Match Preview: Seattle Sounders FC vs FC Dallas
SEATTLE SOUNDERS FC vs FC DALLAS
CENTURYLINK FIELD, Seattle, Wash.
May 18, 2013 (WEEK 12, MLS Game #109)
7:30 p.m. PT (KING-NBC/KOMO2; TWCSN-TX)
It’s a key clash in the Western Conference standings on Saturday evening at CenturyLink Field as Seattle Sounders FC take on division-leading FC Dallas. Sounders FC have reversed course and are undefeated in five games, following their dominant 4-0 home win vs. San Jose last weekend. FC Dallas bring a nine-game undefeated streak on the road with them, coming off a 2-1 victory against D.C. United in Frisco.
REFEREE: Mark Geiger. AR1 (bench): Joe Fletcher; AR2 (opposite): Claudio Badea; 4th: Baldomero Toledo
MLS Career: 110 games; FC/gm: 26.4; Y/gm: 3.6; R: 26; pens: 36
DISABLED LIST: SEA: Josh Ford
SUSPENDED NEXT YELLOW CARD: none
SUSPENDED AFTER TWO YELLOW CARDS: SEA: Eddie Johnson
INTERNATIONAL ABSENCES: none
ALL-TIME (9 meetings): Sounders FC 4 wins, 13 goals … FC Dallas 1 win, 8 goals … Ties 4
AT SEATTLE (6 meetings): Sounders FC 2 wins, 6 goals … FC Dallas 1 win, 4 goals … Ties 1
RETURN MATCHES: 8/3: Seattle Sounders FC vs. FC Dallas, 7:30 p.m. PT; 10/19: FC Dallas vs. Seattle Sounders FC, 2 p.m. CT (NBCSN)
LAST YEAR (MLS):
5/9: DAL 0, SEA 2 (Montero 68, 71)
9/2: DAL 1, SEA 1 (Jackson 32 – Rosales 20)
10/21: SEA 3, DAL 1 (Evans 32, 60; Rosales 79 – Perez 40)
- FC Dallas have won just once in nine meetings in the all-time series, a 1-0 victory in Seattle on May 25, 2011. Sounders FC have won three of the four league meetings since, with one draw.
- Sounders FC have never lost at FC Dallas Stadium, victorious on trips to Frisco each of the last two seasons.
- Coaches record: Sigi Schmid vs. SJ: P31 W14 L12 D5 … Frank Yallop vs. SEA: P11 W6 L4 D1
SEATTLE SOUNDERS FC
Seattle Sounders FC ran their undefeated streak to five games with a second consecutive victory, rolling to a 4-0 win against the San Jose Earthquakes on Saturday afternoon at CenturyLink Field. Sounders FC are in a tie for seventh place in the Western Conference with 12 points from 9 matches.
- The opener came in the 28th minute. After a turnover at the center line, Sounders FC broke the other way, with Eddie Johnson's low cross chested down by Mauro Rosales for an on-rushing Lamar Neagle to hammer past Jon Busch.
- It was 2-0 just just moments before the halftime whistle. After a foul just outside the left corner of the Earthquakes area, Rosales curled a 20-yard free kick off the inside the near post and past Busch's five.
- Neagle and Sounders FC put the game away in the 54th minute. The forward fought off a pair of Quakes defenders to control Servando Carrasco's pass and then put a left-footed shot inside Busch's left-hand post from the edge of the area.
- The rout complete in stoppage time, when Obafemi Martins took advantage of a clearance that bounced off a Quakes teammate right into his path to poke into the goal from close range.
- Sounders FC head coach Sigi Schmid made three changes to the team that defeated Sporting Kansas City 1-0 at Sporting Park. DeAndre Yedlin came back from suspension in place of Jhon Kennedy Hurtado, Mauro Rosales started in midfield for Mario Martinez, and Lamar Neagle also returned from suspension in place of David Estrada.
