Once again, this afternoon Fredy Montero demonstrated that for however good he is in the run of league play (and he's very good) he brings out something special in Cup competitions. We've seen it in the CONCACAF Champions League, we've seen it in the US Open Cup, and now we've seen it two years in a row versus the Vancouver Whitecaps in Cascadia Cup play. His dancing footwork at the top of the box in the final minute of regulation led to an open shot, just as it did in Vancouver last season, and this time it saved a point for Seattle.
The Sounders were outplayed through large stretches of today's match. Particularly in the first half there was a lack of midfield presence with Alex Caskey filling in for Brad Evans in center. But it was a massive breakdown on the right side of defense that allowed Alain Rochat to start an overlapping run at the center stripe, receive the ball on the run, and dribble unmolested all the way to the 6 yard box to deposit it comfortably past Bryan Meredith inside the far post.
There could have been a lot more, but the Whitecaps — in particular rookie Darren Mattocks — were wasteful with their frequent chances. And in the second Seattle took over after Sigi inserted Alex Rose for Caskey and Eddie Johnson pushed higher up to create more open spaces in the middle. The equalizer came off of a Johnson header thanks to a perfect cross from Mauro Rosales (who otherwise didn't have a particularly good day).
Vancouver scored again against the run of play on a fluky free kick through the box that was either untouched or got a glancing chest. In either case, Meredith was screened and saw the ball late and it drifted into the net. The substitution of Eric Hassli for Mattocks generated a few more Caps chances, but Montero's late backbreaker was the final word in the match, except for the thousands of Sounders fans who made the trek north and — if the sound on TV was any indication — drowned out the home fans over 90 minutes with relentless support.
An away point, another wondrous Montero goal, another Johnson goal, nobody injured, and the fans made themselves and the team proud. Not perfect, but not a bad afternoon.