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Sounders snatch sloppy victory, beat Chivas USA 4-2

Obafemi Martins scores two and Clint Dempsey scores another as Sounders fall behind early, but surge to finish line.

Mike Russell/Sounder at Heart

This was probably not the feel-good performance the Seattle Sounders were looking for. The defense, especially in the first half, was sloppy and prone to some shambolic mistakes. Although the offense looked capable of scoring at will, there were still some tense moments as the Sounders fell behind twice.

But in the end, the Sounders needed a win more than anything else, and that's exactly what they got. Beating Chivas USA 4-2 on Saturday leaves a lot to be desired, but at least it's three points and the Sounders can now take a few days to gather themselves.

Before we get too deep into what the Sounders did poorly, let's take some time to appreciate what they did well, even if against a Chivas USA team that hasn't won since July 12.

Obafemi Martins was absolutely unstoppable. He scored two goals -- one a laser from about 24 yards out and the other from a bit of magical footwork -- that now give him a team-record 15 goals for the season. Martins also set up Clint Dempsey's goal and could have scored a couple more of his own with another goalkeeper in net.

Speaking of Dempsey, he was pretty good, too. His goal was well taken and he hit the post on another shot from about 20 yards out. He and Martins again looked to connect almost too much, but it's hard to complain when they keep linking up for goals.

The Sounders' other goal came off the foot of Lamar Neagle, who was also pretty dangerous throughout. His goal came off a deflection and he may have been offside, but beating Kennedy is no easy task. Neagle tied his career high with his eighth goal and this was his third in four games. He also picked up an assist, his eighth of the season.

Brad Evans looked entirely serviceable as an emergency left back. He completed 89 percent of his passes and never looked remotely out of place on the outside.

It should also be said that the Sounders defense looked a lot better after giving up the second goal. Chivas USA only had four shots from that point on and only one of them looked remotely troubling.

But it would be insincere to suggest that this performance does anything to quell the concerns around the Sounders defense. Jalil Anibaba was a complete mess in the first 20-odd minutes, getting beaten badly on the first goal and being credited with an own-goal on the second. Chad Marshall also deserves some level of blame, as it was his questionable decision to challenge for a ball near midfield with no one helping behind that led to the second goal.

For all the defensive struggles, though, the Sounders still managed to go into halftime leading 3-2, scored early in the second half and basically cruised to the finish line. Not a great performance by any stretch, but the Sounders will happily take the three points and turn their focus to Colorado next Sunday.

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