Seattle Sounders FC vs. FC Dallas | MLS Match Preview

SEATTLE SOUNDERS FC vs FC DALLAS
CENTURYLINK FIELD, Seattle, Wash.
May 7, 2014 (WEEK 10, MLS Game #82)
7 p.m.PT (JOEtv; TWCSN-TX)

Seattle Sounders FC put their long winning streak on the line at midweek when they face FC Dallas for a second time this season on Wednesday evening at CenturyLink Field. Sounders FC now own the best record in Major League Soccer following their fourth consecutive win, a 2-1 triumph over Philadelphia last weekend. FC Dallas have lost two in a row and fallen out of the West lead, coming off a 1-0 home defeat by the New York Red Bulls on Sunday.

REFEREE: Baldomero Toledo. AR1 (bench): Fabio Tovar; AR2 (opposite): Mike Kampmeinert; 4th: Baboucarr Jallow
MLS Career: 170 games; FC/gm: 25.3; Y/gm: 3.4; R: 60; pens: 62

SUSPENDED: DAL: Je-Vaughn Watson (through May 7)
WARNINGS:
SUSPENDED NEXT YELLOW CARD: none
SUSPENDED AFTER TWO YELLOW CARDS: SEA: Osvaldo Alonso … DAL: Fabian Castillo
DISABLED LIST: SEA: Damion Lowe; Kevin Parsemain
INTERNATIONAL ABSENCES: none

HEAD-TO-HEAD
ALL-TIME (13 meetings): Sounders FC 7 wins, 21 goals … FC Dallas 2 wins, 13 goals … Ties 4
AT SEATTLE (6 meetings): Sounders FC 4 wins, 13 goals … FC Dallas 1 win, 6 goals … Ties 1
FUTURE MATCH: 9/24: FC Dallas vs. Seattle Sounders FC, 8 p.m. CT

  • The teams are meeting for the second time this season. Clint Dempsey scored a pair of goals, his second in the 85th minute capping a second-half comeback to give Sounders FC a 3-2 win on April 12 at Toyota Stadium, the first FC Dallas defeat of the season.
  • FC Dallas won the final meeting between the teams a season ago, a 2-0 win on Sept. 19 at Toyota Stadium. It was their first victory against Sounders FC since May 25, 2011, when they won 1-0 in Seattle.
  • Sounders FC have won their last three home meetings with FC Dallas. The lone FCD victory at CenturyLink Field all-time came May 25, 2011, a 1-0 win.
  • Coaches record: Sigi Schmid vs. DAL: P38 W18 L9 D11 … Oscar Pareja vs. SEA: P7 W1 L5 D1

LAST MEETING (MLS):
4/12: DAL 2, SEA 3 (Texeira 10; Michel 42 – Dempsey 22, 85; own goal 75)

  • FC Dallas opened the scoring in the 10th minute. A deflected pass, a high bounce and some wind put Sounders FC goalkeeper Stefan Frei in trouble, and the ball went off his fingertips and landed behind him for David Texeira to tap into an empty net.
  • The visitors were level in the 22nd minute. Clint Dempsey stepped up to a 35-yard free kick and bent it over the wall, off the underside of the crossbar and just over the goal line. The ball then spun back into play, and Obafemi Martins headed in the rebound to make sure, but Dempsey was credited with the goal.
  • FCD nosed back in front five minutes before halftime when Texeira was fouled in the area by DeAndre Yedlin and referee Juan Guzman pointed to the spot. Michel converted the penalty kick, his second in as many weeks.
  • Seattle were level again in the 75th minute. Substitute Marco Pappa sent in a curling ball from the left that was headed only to the far side of the penalty area, from where Dempsey fired a cross that deflected off defender Stephen Keel and into the net behind helpless Dallas goalkeeper Chris Seitz.
  • The game-winner came 10 minutes later. Racing for the return pass off a one-two with Chad Barrett, Dempsey one-timed the ball into the top of the net to give Seattle the victory.
  • FC DALLAS (4-2-3-1): Chris Seitz - Zach Loyd, Stephen Keel, Matt Hedges, Jair Benitez - Hendry Thomas, Michel - Je-Vaughn Watson (Peter Luccin 70 / Adam Moffat 79), Mauro Diaz, Fabian Castillo - David Texeira (Tesho Akindele 86).
  • SEATTLE SOUNDERS FC (4-4-1-1): Stefan Frei - DeAndre Yedlin, Djimi Traore, Chad Marshall, Leo Gonzalez - Kenny Cooper (Marco Pappa 68), Osvaldo Alonso, Gonzalo Pineda, Lamar Neagle (Chad Barrett 72) - Clint Dempsey - Obafemi Martins (Michael Azira 90).

