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September 27, 2014 at 3:01 PM

First impressions: Sounders 4, Chivas USA 2

The Sounders snapped a two-match losing streak with a 4-2 victory over Chivas USA on Saturday afternoon as Obafemi Martins broke the single-season club scoring record and Lamar Neagle and Clint Dempsey joined him on the scoresheet.

Here are my first impressions:

– The back line is a becoming a problem

Yeah, yeah – taking care of business, picking up all three points, scoring four goals, the team is in first place.

But the defensive miscues that have so plagued the Sounders in recent weeks surfaced again on Saturday afternoon. They’re becoming a habit, and unless they’re addressed, they could turn into a fatal flaw.

Chivas hasn’t scored a single goal in over 700 minutes of action against any team but Seattle. With Jalil Anibaba’s own goal in the 18th minute – which gave the Goats their first lead since July 12 – Chivas scored its fourth goal against the Sounders in just over a half.

Both Chivas goals were a result of sloppy defending. Felix Borja was allowed to cut inside to set up Erick Torres’ opener, and the second goal bounced off both Anibaba and goalkeeper Stefan Frei on the way in.

The Sounders attack had more than enough firepower to make up for it Saturday. Come the postseason, though, that might not be the case.

– Martins and Dempsey are re-writing the Sounders record book

Martins scored his 14th goal of the season in the 14th minute, matching Eddie Johnson’s single-season club record set back in 2002. When Dempsey joined him on the scoresheet in the 45th minute, he and Martins joined Johnson and Fredy Montero as the highest-scoring duo in a season.

Martins broke both marks six minutes after halftime, finishing past a slipping, bumbling Chivas back line for goal No. 15 – with four regular-season matches to spare.

Martins and Dempsey have made Seattle’s attack click all year. As their interplay goes, the team goes, and they’ve shown the ability to win games practically on their own.

Now, they’ve got the club records to show for it.

– This was a match for trying out different combinations

The wide gap between the first-place Sounders and last-place Chivas plus the week layoff before Seattle takes the field again in Colorado allowed coach Sigi Schmid to be a bit creative with his team selections Saturday.

Micheal Azira made his first appearance in the midfield since Seattle’s win in this same matchup earlier in the month and just his second since July. Playing alongside Osvaldo Alonso – who was solid all afternoon – Azira had a solid-if-unspectacular day. Sean Okoli and Dylan Remick both made cameo appearances off the bench in added time.

It was a different story on the back line.

Jalil Anibaba slotted in for the injured Zach Scott at center back and Djimi Traore stayed on the bench. Brad Evans dropped back from midfield to left back.

The adjustments didn’t make much of a difference, though, as Seattle went behind in the first half for the fifth straight match before roaring back to break a two-game losing streak.

| More in First impressions, MLS, Sounders FC


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