- SEATTLE SOUNDERS FC (4-4-2): Michael Gspurning - DeAndre Yedlin, Djimi Traore, Zach Scott, Leo Gonzalez - Mauro Rosales (Mario Martinez 62), Servando Carrasco, Osvaldo Alonso, Brad Evans (Obafemi Martins 55) - Eddie Johnson, Lamar Neagle (David Estrada 86).
- Sounders FC have gone 3-0-2 in their last five games, having scored eight goals over that span while allowing just two. “Dallas is in first in our division, and one of the things we talked to our team about is we want to win season series against teams. This is our first game with them and it becomes a really good measuring stick for us,” said Sounders FC head coach Sigi Schmid. “They're a good team, they're an exciting team, they score goals, they've played a good amount of games at home at this stage, as well, so us catching them here is good for us.”
- It was also a fourth shutout in the past five games for goalkeeper Michael Gspurning. Seattle has now not allowed a goal in 219 minutes.
- “It's good again to get a clean sheet, it's good for them in the back – slightly different group of people with DeAndre [Yedlin] coming back into the team, but I think overall the team understands the commitment as well from the outside midfielders has to be towards the defensive side of things also,” said Schmid. “I think those guys have been committed, so it's not just the backs who create these things, it's the whole team and they're willingness to force the other team in, their willingness to put some pressure on service.”
- Lamar Neagle recorded his second career multiple-goal game, getting a pair in the Sounders FC win. Neagle scored a hat trick on Aug. 27, 2011 vs. Columbus in his first stint with the club.
- “He’s finding his confidence,” said Schmid. “He’s always been – I’ve said it before – he’s one of those guys that’s a gamer. Sometimes at practice, you sort of scratch your head and you say, ‘What’s going on?’ But then once he gets the opportunity in the games and he performs well, it’s his game performances that’ll keep getting him on the field.”
- Mauro Rosales also added a goal and an assist. His goal was the first directly from a free kick for Sounders FC since Fredy Montero hit one July 10, 2011 vs. Portland.
- Obafemi Martins was able to return to the team after a two-match absence, coming off the substitutes’ bench for a 35-minute shift, and scored his second MLS goal. He has scored in each of his last two league appearances.
- “When you look at Obafemi’s goal, I think it shows that if you slip up or make half a mistake, he's so quick to pounce on things and easily turned it into a goal,” said Schmid. “There were a lot of guys that played well tonight. Sometimes how you play doesn't actually show up on the scoresheet, but I thought Eddie Johnson worked really hard up front for us and created a lot of things. The combination play up front was good.”
- After playing at fullback in the Kansas City match, Zach Scott moved into central defense alongside Djimi Traoré, with Jhon Kennedy Hurtado given the night off.
- “Jhon Kennedy [Hurtado] had played really well for us in the last couple games and was a little fatigued, so we decided to go with Zach Scott. I thought against their matchup and the way they play, with a lot of aerial balls, he was a good choice and I thought he played well,” Schmid said.
- Servando Carrasco started for a third consecutive match, a second in the center of midfield alongside Osvaldo Alonso, and recorded his first career MLS assist, in his 25th league game.
- "He's playing well right now, and the way it's worked is he's sat maybe a little deeper at times than Ozzie has, and Ozzie has gone a little more forward," Schmid said. "Whereas before, Ozzie was the deeper one and Servando is not as comfortable in that role in front of Ozzie as much. They're more or less side-by-side at times, but there's probably more times where Ozzie is in front of Servando than it was when they played in the past."
FC Dallas stretched their undefeated streak to nine games, defeating D.C. United 2-1 on Saturday evening in Frisco. FCD sit atop the Western Conference with 24 points from 11 matches.
- FC Dallas took the lead after just 11 minutes. Catching United out in transition, Eric Hassli had time to find Jackson all alone on the left side of the box, and he blasted a high, hard shot past United 'keeper Joe Willis.
