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Seattle Sounders 6-2 Columbus Crew: Lamar Neagle Hat Trick Propels Sounders To Wild Win

In one of the more exciting and bizarre games in the team's MLS history the Seattle Sounders put on an absolute clinic against the Columbus Crew, setting a record by scoring six goals in the process of securing a dominant win. Lamar Neagle secured the second hat trick in the club's MLS history and Mike Fucito, Maruo Rosales and an own-goal from Josh Gardner provided the other three. Gardner's own-goal came less than a minute after he blasted a ferocious free-kick past Kasey Keller to make the score 5-2; Columbus got their first in the 59th minute after Jeff Cunningham converted a penalty awarded for a foul on Emilio Renteria by Jhon Kennedy Hurtado.

Neagle's first goal was just a bit lucky after Will Hesmer mishandled a well taken low drive and was helpless to stop the ball from spinning into the net in the 4th minute. The next two, on the other hand, were very well taken; the second was a beautiful right-footed volley at the end of an excellent cross from James Riley to make it 3-0 in the 21st minute while the third was a fantastic strike from space at the edge of the area that ricocheted off the underside of the bar and in to make it 5-1 in the 70th. It was a brilliant performance by the 24-year-old Federal Way native whose emergence as an important component to the Sounders success this season has been one of the better stories of the season. Frankly it was a brilliant performance for the entire team; every attack looked dangerous and for the majority of the day Columbus was able to create very, very little; the penalty won by Renteria was fair (and Hurtado may have been lucky to avoid a sending off) but it was one of the few moments of any real danger the Crew had in them. Gardner's free-kick was a screamer and nice piece of individual skill, leaving very little that could be done by anyone to prevent it. 

In short, this was the most impressive performance and comprehensive victory for the Sounders all season and possibly in their entire history at this level. There were some slips at the back in the later going but by that point it was all but official. The Crew were barely able to blink before the game was well out of reach and the Sounders absolutely asserted their dominance in the early going through stunningly fluid play, some brilliant technical skill and water-tight organization in their lines. This is a team clicking on all cylinders and there's not another in the league that's performing better right now. Keep in mind; the Crew are a very good team. This wasn't a band of scrubs the Sounders just waxed; this was arguably the best team in the Eastern Conference and a team that Seattle was incredibly lucky to take a point off of when they met back in May. If this is what Seattle looks like when they've hit their stride, maybe the Supporters Shield isn't so far out of reach after all.