Sounders take points per match MLS lead with one-nil win over Chivas USA

Jane G Photography

In what is a familiar refrain it was another set play goal that won the match for Seattle. Today's winning combination was Burch to Neagle. Seattle now sits at 1.72 Points Per Match, good for first in MLS.

A highly reduced lineup with a couple players in less usual positions managed to win another home game after taking a 24th minute lead from the Marc Burch's service to Lamar Neagle from the right flank. Neagle first hit the ball to himself with his thigh and finished with a sideways scissor kick. Seattle Sounders FC extends its lossless when scoring first run to 37-0-8.

Chivas USA struggled early, but did manage to mount a challenge as the match extended. Part of that was due to a much more aggressive posture, but they also used their subs early putting on more attacking players. Sigi's later subs put a lineup that ended the match with its most defensive posture.

The win puts Seattle on a path where a major trophy is in sight. With nine games left on the season the club is starting to take questions about the Supporters' Shield.

"You always need some results like that. You need to win games, you need to control games," Schmid said about the ability to push for the Shield.

The match saw some intriguing tactical changes. Zach Scott was at left back as a starter for the first time this season. Post match Sigi indicated this move was about keeping more veterans on the field. Mauro Rosales spent a lot of time in the middle of the park. Some of that was on the ground, but in the first half he was quite creative and completed 6 of 8 passes at the top of the box.

Neagle and forward-mate David Estrada both played facing the goal. Their pressure early in the game caused issues. At one point Estrada blocked a Dan Kennedy pass that if it took a bit of a bounce different would have resulted in a goal.

Overall the team was with Dempsey, Johnson, Martins, Evans and Gonzalez. While it was just another 1-nil win, it was a 1-nil win by a team down five starters.

Next up is a rested Chicago and a Seattle team that hasn't lost at home since the season opener.

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