Match Preview: FC Dallas vs. Seattle Sounders FC

FCD return to Frisco for crucial match with Sounders
FC DALLAS vs SEATTLE SOUNDERS FC
FC DALLAS STADIUM, Frisco, Texas
September 2, 2012 (WEEK 26, MLS Game #255)
6 p.m. CT (FSSW+; KONG)
 
Two teams looking to make up ground in different races in the Western Conference meet when FC Dallas play host to Seattle Sounders FC on Sunday evening in Frisco. FC Dallas are looking just to pull themselves into the five playoff spots in the conference, five points out of fifth place after last weekend’s 2-0 loss at the LA Galaxy. Sounders FC are looking to make up seven points on overall leader San Jose, sitting in a tie for second place in the division following a 6-2 victory at Chivas USA last weekend.
 
REFEREE: Sorin Stoica. AR1 (bench): Kermit Quisenberry; AR2 (opposite): Jonathan Johnson; 4th: Hilario Grajeda
MLS Career: 6 games; FC/gm: 24.7; Y/gm: 3.7; R: 0; pens: 4
 
 
INJURY REPORT:
FC DALLAS – OUT: DF Ugo Ihemelu (concussion symptoms); DF Alex Lee (lower abdominal strain); MF Ricardo Villar (R foot strain); PROBABLE: FW Blas Perez (R foot sprain)
SEATTLE SOUNDERS FC – OUT: FW Babayele Sodade (R knee ACL tear); FW David Estrada (L foot fracture); MF Andy Rose (rib fracture); GK Andrew Weber (R abductor strain)
 
INTERNATIONAL ABSENCES: none
SUSPENDED: none
 
WARNINGS:
SUSPENDED NEXT YELLOW CARD:
DAL: Daniel Hernandez
SEA: Eddie Johnson
SUSPENDED AFTER TWO YELLOW CARDS:
DAL: Jair Benitez, Fabian Castillo, Julian de Guzman, George John, Zach Loyd, Blas Perez
SEA: Fredy Montero, Andy Rose, Zach Scott, Marc Burch, Osvaldo Alonso
 
HEAD-TO-HEAD
ALL-TIME (7 meetings): FC Dallas 1 win, 6 goals … Sounders FC 3 wins, 9 goals … Ties 3
AT DALLAS (4 meetings): FC Dallas 0 wins, 3 goals … Sounders FC 2 wins, 6 goals … Ties 2
FUTURE MATCH: 10/21: Seattle Sounders FC vs. FC Dallas, 6 p.m. (ESPN/Deportes)
  • The teams are meeting for the second time this season. Fredy Montero scored twice to lead Sounders FC to a 2-0 victory May 9 at FC Dallas Stadium.
  • FC Dallas have never defeated Sounders FC at home. Seattle has won on each of its last two visits to Frisco.
  • Sounders FC haven’t defeated FC Dallas at home in league play since 2009.
  • Coaches' records: Schellas Hyndman vs. SEA: P32 W13 L9 D10 … Sigi Schmid vs. DAL: P7 W2 L2 D3
LAST MEETING (MLS)
  • 5/9: DAL 0, SEA 2 (Montero 68, 71)
  • Substitute Fredy Montero scored both goals in a four-minute span midway through the second half. First, in the 68th minute, the Seattle striker received the ball on the right side of the box and skipped between two FC Dallas defenders before blasting a shot near-side past FCD goalkeeper Kevin Hartman.
  • Then in the 71st minute, Alex Caskey drove in a low cross from the left that bounced up off a defender and Montero met it with a diving header in front of his marker.
  • Sounders FC goalkeeper Bryan Meredith made five saves on the night, his best an acrobatic leap to his right to parry a Scott Sealy header in the 35th minute.
  • FC DALLAS (4-4-2): Kevin Hartman - Zach Loyd, George John, Matt Hedges, Hernan Pertuz (Ruben Luna 84) - Jackson, Andrew Jacobson, James Marcelin, Jair Benitez - Fabian Castillo, Scott Sealy (Brek Shea 70).
  • SEATTLE SOUNDERS FC (4-4-2): Bryan Meredith - Zach Scott, Jeff Parke, Jhon Kennedy Hurtado, Marc Burch - Mauro Rosales (Fredy Montero 46), Andy Rose, Brad Evans (Servando Carrasco 77), Alex Caskey - David Estrada (Cordell Cato 66), Eddie Johnson.
FC DALLAS
FC Dallas saw their three-game winning streak come to an end, dropping a 2-0 decision to the LA Galaxy on Sunday evening at The Home Depot Center. FCD is in sixth place in the Western Conference with 32 points from 28  matches.
 
