Fredy Montero continues to haunt his former club.
The Vancouver striker scored against Seattle for the third time in two games this season as the 10-man Whitecaps salvaged a 1-1 draw with the Sounders on Wednesday night.
Montero grabbed the equalizer in the 64th minute after Whitecaps midfielder Tony Tchani was sent off for a second yellow card moments earlier.
“He’s in the team to do exactly what he did,” said Vancouver head coach Carl Robinson. “It’s about concentration levels.
“When a ball comes into the box, he’s alive.”
Montero, who scored 47 times in 119 regular-season appearances for Seattle from 2009 to 2012, took a feed from substitute Alphonso Davies and slotted his shot home past a helpless Stefan Frei from in close for his 11th goal of the season and fifth in five games.
As he did when he buried two in the Whitecaps’ 2-1 victory over the Sounders back in April, Montero’s celebration was muted — a sign of respect for an organization and fan base he still holds close.
“I don’t see the team in front of us,” said the Colombian, who is on loan to Vancouver this season from his club in China. “I’m happy that I scored another one.”
The 16-year-old Davies entered the game in the 56th minute and fought off a defender on a ball over the top down the left-hand side before coolly finding an unmarked Montero.
“That’s what Alphonso Davies is,” said Montero. “He’s young, he has a lot of energy.”
Robinson has used Davies sparingly since the teenager starred for Canada at the CONCACAF Gold Cup, continuing on the path of sheltering the young phenom as he continues to grow.
“He needed a break — a mental break, a physical break,” said the coach. “You’ve got to remember how old the boy is.
“When he comes on like that he’s exciting to watch. We want to encourage him to play like that more.”
Nicolas Lodeiro replied from the penalty spot for Seattle, sending Whitecaps goalkeeper David Ousted the wrong way in the 19th minute after Sheanon Williams fouled Victor Rodriguez.
Vancouver (10-9-5) remains sixth in Major League Soccer’s Western Conference, earning a hard-fought point following Saturday’s 2-1 home victory over the Houston Dynamo.
“That’s as good as a win for us,” said Robinson. “Penalty conceded from a mistake from us [and a] sending off.
“I don’t know what else could go against us.”
Seattle (11-7-8), meanwhile, is now alone in first in the West, a point up on the Portland Timbers and Sporting Kansas City. The Sounders are unbeaten in 10 games (6-0-4) and are 9-2-4 over their last 15 after winning just two of 11 to start the season (2-5-4).
Seattle brought on star striker Clint Dempsey soon after Montero scored, but the visitors wasted a number of chances over the final 20 minutes as Vancouver’s defence held firm.
Both the Whitecaps and Sounders were playing their second of three games in eight days. Vancouver has to travel across the continent to visit Orlando City SC on Saturday, while Seattle welcomes Portland on Sunday.
Robinson made just one alteration to the starting lineup that defeated Houston, with Williams replacing Jake Nerwinksi at right back. Sounders counterpart Brian Schmetzer made four changes to the side that picked a 2-1 win over Minnesota United on Sunday, including Dempsey, who came in with four goals in his last three games.
After the 2016 MLS Cup champions grabbed the lead on Lodeiro’s fourth of the year, Rodriguez nearly made it 2-0 in the 33rd minute on a free kick that forced a leaping, one-handed save from Ousted.
Seattle had another good chance in the 48th minute, but Chad Marshall’s header hit a diving Ousted in the face and went wide.
Vancouver brought on Davies and Bernie Ibini in the 56th minute looking for a spark, but Tchani was sent off for his second yellow four minutes later.
Seattle’s Jordan Morris rattled the crossbar after the red, but it was Vancouver that would find get the breakthrough when Davies set up Montero.
“Forget the point, forget the game,” said Robinson. “The mentality and character shown in this group was phenomenal. They deserve a lot of credit.
“If I was sat in the other locker-room, it would feel like a defeat.”