VANCOUVER — Chad Barrett scored his first two goals of the season Saturday as the Seattle Sounders beat the Vancouver Whitecaps 2-0.
Starting in place of the injured Obafemi Martins, Barrett exposed the host’s defence twice in the first half as the Sounders (6-3-1) beat their regional rivals for the first time in six tries.
A former teammate of Whitecaps head coach Carl Robinson when the two were with Toronto FC, Barrett opened his account in the fourth minute after taking a pass from Clint Dempsey and moving in alone on Vancouver goalkeeper David Ousted to silence the raucous crowd at B.C. Place Stadium.
The Whitecaps (6-4-2) had a couple chances to get back in it — including a great finger-tip save from Seattle’s Stefan Frei on Pedro Morales — immediately after the goal prior to the Sounders settling into the game.
Barrett then doubled the lead in the 38th minute when Vancouver defender Kendall Waston failed to close him down on the left. The striker fired a shot far post on Ousted prior to celebrating in front of Seattle’s travelling fans for the second time in just over a half hour.
The Whitecaps had a decent chance in the 50th minute to get back in the match, but Frei — another ex-teammate of Robinson’s at TFC — made a good stop on Octavio Rivero’s header.
Vancouver subbed on Darren Mattocks for Cristian Techera in the 61st minute in hopes of sparking a revival, however a Sounders’ defence that had a rough outing in last weekend’s 3-2 road loss to the Columbus Crew held firm the rest of the way to help Frei to his fifth shutout of the season.
Barrett, who was making his second start of the season, was subbed off in the 72nd minute. He got a rousing ovation from the travelling fans and hug on the sidelines from Sounders head coach Sigi Schmid.
Seattle, which has made the playoffs every year since entering Major League Soccer in 2009, trails Vancouver by a single point in the Western Conference standings with two games in hand.
The Whitecaps came in with four wins and a draw against the Sounders over their last five meetings, including a 1-0 victory in Seattle last season that clinched Vancouver’s second straight Cascadia Cup — the regional mini-tournament the teams compete for along with the Portland Timbers.
The Sounders now have six points through their two games in this season’s Cascadia Cup standings, while the Whitecaps have four from three matches.
Notes: The Sounders beat the Whitecaps for the first time since June 8, 2013. … Vancouver was coming off a 1-1 home draw against FC Edmonton in midweek play in the first leg of their Amway Canadian Championship semifinal. The second leg goes Wednesday in the Alberta capital, with the winner meeting the Montreal Impact in the national final.
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Joshua Clipperton, The Canadian Press