Preview: Seattle host FC Dallas in Western Conf. rumble

Seattle Sounders vs. FC Dallas, May 25, 2011

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A quality matchup in the Western Conference is ahead on Wednesday evening at Qwest Field when Seattle Sounders FC entertain FC Dallas. Sounders FC continued their recent rich vein of form with a last-gasp 1-0 victory last weekend against Sporting Kansas City. FC Dallas are approaching club-record levels in not allowing a goal in 399 minutes, after last weekend’s scoreless draw with Real Salt Lake at home.

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REFEREE: Baldomero Toledo. SAR (bench): Craig Lowry; JAR (opposite): Kevin Duliba; 4th: Juan Guzman MLS Career: 112 games; FC/gm: 25.2; Y/gm: 3.7; R: 45; pens: 44

INJURY REPORT:
SEATTLE SOUNDERS FC – OUT: FW O’Brian White (L leg surgery); MF Steve Zakuani (R leg fracture); QUESTIONABLE: MF Brad Evans (adductor strain); PROBABLE: MF Erik Friberg (ankle sprain)
FC DALLAS – OUT: DF Edson Edward (R knee ACL tear); MF David Ferreira (R ankle); MF Bryan Leyva (R ankle); QUESTIONABLE: DF Jair Benitez (L knee); FW Maykel Galindo (L plantar fascia strain); FW Milton Rodriguez (IT band
syndrome)

INTERNATIONAL ABSENCES: none
SUSPENDED: none
WARNINGS:
SUSPENDED NEXT YELLOW CARD: SEA: Leo Gonzalez
SUSPENDED AFTER TWO YELLOW CARDS: SEA: Osvaldo Alonso, Servando Carrasco … DAL: Andrew Jacobson

HEAD-TO-HEAD
ALL-TIME: Sounders FC 1 win, 6 goals … FC Dallas 0 wins, 5 goals … Ties 3
AT QWEST FIELD: Sounders FC 1 win, 3 goals … FC Dallas 0 wins, 2 goals … Ties 1
RETURN MATCH: 8/20: FC Dallas vs. Seattle Sounders FC, 8 p.m. CT

LAST YEAR
4/22: DAL 2, SEA 2 (Cunningham 27, 90 – Zakuani 38; Montero 55)
7/11: SEA 1, DAL 1 (Montero 14 – Ferreira 87)
There has been just one victory in the four all-time meetings – a 2-1 Seattle win at Qwest Field on the final day of the 2009 season that knocked FC Dallas out of the MLS Cup Playoffs.
Coaches record: Sigi Schmid v DAL: P29 W12 L7 D10 … Schellas Hyndman vs. SEA: P4 W0 L1 D3

SEATTLE SOUNDERS FC
Seattle Sounders FC extended their unbeaten run to three games, getting yet another dramatic 1-0 win against Sporting Kansas City, Saturday evening at Qwest Field. Sounders FC have 17 points from 12 games on the season, sitting in a three-way for third place in the Western Conference.

LAST MATCH

  • Once again, it was late heroics to give Sounders FC the victory against Kansas City. Jeff Parke scored his first MLS goal in seven years, heading home a Tyson Wahl corner kick three minutes into stoppage time for the winner. A year ago, Seattle snatched a late 1-0 win on a last-minute goal from Mike Fucito.
  • Sounders FC head coach Sigi Schmid made three changes to the team that reached a 1-1 result with the Portland Timbers. Jeff Parke came in for Patrick Ianni in the back four, Mauro Rosales started for Brad Evans in midfield, and Roger Levesque came in for Nate Jaqua up top.
  • SEATTLE SOUNDERS FC (4-1-3-2): Kasey Keller – James Riley, Jhon Kennedy Hurtado, Jeff Parke, Tyson Wahl - Osvaldo Alonso - Servando Carrasco (Nate Jaqua 55), Mauro Rosales (Mike Fucito 69), Alvaro Fernandez - Roger Levesque, Fredy Montero (Patrick Ianni 95+).

