Match Preview: FC Dallas vs Seattle Sounders FC

Oct. 19, 2013 (WEEK 34, MLS Game #307)
1:30 p.m. CT (NBC; TSN2)

Seattle Sounders FC will once again look to claim a berth in the MLS Cup Playoffs when they travel to face FC Dallas on Saturday afternoon at Toyota Stadium before an NBC audience. Sounders FC head to Texas in the throes of a three-game losing streak, following their 1-0 loss at the Portland Timbers last weekend, but can still clinch a postseason berth with a win. FCD was officially eliminated from playoff contention last weekend, following their 3-2 home loss to the Chicago Fire.


REFEREE: Ismail Elfath. AR1 (bench): Corey Rockwell; AR2 (opposite): Eric Proctor; 4th: Sorin Stoica
MLS Career: 22 games; FC/gm: 24.3; Y/gm: 3.1; R: 6; pens: 7

DISABLED LIST: DAL: Eric Hassli; Ugo Ihemelu (season-ending injury) … SEA: Josh Ford
SUSPENDED: SEA: Osvaldo Alonso (through Oct. 20)
SUSPENDED NEXT YELLOW CARD: DAL: David Ferreira, Jair Benitez, Jackson, Fabian Castillo, Blas Perez … SEA: Jhon Kennedy Hurtado, Adam Moffat, Djimi Traore
SUSPENDED AFTER TWO YELLOW CARDS: DAL: George John, Je-Vaughn Watson … SEA: Leo Gonzalez, Osvaldo Alonso, Brad Evans

ALL-TIME (11 meetings): FC Dallas 1 win, 10 goals … Sounders FC 6 wins, 20 goals … Ties 4
AT DALLAS (5 meetings): FC Dallas 0 wins, 4 goals … Sounders FC 2 wins, 7 goals … Ties 3

2013 (MLS):
5/18: SEA 4, DAL 2 (Johnson 16, 62; Neagle 31; Martins 83 ñ Cooper 54; Michel 61)
8/3: SEA 3, DAL 0 (Martins 8; Johnson 22; Evans 94+)

  • The teams are meeting for the third time this season. Eddie Johnson scored a pair of goals to send Sounders FC on their way to a 4-2 victory May 18 at CenturyLink Field, then Johnson, Obafemi Martins and Brad Evans all scored in a 3-0 Seattle home victory on Aug. 3.
  • Sounders FC have never lost at FC Dallas Stadium, victorious on trips to Frisco each of the last two seasons.
  • FC Dallas have won just once in 11 meetings in the all-time series, a 1-0 victory in Seattle on May 25, 2011. Sounders FC have won five of the six league meetings since, with one draw.
  • Coaches record: Sigi Schmid vs. DAL: P36 W17 L8 D11 … Schellas Hyndman vs. SEA: P11 W1 L6 D4


  • Sounders FC took the lead in front of a buzzing CenturyLink Field crowd in the ninth minute. Mauro Rosales hooked a free kick into the area from the right and Obafemi Martins was left completely unmarked, turning home a snap header from the center of the box.
  • The lead was doubled in the 22nd minute. Brad Evans controlled the ball in the center of the midfield and took a couple dribbles, before lofting a pass over the defense to an on-rushing Eddie Johnson, who made a quick feint to get goalkeeper Raul Fernandez to commit before burying his shot.
  • The home side capped the scoring in second-half stoppage time when Evans converted a penalty after Lamar Neagle was knocked down in the box by FCD midfielder David Ferreira.
  • SEATTLE SOUNDERS FC (4-4-2): Marcus Hahnemann - DeAndre Yedlin, Djimi Traore, Patrick Ianni, Leo Gonzalez - Mauro Rosales (Marc Burch 77), Brad Evans, Osvaldo Alonso, Lamar Neagle - Obafemi Martins (Servando Carrasco 86), Eddie Johnson (Zach Scott 90).
  • FC DALLAS (4-2-3-1): Raul Fernandez - Zach Loyd (Kellyn Acosta 73), George John, Matt Hedges, Jair Benitez - Andrew Jacobson, Je-Vaughn Watson (Mauro Diaz 46) - Jackson (Kenny Cooper 81), David Ferreira, Fabian Castillo - Blas Perez.



