- The Washington Times - Thursday, June 18, 2009

SEATTLE — Fredy Montero’s left-footed strike gave Seattle a 3-1 lead early in the second half, but D.C. United rallied with a pair of late goals, including an own goal off the head of Seattle defender Tyrone Marshall to salvage a 3-3 tie with the Sounders on Wednesday night.

Seattle controlled the game offensively, peppering D.C. United keeper Josh Wicks with shots all night. Yet it was United smiling as they trotted off the field with an unlikely tie.

Down two goals, halftime sub Christian Gomez got United closer with his third goal of the season in 63rd minute. Yet Seattle remained in control with a number of good scoring chances in the final 20 minutes of the match.

Then came the shock. On a cross from Chris Pontius in the 87th minute, Marshall’s attempted header of the pass went past Seattle keeper Kasey Keller and into the Seattle net to draw United even.

It was a stunning conclusion to a match that Seattle’s controlled. Osvaldo Alonso scored on a 30-yard drive in the first half and Nate Jaqua bounced a shot off United defenseman Marc Burch late in the first half for an own goal to give Seattle a 2-1 lead at the break. Montero’s team-leading sixth goal of the season in the 57th minute had Seattle’s eighth consecutive sellout crowd rocking, but they were left silent by the events of the final minutes.

Pontius gave United a 1-0 lead in the first half with his fourth goal of the season, and United has picked up points in 10 of their last 11 matches, going 4-1-6 over that stretch.

The draw was even more important for United considering who they were missing. Jaime Moreno, the league’s career scoring leader, did not make the trip West after injuring his hamstring last week. He’ll also miss United’s game on Saturday at Colorado. United then saw Brazilian midfielder Fred be helped off the field and eventually subbed out early in the match with an injury.

With former Seattle Seahawks coach Mike Holmgren watching from a suite at Qwest Field, the Sounders put on an offense display the former football coach could be proud off. Seattle peppered Wicks with shots all night that had the United keeper screaming, pointing and gesturing at his defense for some help.

Pontius and United managed to silence the crowd of more than 29,000 early. Pontius and Luciano Emilio charged the Seattle net and all three Sounders defenders collapsed on Emilio. That left Pontius open to deposit Quaranta’s cross into the open net.

But Seattle quickly answered with Alonso’s strike and then Jaqua’s shot that beat a helpless Wicks after it changed direction off Burch’s leg.

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