LAST MATCH
  • The Galaxy broke the stalemate in the 66th minute. Substitute Jose Villarreal stripped rookie Matt Hedges of the ball about 15 yards outside the Dallas box, raced past goalkeeper Kevin Hartman on the left side, then rolled the ball into the goalmouth for Juninho to finish.
  • The home side doubled the advantage six minutes from the end through Todd Dunivant. After feeding Robbie Keane in the Dallas box from the left flank, Dunivant raced forward as Keane played the ball wide to Michael Stephens, whose penetrating pass left Dunivant one-on-one with Hartman from the left.
  • FC Dallas head coach Schellas Hyndman made two changes to the team that took a dramatic 2-1 victory against Real Salt Lake at Rio Tinto Stadium. Andrew Jacobson came into the midfield in place of Daniel Hernandez, and Jackson started up top for Jonathan Top.
  • FC DALLAS (4-4-1-1): Kevin Hartman - Zach Loyd, George John, Matt Hedges, Jair Benitez - Fabian Castillo (Blas Perez 41), Andrew Jacobson (Daniel Hernandez 80), Julian de Guzman, Brek Shea - David Ferreira - Jackson (Hernan Pertuz 86).
TEAM NEWS
  • The loss snapped the FC Dallas winning streak at three games, their longest of the season and longest since last June18-July 2.
  • “I think we’re still in great form, it’s definitely a hiccup and a lost opportunity to get closer in the playoffs and catch some people, but it’s definitely not over,” said midfielder Andrew Jacobson. “I thought we gave ourselves a good chance, we were in the game and made unfortunate mistakes.”
  • Fabián Castillo was forced to come off the field before the end of the first half with a leg injury after a collision with Galaxy goalkeeper Josh Saunders. Castillo had scored in three consecutive games.
  • “They had no answers for Fabián,” Hyndman said. “He was causing LA quite a bit of problems because of his speed and explosion. Our game plan was to stress the defense and have good flank play, and I think when he got hurt we lost that good flank play.”
  • Blas Pérez came into the game to replace Castillo, his first appearance since May 26. Pérez moved into the lone striker role with Jackson moving to the right of midfield.
  • “Blas is always giving you his best, that’s the thing we really like about him,” Hyndman said after the game. “On both sides of the ball, he’s great he’s a fighter, but you get to the point where you’re tired with that final touch to get that shot off.”
  • Jackson also made his first start since July 28, having missed three matches entirely before coming on at halftime in the Real Salt Lake game.
  • “It’s been a difficult road for us with all of our injuries. It felt good today because it’s the first time we’ve put the 11 players we wanted on the field and we had depth in every position on the bench,” Hyndman said.
  • Having started every league game since May 19, rookie Matt Hedges was victimized on the Galaxy’s opening goal when he had the ball taken from him.
  • “Sometimes you see that at all levels,” Hyndman said. “.... You just make a bad mistake and they capitalize on it. I was glad to see the guys continue to fight.”
SEATTLE SOUNDERS FC
Seattle Sounders FC rolled to a second consecutive victory in impressive fashion, defeating Chivas USA 6-2 on Saturday evening at The Home Depot Center. Sounders FC are in a tie for second place in the Western Conference with 43 points from 25 games.
 