FC Dallas had their winless run extended to five matches, the Chicago Fire claiming a 3-2 win Saturday evening at Toyota Stadium. FCD is in eighth place in the Western Conference with 41 points from 32 matches.


  • The Fire opened the scoring in the 24th minute as forward Juan Luis Anangono out jumped Dallas defender Zach Loyd, flicking a quick, glancing header from a corner kick past a diving Chris Seitz and into the far corner of the net.
  • Three minutes before halftime, the Fire lead was doubled through some good fortune for Mike Magee. Midfielder Alex unleashed a shot from 23 yards, and Magee, in attempting to get out of the way, actually deflected the wayward effort on goal, wrong-footing Seitz for his 19th goal of the season.
  • The visitors again scored from a corner in the 52nd minute to stretch the lead to 3-0. The initial offering wasn't cleared out of the danger area and fell right to Fire fullback Jalil Anibaba’s feet, and he curled a well-struck ball into the upper corner from just outside the penalty area.
  • FC Dallas pulled a goal back in the 63rd minute when a hopeful David Ferreira ball into bypassed three Fire defenders and landed right at Kenny Cooper’s feet in the 6-yard box, and he controlled the ball before casually toe-poking past a helpless Sean Johnson in the Fire goal.
  • Then FCD were awarded a penalty kick after Chicago defender Gonzalo Segares took down Jackson inside the area. Cooper eventually stepped up to the spot and buried his attempt down the center of the goal with a quarter-hour to play, but the home side could get no closer.
  • FC Dallas head coach Schellas Hyndman made three changes to the team that came back for a 1-1 draw with Real Salt Lake at Rio Tinto Stadium. Matt Hedges and Zach Loyd came into the back four for Kellyn Acosta and George John, and David Ferreira started with Blas Perez on international duty.
  • FC DALLAS (4-2-3-1): Chris Seitz - Jair Benitez (Kellyn Acosta 73), Stephen Keel, Matt Hedges, Zach Loyd - Michel (Ramon Nunez 46), Andrew Jacobson - Mauro Diaz (Kenny Cooper 12), David Ferreira, Jackson - Fabian Castillo.


  • With the defeat, FC Dallas became the second team in the Western Conference, and the fourth overall in MLS, to be eliminated from playoff contention.
  • “We had such a wonderful start, one of the best starts in the history of the franchise, and then things just didn’t click for us for whatever reason,” head coach Schellas Hyndman said. “We were scoring a lot of goals early, a lot of them on set pieces, and then when things started getting really difficult, we took our foot off the pedal and we got a little bit complacent. It’s great frustration for the coaching staff, it’s a great frustration for everyone who works here at FC Dallas, it’s a great frustration for the fans, but I think the greatest frustration is [with] the players themselves.”
  • It was a fourth loss in the last five matches for FCD. They have won just two league matches since the start of June.
  • “The expectation was high for this year, especially when we were having a good run. I said to them the reality is we needed to win the next three games to have a shot at the playoffs, and that’s if everything bounced right for us,” Hyndman said. “I don’t think we’ve won three games in the last 20. So, the reality is it was going to be hard. We’ve dug a big hole for ourselves and they had tremendous pressure on them.”
  • Kenny Cooper scored a pair of goals, his first multiple-goal game since last Oct. 27, when he netted two vs. New York. Cooper has recorded the last three goals FC Dallas has scored.
  • “Kenny was brought here because he’s a good goal scorer, but he hit a run of bad form. It’s a normal thing strikers go through and you either play them in that bad form or you give them a chance to improve it in practice,” Hyndman said. “He’s worked awfully hard to get better. There was an injury today and he was the player we wanted to get on the field, hoping he would find the back of the net, which he did. It’s not really anything we’re doing; I think it’s more what he’s doing.”
  • Stephen Keel made a second consecutive start in central defense and Matt Hedges returned to the back four after missing his only league match of the season, as George John was unable to feature. “He said his knee was hurting and we kept him out of practice the last couple of days and yesterday we took him through a run and he said he didn’t think he could go,” Hyndman said.
  • Making his third consecutive start, this time in a wide midfield role, Mauro Diaz lasted just 12 minutes before he was forced from the field with an injury.
  • Ramon Nunez made his first appearance since Aug. 24, coming into the midfield at halftime. It matched his longest shift of the season.
  • “The second half we changed things up a little bit. It affected us when Mauro (Diaz) got hurt. We put Kenny (Cooper) on the field. We put Ramon (Nunez) in and took Michel out so we could have a little more passing, a little bit more creative play, and at the end, we went three in the back, which I thought helped us a lot,” Hyndman said. “The pressure was there and at the end we had a couple of good chances to tie the game, but in reality, it’s a disappointing ending for us.”
  • The Sounders FC match will be next-to-last for Schellas Hyndman as head coach of FC Dallas, announcing his resignation following the conclusion of the season.


