Herald news services
SANTA CLARA, Calif. — Turns out one Fredy is all the Seattle Sounders need.
In their first game since divesting themselves of designated player Freddie Ljungberg, the Sounders’ remaining Fredy — Colombian midfielder Fredy Montero — continued his hot streak with a goal in the 26th minute that gave Seattle a 1-0 win over the San Jose Earthquakes.
Montero has now been involved — either assisting or scoring — in 12 of Seattle’s past 15 goals, including each of the Sounders’ past eight.
The victory was the Sounders’ third straight in Major League Soccer play and moved them within two points of FC Dallas for third place in the Western Conference.
Montero’s goal came after he steered a long pass to open space in the right corner. Sanna Nyassi ran onto the ball and delivered a lovely first-touch cross to the doorstep, where an unmarked Montero lurked. He powered his header into the back of the net past the dive of goalkeeper Jon Busch.
Despite his inability to stop Montero’s goal, Busch saved the Quakes again and again. Without him, the match would have gotten out of hand.
He made a leaping save in the ninth minute, using his left hand to redirect a Montero header onto the underside of the crossbar and out. He also made a diving stop on a poor back pass by Ike Opara in the 30th minute and another one on a blast from 16 yards by Blaise Nkufo in the 63rd.
The Sounders introduced newcomer Alvaro Fernandez, a Uruguayan World Cup veteran. The lanky attacker came on in the 69th minute for Steve Zakuani and had a decent chance to snag a debut goal, but his touch let him down in the box.