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Jaqua, Montero help Sounds cool off Rapids

Jun 28, 2009 - 11:47 PM SEATTLE (STATS) - Even if the words sometimes get lost between Nate Jaqua and Fredy Montero, they're having no communication problems on the soccer field.

The American-born Jaqua set up Montero's goal before scoring twice off assists from the Colombia native, helping the Seattle Sounders end the Colorado Rapids' franchise-record unbeaten streak at eight games with a 3-0 victory Sunday.

Goalkeeper Kasey Keller had his fifth shutout for Seattle (6-3-7), which hasn't lost in four games and stayed ahead of the Rapids (5-3-6) for third place in the Western Conference.

Colorado had been 3-0-5 during its streak.

Jaqua's six goals are second on the Sounders to Montero, who scored for the fourth straight game and moved into a tie for the second-most goals in MLS with eight.

"Fredy is getting better and better," Jaqua said. "Just this last month, he has gotten a lot better, and that's what you want: two forwards working together, combining and scoring."

On both of his second-half goals, Jaqua ran onto balls that Montero laid off with perfectly timed taps.

"I was yelling a little bit, but (Montero) took an early glance and saw me," Jaqua said of the play that led to his second goal. "Language is definitely a barrier, but soccer is a universal language."

Montero gave Seattle a 1-0 lead in the 23rd minute. Freddie Ljungberg drove a corner from the right side into the middle of the penalty area, where Jaqua leaped and sent a twisting header toward the left post. Montero headed it into the back left corner, well beyond the reach of goalkeeper Matt Pickens.

"It's not just his goals, but his play is getting better every game," Sounders coach Sigi Schmid said of Montero.

To set up Jaqua's first goal in the 48th minute, Montero was playing at the top center of the box and pushed the ball forward. Jaqua caught up to it, and with Pickens coming out to cut down the angle, slid a shot that rolled just inside the left post.

Seattle padded its lead about 20 minutes later. Sebastien Le Toux, just into the game, took a long pass from Ljungberg and sent it through to Montero at the top of the box. Montero tapped it to his left, and Jaqua drilled it into the far corner from 15 yards.

Unlike their last home game, when they squandered a two-goal lead in the second half and settled for a 3-3 tie against D.C. United on June 17, the Sounders preserved their advantage.

"I thought we managed the game a lot better, although we almost gave Omar Cummings one right at the end," Schmid said. "Once we had a two-goal lead, we knocked the ball around and made them chase it a little."

Cummings had scored four goals in the previous three games for the Rapids.

Colorado's Ugo Ihemelu missed a penalty kick in the 35th minute that would have tied the game, driving it off the right side of the crossbar.

"I didn't think we deserved to get beat 3-nil," Rapids coach Gary Smith said. "I think in the first half, we played as good a (game) as we've probably done for some time, especially away from home. The differences in the game were the big plays - the moments we don't (make) and the ones Seattle does."


Story from: STATS LLC,