August has been very, very good to Seattle. In 2012 they are 4-1-1 +11 in all competitions with 1 to play. In 2011 their August power surge of 7-0-1 +13 could face a challenge for the best month in Sounders history.
The reason is simple, Montero and Johnson are scoring in ways that the Sounders have never found forwards to pair up like they are now. In honesty, MLS rarely finds these tandems. Seattle has it. Each could challenge for the All Competitions Golden Boot with the extra games from the CCL combined with how deep the run is by San Jose and Seattle in the MLS Cup Playoffs.
And, that old myth that they aren't connecting? It's now clearly wrong. They are passing to each other. They are using space to open the other up. Their teammates are rewarding each of them. This offense is two dynamic players. One sits in the hole and flashes crazy passes or 30 yard bombs. The other is a conventional American forward of spatial awareness and heading ability who adds to that toolbox strong footwork and crazy speed.
It is an offense pacing for nearly 60 goals in MLS. There is not a Batman/Robin thing going on in Seattle. It's Ponch and John. It's peanut butter and jelly. It's Ender and Bean. It's coffee and cream. It's Boeing and McDonnell-Douglas.
It's Fredy and Eddie and they are hot.