SEATTLE – Brek Shea continued his recent goal-scoring exploits with a 17th minute goal and the record-breaking FC Dallas defense made it stand up for a 1-0 road victory against the Seattle Sounders at Qwest Field.
The FCD backline have now gone a club-record 489 minutes without yielding a goal, the best streak in MLS this season. With the away victory, the Texas club now has 21 points in 11 matches, good for second place in the Western Conference behind the LA Galaxy.
Seattle, meanwhile, ends a promising home stand on a sour note. In the past three matches at home, the Sounders netted four points.
For the Wednesday night match, Dallas continued with its experiment of Marvin Chávez up front, supported in the midfield by Shea, who caused problems early with his off-the-ball movement.
Dallas opened the scoring in the 17th minute, when Shea’s vertical run from the midfield was met perfectly with a pass from Andrew Jacobson. The fair-haired 21-year-old finished calmly to the far post, giving Dallas the early lead.
The visitors nearly relinquished the lead seconds later, but Zach Loyd alertly headed away a Mike Fucito attempt at the goal line. That was arguably as close as Seattle would get, as the Sounders created chances on the other end but were unable to beat FCD's back line, which came into the match unscored-upon in its last 399 minutes and continued to hold firm.
In the 42nd minute, Fredy Montero found Mauro Rosales in the penalty area with an excellent chip, but Dallas 'keeper Kevin Hartman gloved the Argentine’s shot. It was Seattle’s only shot on goal in the first half.
Dallas could have made it 2-0 before the break, when Shea again popped up in a threatening area. The tall midfielder, however, couldn’t execute a pass to Fabian Castillo, who streaked into the penalty area unmarked.
Seattle continued to test Hartman in the second half. The veteran netminder had a handful of good saves, including a sprawling dive to tip a Fucito shot over the crossbar in the 64th minute. Meanwhile, Dallas' counterattack looked dangerous with the speed of Castillo and Chávez up front.
A series of Seattle substitutes meant to bolster the attack – first Roger Levesque, then Nate Jaqua and finally Lamar Neagle – led to some nervous moments for Hartman but not much else.
Seattle finished with 19 attempts on goal, with Fucito – who was making his first MLS start – leading the line with three shots on goal.
Both teams face quick turnarounds. Seattle travel to face Real Salt Lake on Saturday at 8 pm CT, while FC Dallas return to Texas for an away match at Houston at 7:30 pm CT on Saturday (FSSW).
DAL -- Brek Shea 4 (Andrew Jacobson 2) 18
DAL -- George John (caution; Delaying a Restart) 44
SEA -- Zach Scott (caution; Unsporting Behavior) 82
FC Dallas -- Kevin Hartman, Ugo Ihemelu, George John, Zach Loyd, Brek Shea, Eric Alexander (Bobby Warshaw 74), Andrew Jacobson, Daniel Hernandez, Fabian Castillo (Ruben Luna 64), Jackson Goncalves, Marvin Chavez (Ricardo Villar 89).
Substitutes Not Used: Eric Avila, Bruno Guarda, Moises Hernandez, Chris Seitz.
Seattle Sounders -- Kasey Keller, Zach Scott, Jeff Parke, Jhon Kennedy Hurtado, Leo Gonzalez, Erik Friberg, Osvaldo Alonso, Mauro Rosales (Lamar Neagle 83), Alvaro Fernandez (Roger Levesque 64), Fredy Montero (Nate Jaqua 75), Mike Fucito.
Substitutes Not Used: Servando Carrasco, Patrick Ianni, James Riley, Terry Boss.
Referee: Baldomero Toledo
Referee's Assistants: -Craig Lowry; Kevin Duliba
4th Official: Juan Guzman