Sounders FC midfielder Alex Caskey stepped onto the pitch in the 61st minute tonight with Seattle trailing by a goal.
Seconds later, he did something about that, assisting David Estrada in the goal that pulled the Sounders even on their way to a 1-1 draw with Chivas USA at Home Depot Center.
The Goats had moved ahead in the 58th minute, when former Sounder defender James Riley launched a diagonal pass about 7 yards in front of the Seattle goal.
Just before goalkeeper Bryan Meredith could get there, Chivas’ Juan Agudelo got his head to the ball and snapped it into the net.
About three minutes later, Sounders coach Sigi Schmid sent Caskey on as a substitute for Alvaro Fernandez. And he instantly made his presence known, taking a pass from Fredy Montero just outside the corner of the penalty area and sending it on to Estrada, who one-touched the ball past Chivas goalkeeper Dan Kennedy.
“It was a great time coming on,” Caskey told television station KING after the game. “I was just hoping to come on and be dynamic and make a difference. Being down a goal, just doing whatever I can to help us tie the game.”
The goal moved Estrada into the Sounders goals lead with five and moved Caskey into the club assists lead with three.
The result also extended Seattle’s road unbeaten streak to 10 games – two short of the MLS record.
The club now takes a break from league play until June 16 when it visits Montreal.
However, the Sounders return to action Wednesday when they begin defense of their U.S. Open Cup title against the Atlanta Silverbacks at Starfire Sports Stadium in Tukwila.
The original tournament draw had assigned that match to be played in Georgia, and if that had remained the case, the Sounders would have flown from Los Angeles to Atlanta in the morning.
However, Sounders FC purchased the rights to host that game, and therefore the team will fly home instead.
“I like Atlanta,” Schmid said. “It’s probably a nice city. My brother used to live there. But we weren’t looking forward to having to go there on Sunday. It’s a lot of miles. It’s nice to be able to come home and settle in, be able to get home on Sunday. For the guys to be able to spend some time at home is a big plus for us.”
Here are the unofficial stats:
CHV - Juan Agudelo (James Riley, Peter Vagenas) 58'
SEA - David Estrada (Alex Caskey, Fredy Montero) 61'
Seattle Sounders FC: Bryan Meredith, Zach Scott, Jeff Parke, Jhon Kennedy Hurtado, Marc Burch, Mauro Rosales, Andy Rose, Brad Evans, Alvaro Fernandez (Alex Caskey 61), Fredy Montero (Eddie Johnson 73), David Estrada (Cordell Cato 78).
Substitutes Not Used: Andrew Weber, Servando Carrasco, Roger Levesque, Sammy Ochoa.
TOTAL SHOTS: 11 (Montero 4); SHOTS ON GOAL: 4 (Estrada 2); FOULS: 9 (Cato, Montero, Scott 2); OFFSIDE: 2 (Estrada 2); CORNER KICKS: 3 (Rosales 3); SAVES: 1 (Meredith 1).
Chivas USA: Dan Kennedy, James Riley, John Valencia (Rauwshan McKenzie 65), Danny Califf, Ante Jazic, Laurent Courtois, Peter Vagenas, Alejandro Moreno, Ryan Smith (Cesar Romero 88), Juan Agudelo, Jose Erick Correa (Blair Gavin 76).
Substitutes Not Used: Tim Melia, Jorge Villafana, Scott Gordon, Miller Bolanos.
TOTAL SHOTS: 5 (Agudelo 2); SHOTS ON GOAL: 2 (Agudelo, Valencia 1); FOULS: 7 (Agudelo, Moreno, Vagenas 2); OFFSIDE: 1 (Califf 1); CORNER KICKS: 10 (Courtois 8); SAVES: 2 (Kennedy 2).
SEA - Andy Rose (caution) 20'
Referee: Chris Penso
Referee's Assistants: Ian Anderson, Colin Arblaster
4th Official: Alejandro Mariscal
Time of Game: 1:51
Weather: Clear and 64 degrees