- But United pulled level just before the halftime whistle. From a foul just outside of the Dallas 18, United used a quick touch from the restart to give Dwayne De Rosario an angle for a low shot, beating Chris Seitz at full stretch inside the right corner.
- The winner came in the 77th minute. Michel flighted his corner kick from the right all the over to the far post, where Je-Vaughn Watson provided the final touch over the line with his chest for the eventual game-winner.
- FC Dallas head coach Schellas Hyndman made three changes to the team that came back for a 1-1 draw with the Portland Timbers at FC Dallas Stadium. Chris Seitz replaced Raul Fernandez between the posts, and Jackson and Eric Hassli came into the team, in place of Kenny Cooper and David Ferreira.
- FC DALLAS (4-4-2): Chris Seitz - Zach Loyd, London Woodberry, Matt Hedges, Jair Benitez (Walker Zimmerman 90) - Jackson, Je-Vaughn Watson, Michel, Fabian Castillo (Kenny Cooper 46) - Blas Perez, Eric Hassli (Bobby Warshaw 81).
- FC Dallas extended their undefeated streak to nine games in the victory against D.C. United, matching the second-longest in club history. FCD went 19 games without defeat in the 2010 season.
- “Je-Vaughn Watson told me yesterday that he was going to score today, so he’s good for his word and it was a great three points for us,” FC Dallas coach Schellas Hyndman said. “… I thought we had a really difficult first half. But we challenged them and they came back and showed their character. For me, it was a complete domination in the second half.”
- In his place, Eric Hässli made his first start for FCD, playing 81 minutes alongside Blas Perez in attack as Hyndman went with a twin-striker scheme.
- “You’ve got two very intelligent players, two very skillful players and two very good finishers, so I think they complement each other,” said Hyndman. “The thing is, everything you do, you have to be prepared to give something up. So if the two of them are out on the field together, then you have to give something up and normally you’d give something up in the midfield. If you only have one of them up there, then you normally have another player in the midfield. So it all depends on what you’re prepared to give up, but it’s also how you’re able to impose your play onto opponents. With two strikers, it’s a lot harder for those four [opposing] defenders to feel comfortable.”
- David Ferreira was kept out of the side after suffering a hamstring injury that forced him off after 53 minutes of the Portland game, the first match he’s missed this season.
- Kenny Cooper did not feature in the first XI for the first time this season, but came on as a halftime substitute for Fabian Castillo.
- “The thing we don’t ever want to do is put a player in jeopardy where they may make it worse for the next week,” Hyndman said. “If one of them is able to play, that’s great, if all three are available to play, that’s even better. If they’re not, I think we’ve shown we have some depth on this team.”
- Je-Vaughn Watson made his second consecutive start – his first two for the club since starting in the opening match of the season – and scored his first goal for FCD. It was his second goal in MLS, his first coming Sept. 14, 2011 for Houston vs. Columbus.
- Having already missed the last two matches with a hamstring strain suffered in the first half of the April 27 game in Vancouver, Hyndman said center back George John could also miss out on the Seattle match. Home Grown Player London Woodberry has played the last two matches in central defense.
- “It’s going to be a decision we have to make [Wednesday] or early Thursday if we’re going to bring him or not,” Hyndman said. “If it was a grass field, I think we’d feel a lot more comfortable with it, but being that he had a knee injury and now we’re back on turf, I have to look at the bigger picture of the rest of the season.”
- While he did not feature, midfielder Ramon Nuñez was in the 18-man gameday roster for the first time in more than eight months after a torn ACL in his knee. His last appearance for FCD came July 14, 2007 vs. D.C. United.
- “I don’t know if we’d have been that aggressive putting him on there because he’s still a couple weeks behind where we think he needs to be,” said Hyndman. “At the same time, it’s encouraging to see him dress out and very encouraging for the guys in the locker room too.” Said Nuñez: “It’s been a while and it’s the right step towards the direction I want to head and a step closer to getting on the field.”