SEATTLE — Needing a result in the worst way, FC Dallas saw their playoff hopes disappear under a second-half onslaught from the Seattle Sounders.
The Sounders took an early lead and then put FC Dallas’ playoff hopes to rest with a pair of second-half goals in a 3-1 victory on Sunday. Brad Evans scored a first-half penalty and followed that up with the eventual game-winner in the 60th minutes.
FC Dallas were given a bit of a life-line earlier in the day when the Vancouver Whitecaps lost a home game to the Portland Timbers, but couldn’t muster much other than Blas Perez’s equalizer.
The Sounders also clinched no worse than third place in the West, setting up a first-round matchup with Real Salt Lake.
The Sounders put the game away when Mauro Rosales converted his third goal of the season, needing only to tap in a ball that Fredy Montero had sent across the goalmouth. Montero ended up with a pair of assists and drew the penalty that led to the first goal.
Montero used some fancy ball-handling skills to set up that penalty in the 32nd minute. Taking a long pass from Marc Burch, Montero pinned his defender on his back and juggled the ball a couple times to set up a shot on his left foot. Before he could shoot, Hernan Pertuz dragged him and referee Baldomero Toledo immediately pointed to the spot.
As he has made a habit of doing, Evans coolly finished the penalty. Evans is now 5-for-5 on penalties in his Sounders career, also converting one earlier this year.
The Sounders nearly expanded that lead three minutes later. Montero again did a good job controlling a long pass, this one a cross through the penalty area from Mauro Rosales. But after defender Zach Loyd failed to bit on a couple fake shots, Montero ripped a ball toward the near post from about six yards out. Kevin Hartman was able to get there in time, though, saving the ball off his face.
That seemed to inject some life back into FC Dallas. They got a window of opportunity in the 41st minute when they were given a free kick from about 35 yards out.
Ricardo Villar put in a dangerous ball to the far post that deflected back across the goal box. That’s where Perez was waiting for it, and he pounded it into the back of the net for his ninth goal of the season.
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The goal ended the Sounders’ season-long shutout streak of 370 minutes. It was the seventh longest streak in MLS this season.
The Sounders also re-established a new attendance record. The announced crowd of 38,755 brings their season average to 43,144.
Seattle will next face Marathon in CONCACAF Champions League action on Thursday before finishing up their MLS regular-season schedule next Sunday away to the LA Galaxy. Dallas will wind up their season at home to Chivas USA on the same day.
MLSsoccer.com Men of the Match
|Rank||Player||What We Saw|
|1||Brad Evans||Two goals, plus his typically relentless midfield work. Enough said.|
|2||Kevin Hartman||Two magnificent saves kept Dallas in the match and kept thier playoff chances alive for a while|
|3||Fredy Montero||Two assists, including one that deserves great kudos for quick thinking, and he created the PK|