SEATTLE SOUNDERS FC
Seattle Sounders FC extended their winning streak to four matches, coming back for a 2-1 win against Philadelphia Union on Saturday evening at CenturyLink Field. Sounders FC are in first place in the Western Conference with 19 points from nine games.

LAST MATCH

  • Union took the lead after 14 minutes. Cristian Maidana sent in a free kick from about 40 yards out that hit off the head of Brad Evans as he was trying to defend and looped into the goal.
  • Sounders FC had a glorious opportunity to pull level in the 39th minute when Sheanon Williams was whistled for a handball in the penalty area. Osvaldo Alonso stepped to the spot and sent a shot toward the right side, but Union goalkeeper Zac MacMath guessed correctly and pushed the attempt off the post.
  • Sounders FC finally equalized in the 61st minute when Obafemi Martins was able to beat MacMath to a ball in the box from an Evans’ header and prod it home from close range.
  • The winner came 23 minutes later. Marco Pappa sent a corner kick into the box from the right where Chad Marshall rose above the defense to powerfully head home and extend the Seattle winning run.
  • Sounders FC head coach Sigi Schmid made one change to the team that strolled to a 4-1 win against the Colorado Rapids at CenturyLink Field. Brad Evans came back into the team in place of Marco Pappa.
  • SEATTLE SOUNDERS FC (4-4-2): Stefan Frei - DeAndre Yedlin, Djimi Traore, Chad Marshall, Dylan Remick (Marco Pappa 51) - Brad Evans, Gonzalo Pineda, Osvaldo Alonso, Lamar Neagle (Kenny Cooper 79) - Obafemi Martins (Zach Scott 88), Clint Dempsey.

TEAM NEWS

  • The victory was the fourth consecutive win for Sounders FC. The winning streak is one short of the club’s MLS record, set previously on three occasions, including last year from Aug. 25-Sept. 13.
  • Obafemi Martins scored a goal in a third consecutive match in the victory, matching the longest goal-scoring streak in his MLS career. Martins has a goal and/or an assist in seven of his nine appearances this season.
  • “I think offensively the flow that we have at times is very, very good, [especially] the ability to find each other and continue to move off the ball. I think we had some really good looks, and sometimes looks don't always reflect themselves in shots, but I thought we had some really good looks in the first half, and we had some good looks in the second half. ... I think the movement of the ball and the movement of the ball [shows] the confidence they have of getting the ball back,” said Sounders FC head coach Sigi Schmid.
  • Chad Marshall scored his first goal since coming to Sounders FC. He now has a goal or an assist in three consecutive appearances; he has not been involved in as many as three goals in a season since 2010, when he had one goal and two assists in 24 appearances for Columbus.
  • "He's a good defender – that's the reason he's here. We felt that he could help us get further as a team and do better. I think he is a quality player and one of the best center backs in the league,” said Schmid. “He's got two assists ... the assist he had last week and the goal he had this week off set pieces are obviously geared toward him and were very effective. Even when their fast guys go one-v-one against him you don't see him get beat. His first step is really good, he knows how to use his body-he is a calm, smart defender.”
  • Clint Dempsey saw his streak of six consecutive games with either a goal or an assist come to an end.
  • "He is still a huge part of our game. Sometimes people get all hung up on goals and assists and that's the key whether or not he has a good game or not,” Schmid said. “If Chad Marshall hadn't scored the goal and somebody else has, I still think Marshall should have been player of the match, but sometimes we get hung up on who scored the last goal. Clint is certainly very involved in our offensive attacks ... even if there are no goals and assists he is still playing a very important role on our team.”
  • Brad Evans made his first start since March 15, when he was forced from the second game of the season with a hamstring injury. Evans recorded his first assist of the season.
  • “I thought he did well. That's Brad's versatility, to play midfield for a half then left back for 35 minutes. That's part of what we need him to do. ... He scored one against us, so I am glad Brad got up there for that one, so that was good,” Schmid said.
  • After starting the last two matches, Marco Pappa came off the substitutes’ bench early in the second half, in place of Dylan Remick, and recorded his first assist of the season.
  • “Marco came in and helped us. (Dylan) Remick got injured and we needed to take him out. We were thinking about bringing a defender to that position, but I felt we needed to get Marco on and we could move Brad Evans back there to left back,” said Schmid. “I thought that was a good way to do it. I think Marco's passing certainly helped us getting some combinations and going forward.”

