Sounders have an offensive revival, routing Earthquakes 4-0

SEATTLE — Lamar Neagle scored twice in his return from suspension, and Seattle also got goals from Mauro Rosales and Obafemi Martins in a 4-0 trouncing of the San Jose Earthquakes in front of 38,880 at CenturyLink Field.

The Sounders (3-3-3) snapped a four-game losing streak in the head-to-head series and could be out of last place in the Western Conference by the end of the weekend depending on results leaguewide.

The blowout marked Seattle’s largest margin of victory since a 6-2 road win against Chivas USA on Aug. 25, 2012.

The Sounders had needed seven games to score its first four goals of the season, but fortunes have turned from a woeful start in the form of a five-game unbeaten streak (3-0-2).

The home team got off to a fast start in the 28th minute, when Rosales settled a cross by Eddie Johnson in the penalty box, which set up Neagle for a shot that he powered through the gloves of goalkeeper Jon Busch and into the net.

It was Neagle’s first regular season goal as a Sounder since he scored a hat trick against Columbus on Aug. 27, 2011. The Federal Way native had missed Wednesday’s game in Kansas City after earning a red card last week in Philadelphia.

The early goal was a good omen, as Seattle came into the game on a 27-0-8 run when scoring the first goal — the longest active unbeaten streak in MLS.

The Sounders doubled the lead just before halftime when Rosales curled in a beautiful free-kick with his right foot that clipped off the inside of the post.

Rosales has earned a goal and assist in two of the team’s last three games, and Seattle is 19-2-7 when he factors in a scoring play.

The Sounders hadn’t held a multigoal lead before that this season, and it came against a team known for comebacks. Coming into the day, San Jose had a winning record when losing at halftime while the other 18 teams in the league were a combined 1-29-12.

But it wouldn’t come this day, as the Earthquakes (3-4-5) had their four-game unbeaten streak snapped.

The rout continued in the 54th minute, when Neagle collected a long pass from midfielder Servando Carrasco and fired a left-footed shot from 17 yards away that skimmed off the post and in.

Martins capped the celebration with a goal in stoppage time, followed by his customary backflip.

A fitting exclamation point.