More than 66,000 fans see Sounders win


SOCCER

SEATTLE (AP) — One of the originals still around since the inaugural 2009 season, Brad Evans has witnessed many nights when the fans of the Seattle Sounders top what they’ve done before.

Playing before one of the largest crowds in league history and against a fierce rival on Sunday night could be the top.

“You always remember certain games and get emotional with certain games,” Evans said. ” … Anytime you walk out and you feel the chills, you know it’s going to be a special game and you play off those emotions because that pushes you through walls and that’s something I thought our guys played off the crowd tonight and we won.”

Eddie Johnson scored his 14th goal of the season just minutes after an own goal gave Seattle the lead, Fredy Montero added another in the 62nd minute, and the Sounders raced past Cascadia rival Portland 3-0 before the second largest crowd for a stand-alone MLS game in league history.

Johnson’s goal in the 28th minute gave Seattle a 2-0 lead and helped the Sounders move into third-place in the Western Conference, two points clear of fourth-place Los Angeles. It was a vital three points in Seattle’s efforts to avoid having the No. 4 seed in the MLS Western Conference playoffs and having to play an extra playoff game against the No. 5 seed with the winner of that likely getting San Jose in the conference semifinals.

So while the massive crowd was impressive and Seattle gave itself a shot at retaining the Cascadia Cup in the rivalry with Portland and Vancouver, picking up three needed points in the playoff race trumped it all.

The official attendance of 66,452 was the second largest for a stand-alone match in league history. There’ve been doubleheaders featuring international friendlies to go along with a league match, but in terms of a match between two MLS teams, the only one to top what Portland and Seattle drewwas the first match in league history when Los Angeles hosted New York at the Rose Bowl in 1996 in front of 69,255.

Auto Racing

TALLADEGA, Ala. (AP) -- Talladega delivered yet another “big one” Sunday, when defending NASCAR champion Tony Stewart triggered a 25-car pileup as he tried to protect the lead. His bid to block a long line of traffic on the last lap backfired, and his car was sent sailing through the air in a chaotic crash that collected 10 of the 12 title contenders.

Daytona 500 winner Matt Kenseth won under caution, and everyone else was left wondering when NASCAR will do something dramatic to alter the dangerous racing at restrictor- plate tracks.

“It’s not safe. It’s not. It’s bloodthirsty,” Dale Earnhardt Jr. said. “If that’s what people want, that’s ridiculous.”

Stewart, who assailed the wreckfests at Talladega with a sarcastic diatribe in May, took full responsibility for creating the latest carnage.

He had charged to the lead on the first lap of a two-lap sprint to the finish, but got too far ahead of the pack to hang on to any drafting partners.

Kenseth was charging on the outside of him and Michael Waltrip was leading a line of traffic on the inside. Stewart was blocking all over the track, and said he mistakenly chopped across the front of Waltrip’s car to trigger the accident.

The contact hooked Stewart to send him into a spin, and his car lifted into the air and sailed on its roof and then on its side over several other cars. It created chaos through the pack, which was running three-wide in a frantic dash to the finish.

Of the 12 Chase drivers, only race winner Kenseth and second-place finisher Jeff Gordon avoided the final wreck and it pushed Gordon up four spots in the standings to sixth with six races remaining.

GOLF

LAS VEGAS (AP) — Former UNLV player Ryan Moore of Tacoma won the Justin Timberlake Shriners Hospitals for Children Open on Sunday for his second PGA Tour title, birdieing the 16th hole to take the outright lead and finishing with a 5-under 66 for a one-stroke victory over Brendon de Jonge.

Tied with de Jonge and Jonas Blixt after the third round, Moore finished at 24-under 260 at TPC Summerlin. The Las Vegas resident earned $810,000 in the Fall Series opener. De Jonge shot a 67. Blixt had a 70 to finish third at 20 under.