SEATTLE — Clint Dempsey was formally introduced by the Seattle Sounders and his new teammates greeted him in style.
Behind goals from Obafemi Martins, Eddie Johnson and Brad Evans, the Sounders continued their hot home form with a 3-0 win over FC Dallas on Saturday. The Sounders took their home unbeaten streak to nine games.
After firing up the capacity crowd of 39,360 by unveiling Dempsey, playing his “Don’t Tread on Me” video, the Sounders came out flying. Within the first five minutes they had forced Raul Fernandez into a pair of saves and were flying up and down the field.
They broke through in the 9th minute on a rather amazing no-look header from Martins off a well placed free kick from Mauro Rosales. The Nigerian was shockingly left virtually unmarked about 10 yards out and, despite facing away from the goal, managed to flick his header inside the top corner.
Johnson followed up with an impressive goal of his own in the 22nd minute. After Evans controlled a ball in the center of the midfield and took a couple dribbles, he lofted a pass over the defense to an on-rushing Johnson, who made a quick feint to get Fernandez to commit and then buried his shot.
It was Johnson’s first goal since scoring twice on May 18, coincidentally the last time the Sounders played FC Dallas. It was also marked the first time that Johnson and Martins had scored in the same match.
Dallas managed to move the ball reasonably well, but found actual chances hard to come by. Of Dallas’ four first-half shots, none were on target and Sounders goalkeeper Marcus Hahnemann, making his first MLS start in 14 years, didn’t have much to do.
Although Dallas looked a bit more dangerous in the second half, they still didn’t manage to put a single shot on frame. Their only real chance to get on the scoreboard came in the 69th minute when recently acquired midfielder Mauro Diaz dribbled into the penalty area and fired a shot just wide of the net. Diaz also whistled a ball over the crossbar on a free kick that proved to be the final play of the match.
Dallas is now on a nine-match winless streak and have fallen from the Supporters’ Shield lead to sixth in the West, now just one point ahead of the Sounders, despite having played two more games. The Sounders improved to 9-7-3 after finishing their current home stand with two straight wins.
MLSsoccer.com Men of the Match
|Rank||Player||What We Saw|
|1||Eddie Johnson||Returned from the Gold Cup triumph with a well-taken goal, and pestered Dallas all night|
|2||Brad Evans||The penalty was just the cherry on top of another strong performance in central midfield, including a terrific assist on Johnson's goal|
|3||Djimi Traore||The offense will take the headlines, but Traore helped snuff out chances for Dallas all night, making Hahnemann's job pretty easy|