TEAM NEWS

  • Jeff Parke scored his first goal since his rookie season of 2004, when he scored for the MetroStars vs. San Jose, in netting the dramatic game-winning goal against Sporting KC.
  • It was the third goal scored from a corner kick this season by Sounders FC, second in MLS (tied with LA), one behind the Houston Dynamo.
  • "It's one of the things we talked about before the game. Before the game we talked about how we wanted to get goals off corners and free kicks. Those things change games. When games are tight they make a difference. Over a season's time, if you can get 6-10 goals over the course of a season, it makes a difference.
  • You can swing a game here or there,”Schmid said. “We actually pointed out a couple guys and said, 'When was the last time you scored off a header, off a kick and got a goal.' They said a couple season ago, maybe longer. That was the guy who scored the goal, so maybe I should pick someone else for the next game. Those things tip the scale in tight games."
  • The victory ended a three-game winless run, yet Sounders FC have still lost just once since dropping the opening two games of the season (2-1 to D.C. United on May 4).
  • “We’ve lost one game in 10: nothing wrong with that. Obviously, we need to start maybe consistently putting the ball in the back of the net better,” Kasey Keller said. “But ... I’ll take a hard team to beat any day over a team that wins big, loses big. I just like to be a team that, you know you’re going to be in every game. And right now we’re there.”
  • Parke made just his second start in the last six games, replacing Patrick Ianni in central defense, who had started five games in a row.
  • “It is a situation where we have three very good center backs in Parke and Ianni, and (Jhon Kennedy) Hurtado,” Schmid said. “We have three games here in a week, so we’ll probably play each of them a couple games. We got a shutout tonight, so that was good. They each bring something good slightly different to the table. It’s more rotation than anything else.
  • Roger Levesque was also given his second start in the last three games, coming in for Nate Jaqua, who had started three of the previous four games after a slow beginning to the season while recovering from offseason knee surgery.
  • “(Levesque) has been playing well at practice. Nate may be at a physical lull right now, trying to get fit and in shape and it’s causing his touch to be off, so we decided to switch it around,” Schmid said.
  • After playing the full 90 minutes in back-to-back matches, rookie Servando Carrasco came off for a substitute 10 minutes into the second half.
  • "He was playing on the right side of the midfield and he was supposed to pinch in a little bit, but he went out wide all the time it seemed like and that brought Flaco in all the time. We need better balance there sometimes,” Schmid said. “Carrasco's outside and sometimes he's inside, but he's a rookie and he's still learning, but he gives you everything he has when he's steps on the field and he makes more good decisions than bad ones."

FC DALLAS
FC Dallas stretched their undefeated streak to six games, playing to a scoreless draw with Real Salt Lake on Sunday evening at Pizza Hut Park. FCD has 18 points from 10 games on the season, in second place in the Western Conference.

LAST MATCH

  • Real Salt Lake goalkeeper made three saves and FC Dallas netminder Kevin Hartman made two, each goalkeeper now with five shutouts, tied for the MLS league lead.
  • Once again a game was delayed at Pizza Hut Park, as referee David Gantar was forced to call a halt to the proceedings in the 83rd minute, the exact same time FCD’s match against the LA Galaxy was postponed May 1. The delay lasted an hour and 52 minutes before restarting play.
  • FC Dallas head coach Schellas Hyndman maintained the same team for a third consecutive game, keeping the group that defeated Philadelphia Union 2-0 at Pizza Hut Park
  • FC DALLAS (4-4-2): Kevin Hartman - Jackson Goncalves (Bobby Warshaw 83), George John, Ugo Ihemelu, Zach Loyd - Eric Alexander (Eric Avila 77), Andrew Jacobson, Daniel Hernandez, Brek Shea - Marvin Chavez, Fabian Castillo (Ruben Luna 72).

TEAM NEWS

  • FC Dallas managed to maintain their undefeated run since David Ferreira went down to a season-ending injury, now six games unbeaten including the Vancouver match when he was hurt, April 23.
  • “In a game like this where both teams are good defensively, you want to limit their opportunities, which we did, and give ourselves a chance,” FCD midfielder Andrew Jacobson said.
  • FC Dallas have now not allowed a goal for 399 minutes, the second-longest shutout streak of the season, behind the Columbus Crew (414 minutes). The FCD club record is 415 minutes, set last season.
  • “Everything’s kind of coming together and jelling for us,” Kevin Hartman said to the Dallas Morning News. “They might plug it in beside my name, but I really feel like I’m part of a defense and part of a team. Unless I get their help, I’m not going to get shutouts. We’re not giving up as many situations for tough saves. Everything’s a little more predictable. Will Johnson’s shot from distance [Sunday] is something I’m expected to save. So we’re in a lot better spot defensively.”
  • While FCD has maintained their defensive stoutness, they’ve been shut out twice now in the last four games, after a four-game stretch where they scored nine goals.
  • “I think we were just a bit disconnected. We worked all week on coordinating our two strikers with our flank players and we worked all week on our early services, but we weren’t able to get on the end of them,” Hyndman said. “Part of that is timing and part of it is that we don’t have the biggest guys up there.”
  • After three consecutive games at Pizza Hut Park, FC Dallas now embark on a two-game road swing, first to Seattle then down I-40 to Houston.
  • “The fact that we got seven out of nine points at home is certainly something we are proud of. Even though we’re on the road Wednesday, we have a great opportunity against Seattle and then we head down to Houston to face our in-state rivals on Saturday,” said Hartman.
  • Marvin Chavez was originally called into the Honduras national team for the CONCACAF Gold Cup, but declined the offer, citing the club’s shortage of attacking options to injury.
  • “I hope that they understand that I must help my team right now,” said Chavez, who apologized to his nation. “But regrettably, my team, FC Dallas, is in a crisis with many injured players.”