Seattle Sounders FC saw their losing streak reach three games, dropping a 1-0 decision to arch-rival Portland Timbers on Sunday evening at Jeld-Wen Field. Sounders FC are in third place in the Western Conference with 51 points from 32 matches.


  • The game’s only goal came just before halftime. A Jack Jewsbury free kick deflected to an open Kalif Alhassan, and he fired a missile from about 16 yards out past Marcus Hahnemann in the Sounders FC goal.
  • Sounders FC ended the game a man down after hard foul on Timbers forward Darlington Nagbe in the 73rd minute, which resulted in Sounders captain Osvaldo Alonso being shown red by referee Hilario Grajeda for an elbow to the face of Portland's Will Johnson.
  • Sounders FC head coach Sigi Schmid made six changes to the team that fell 4-1 to Vancouver Whitecaps FC at CenturyLink Field. Marcus Hahnemann came in between the posts in place of Michael Gspurning, Patrick Ianni and Marc Burch came into the back four for Djimi Traore and Marc Burch, Adam Moffat and Alex Caskey started in midfield in place of Andy Rose and David Estrada, and Clint Dempsey started up top for Obafemi Martins.
  • SEATTLE SOUNDERS FC (4-4-2): Marcus Hahnemann - DeAndre Yedlin, Patrick Ianni, Jhon Kennedy Hurtado, Leo Gonzalez - Mauro Rosales (David Estrada 57), Adam Moffat, Osvaldo Alonso (ejected 74), Alex Caskey (Andy Rose 81) - Lamar Neagle, Clint Dempsey (Steve Zakuani 77).


  • Following a five-game winning streak, Sounders FC have gone on a five-game winless run – including three losses in a row.
  • “It’s a game we have to build off of. Over 90 minutes when you look at chances created, I thought we created the better chances, but we showed character and determination and even with 10 men we still created the chance to tie the game. That’s something we have to build upon,” said Sounders FC head coach Sigi Schmid.
  • Sounders FC were shut out at the attacking end for the first time in a league game since July 13, and the seventh time this season.
  • “Right now nothing’s falling for us. We seem to be a little bit snake bit,” Schmid said. “For sure, the last two games, if we were to play with the effort that we had tonight we wouldn’t be in this position right now. But I’m proud of the effort that we showed [in Portland].”
  • After being beaten for nine goals in the previous two matches, Michael Gspurning was replaced in goal by Marcus Hahnemann, who was making his first league start since Aug. 10.
  • “We just felt with Michael [Gspurning] it was just a situation that sometimes you just got to step back and view it from the outside,” said Schmid. “I thought Marcus did well, I didn’t think Marcus had a lot to do. I can’t remember a real difficult save that he had to make over the 90 minutes. The goal we weren’t tight to guys at the top of the 18 and the ball slipped in. But outside of that, I didn’t think Marcus had anything to do.”
  • Clint Dempsey made his first start since Aug. 31, playing 77 minutes alongside Lamar Neagle in attack, but suffered a separated shoulder early in the contest yet remained on the field of play.
  • “He was trying his best,” Schmid said. “But with his shoulder, he couldn't go into challenges and tackles. He couldn't run normally.”
  • Alex Caskey made his first appearance in a league match since June 8, coming into a wide midfield role and playing 81 minutes.
  • Adam Moffat made his second start in the last three matches for Sounders FC, his fourth appearance since his arrival from the Houston Dynamo.
  • Leo Gonzalez also returned to the back four, making his first start since Sept. 21 and playing the full match at left back.