Never mind that Toronto FC was still a little drunk with emotion from this week’s massive CONCACAF Champions League achievement and, quite predictably, not in the best frame of mind to get back into the MLS fight just a few nights later.
And never mind that four Toronto starters were rested, as manager Aron Winter tapped some reserves for this one; Danny Koevermans, Joao Plata, Ashtone Morgan and Julian de Guzman all sat the bench to start.
And never mind that TFC’s defense was an absolute mess. And a mess that managed to get even more mangled following Torsten Frings’ 24th minute injury departure.
So, never mind all that. A hat trick is a hat trick. So this was a night to remember for young David Estrada, the 24-year-old Sounders striker making only his seventh MLS career start. He struck for all three in the Sounders 3-1 win in Seattle.
A couple of important points here:
Former U.S. international Eddie Johnson may look like the presumed partner for Fredy Montero along Seattle’s front line. But his injury gave Estrada the chance, and now there’s probably some healthy competition for the position (especially given the connection obvious between Montero and Estrada.)
Estrada could easily have pushed four or five into TFC goal – the chances were falling like Pacific Northwest rain Saturday inside CenturyLink Field.
None of this means the young man has “arrived.” We’ve seen hat trick heroes rise and fall before. Don’t forget that Houston rookie striker nailed his name to the hat trick tree last April – but has scored just once since. There’s still work ahead – although three goals is a very nice start.