LAST MATCH
  • Sounders FC were up a goal after 10 minutes, when Fredy Montero slipped a ball to Brad Evans on the left side of the field, and he walked into the penalty area before easily beating goalkeeper Dan Kennedy.
  • Montero then struck twice within seven minutes. In the 27th minute, on the counter, Evans found Mauro Rosales, who knocked it into Montero, who made no mistake from inside the area. Then, Montero again received a lovely pass from Rosales as he cut into the area, and ran onto the ball and chipped it coolly past Kennedy.
  • Chivas pulled back into the match with goals on either side of halftime. In the 37th minute, Seattle defender Jeff Parke was whistled for a penalty kick, and Juan Agudelo easily beat Michael Gspurning from the spot. Then Miller Bolanos scored in the 64th minute, running at the Seattle defense before sending a blistering shot past Gspurning from 20 yards out.
  • But just three minutes later, Sounders FC made 4-2 on the night as Rosales again set up Montero for a finish inside the penalty area.
  • It was 5-2 to Seattle in the 80th minute when Sammy Ochoa buried a header from a Christian Tiffert cross from the left side, and in stoppage time the final margin was completed when Chivas USA's Ante Jazic headed a ball into his own net.
  • Sounders FC head coach Sigi Schmid made one change to the team that defeated Vancouver Whitecaps FC 2-0 at CenturyLink Field. Fredy Montero came into the side in place of Alex Caskey.
  • SEATTLE SOUNDERS FC (4-4-2): Michael Gspurning - Adam Johansson, Jeff Parke, Jhon Kennedy Hurtado, Leo Gonzalez - Mauro Rosales (Mario Martinez 78), Christian Tiffert (Steve Zakuani 84), Osvaldo Alonso, Brad Evans - Fredy Montero, Eddie Johnson (Sammy Ochoa 73).
TEAM NEWS
  • Sounders FC won for the fifth time in the last seven games, since undergoing a nine-game winless run. They have lost just once in their last nine league games.
  • In his 100th career league appearance, Fredy Montero scored his first MLS hat trick. Montero extended his goalscoring streak to four games, with six goals in that time; he moved into a tie for fourth in the MLS Golden Boot standings.
  • “He’s playing well,” Schmid said. “I think the one goal that he made where he played the ball to Mauro, he got the ball back and just chipped it over Kennedy as he was coming out, I thought that was a quality goal, a quality finish. He’s very sharp right now and very confident and obviously that’s a good thing for our team.”
  • Mauro Rosales set an MLS career-best with three assists – setting up all three of Montero’s goals. With the performance, Rosales moved into the lead in the MLS assist race with 13 for the season.
  • “I think we did great offensively, and making many situations for goals,” said Rosales. “For the strikers, they were very effective and very calm with the ball. Almost every time that we could make a good pass or a good pass through to them, they did very well.”
  • Said Schmid: “He’s good at what he does for sure. There are other people involved when you make those plays, but with those final passes, he found Fredy a couple times and, in other games, he’s found Eddie [Johnson] with crosses on timely runs. So he’s done a good job of making the good decision of finding the guy who’s the most open at the time and feeding them.”
  • Rosales has nine assists over the last seven games. He’s had multiple-assist games in three of those.
  • “I think they have all the credit,” Rosales said of the Sounders forwards. “Creating chances is easier than the job they have to do. They have excellent skill to score. We just have to put the ball in the place that they are, they do the rest. We don’t have the same credit as them, but they deserve to be the guys that take everything because they are doing an excellent job. It’s not an easy thing to score goals. They are scoring goals like it’s nothing.”
  • Making his fourth consecutive start, Christian Tiffert recorded his first MLS assist on the fifth Sounders FC goal.
  • “He’s a player that knows what the game needs at any moment,” said Rosales. “We just have to be with him and try to do the best for the team. We know what’s happening in the game and we have to follow the players that are trying to help the team. He’s one of them.”
  • Said Schmid: “What’s good about that group is that it’s a good mix of complication and simple. What I mean is that when you look at a guy like Tiffert is how many times do you see him just play one- and two-touch and just lay balls off? He has that simplicity that allows someone else to be more complicated at certain times. You have good balance. You have speed in that group, good technical ability, you’ve got vision, simplicity of play, you’ve got quality of passing. So that’s a good group.”
  • On Thursday, Sounders FC won for the second time in as many CONCACAF Champions League games, easing to a 3-1 victory against Caledonia AIA in Trinidad. Alex Caskey (45), Sammy Ochoa (60) and Fredy Montero (69) scored for Sounders FC.
  • Here’s the Sounders FC team: Michael Gspurning, Zach Scott, Patrick Ianni, Jhon Kennedy Hurtado, Marc Burch, Mario Martinez (Cordell Cato 61), Osvaldo Alonso, Brad Evans, Alex Caskey, Fredy Montero (Leo Gonzalez 74), Sammy Ochoa (Christian Tiffert 86).
  • “Being able to control our destiny is really important,” Schmid said. “We can look at the next game when it comes up against Marathon in Honduras and we can decide where we’re at. ... So we can push for that or we can say, ‘Let’s get ready,’ because maybe we need some points in league at that stage. So maybe we’ll play a little different team in Honduras and we’ll push for it when we play at home in the last week of the season. We can analyze a little bit and decide which game we’re going to push for that victory.”