FC DALLAS
FC Dallas lost for a second consecutive match for the first time this season, dropping a 1-0 decision to the New York Red Bulls at Toyota Stadium on Saturday evening. FC Dallas sit in third place in the Western Conference with 16 points from nine games.

LAST MATCH

  • FC Dallas were a man down after just 10 minutes when Je-Vaughn Watson went flying hard into a tackle on New York's Tim Cahill, seeing straight red from referee Edvin Jurisevic.
  • FCD had a terrific chance to take the lead after Cahill took down Danny Garcia in the area and was whistled for a penalty. But Red Bulls goalkeeper Luis Robles turned away the Blas Perez spot kick almost on the stroke of the hour.
  • The Red Bulls finally broke in the 71st minute. Thierry Henry was freed with a long ball up the right wing, and from inside the area hit a square pass to a charging Bradley Wright-Phillips, who calmly collected and tapped in for the game-winner.
  • FCD head coach Oscar Pareja made four changes to the team that fell 4-1 to D.C. United at RFK Stadium. Andrew Jacobson and Walker Zimmerman came into the back four for Stephen Keel and the suspended Zach Loyd, and Victor Ulloa and Danny Garcia came into the midfield for Mauro Diaz and suspended Michel.
  • FC DALLAS (4-2-3-1): Raul Fernandez - Andrew Jacobson, Walker Zimmerman, Matt Hedges, Jair Benitez (Moises Hernandez 69) - Hendry Thomas, Victor Ulloa - Je-Vaughn Watson (ejected 10), Danny Garcia (David Texeira 75), Fabian Castillo - Blas Perez (Tesho Akindele 79).

TEAM NEWS

  • FC Dallas were shut out for the first time this season in their second consecutive loss. The loss leaves Seattle Sounders FC as the only team to have scored a goal in every MLS game thus far this season.
  • “When you lose a man, you are definitely losing something. After the red card, I wanted to change the formation because the game required us to, but we didn’t change our focus,” said FCD head coach Oscar Pareja. “We had a few chances that could have given us some points, especially in the second half, where the players played much more aggressively. It is a shame that these boys didn’t take away any points despite their great efforts.”
  • With Mauro Diaz out injured after being forced from the field before halftime in the loss to D.C. United, Homegrown Player Danny Garcia made his full professional debut ñ in the attacking midfield role.
  • “I would have loved to have given him the opportunity where he didn’t have to carry that much of the responsibility. That was not the case. The team was given to Danny today and he took that responsibility. In 10 minutes he was playing with one man down, which is even worse,” said Pareja. “It was not an ideal scenario for him, but he proved in those hard circumstances that he can play the game and that’s fantastic.”
  • Raul Fernandez made his first start of the season, after Chris Seitz had started the first eight games in goal. Fernandez was credited with three saves.
  • “Seitz has been carrying the responsibility for the first eight games. Now Raul is ready. He was missing games and he accumulated some games in the reserves and he’s ready for the position,” said Pareja. “The competition is there and I chose to give Seitz a break, but also to give the opportunity to someone who has been starting for this team in well-deserved situations.”
  • With Zach Loyd suspended, Andrew Jacobson made his first start since March 15 – the second game of the season – but this time at right back. Jacobson had featured in a deep-lying central midfield role in the first two games.
  • FCD will be without Je-Vaughn Watson for the Seattle match after he was sent off for a second time this season. Watson was also expelled from the Portland game on March 29 – but saw the resulting suspension expunged by the MLS Disciplinary Committee.
  • “We had guys step up in so many different positions. We performed so well. Creating opportunities with 10 men in this league and having the run of play for the majority of the game, down a man, just shows the kind of personality we have as a team,” said defender Walker Zimmerman. “We learned a little bit from last week, where we kind of sat in once we went down to 10 men. We didn't give up here. We just kept fighting and going forward. It was a much better performance.”
  • Victor Ulloa made his second start of the season, his first since March 29, coming into a central midfield position.
  • “Victor Ulloa played one of his best games with an FC Dallas jersey, having come up out of our system and proving today that he is an MLS player. All the other players, the guys who have been around, doubled their efforts,” said Pareja. “Did we miss Mauro [Diaz]? Yes, but today we had good news, because the boys who we saw on the field today made us proud.”