Manneh’s hat trick powers Whitecaps past Sounders
SEATTLE – The Seattle Sounders had a chance to claim the best record in MLS on Wednesday.
Instead, for the second consecutive game, Seattle looked like the league’s worst.
Kekuta Manneh, an 18-year-old rookie, scored the first hat trick in Vancouver Whitecaps history and Nigel Reo-Coker added another goal as the rivals to the north breezed to a 4-1 victory in front of 38,833 at CenturyLink Field.
It marked the second-worst home defeat in Sounders history, eclipsed only by a 4-0 defeat against the Los Angeles Galaxy on May 8, 2010.
Seattle (15-10-6) is winless in four games, including three defeats, and failed to clinch the Cascadia Cup. The only way the Sounders can win the regional competition is by beating the Portland Timbers on the road Sunday. Otherwise, Vancouver (12-11-9) claims the trophy.
Trailing by three goals in the second half, the home team pushed all bodies forward for a comeback, also bringing in Clint Dempsey and Steve Zakuani off the bench.
The pressure created a number of chances, first when defender Patrick Ianni rattled the crossbar with a powerful header off a corner kick in the 67th minute.
Seattle didn’t miss the next great look when midfielder Mauro Rosales slammed home his fourth goal of the season off a rebound in the 69th minute.
Any hope of heroics ended in the 82nd minute when Reo-Coker converted a breakaway chance through the arms, and then through the legs, of Sounders goalkeeper Michael Gspurning.
It was a fitting end to a team-record 14-game home unbeaten streak (10-0-4).