The Seattle Sounders continued their hot streak on Wednesday, overcoming an early penalty and once again closing out the win in the waning minutes of the game and sent FC Dallas home, 2-1. It was the fifth straight win for the Sounders, who haven't lost since March 29 against the Columbus Crew at home.
Injuries forced a bit of a lineup shakeup for Sigi Schmid. Brad Evans took over at left back for the injured Dylan Remick and Leo Gonzalez. Although Evans had success at left back in the last game (and with his time on the USMNT), it looked like Evans might be the goat of the game as he got tangled up with Michel in the box and was called for the foul. Michel converted the penalty kick to give Dallas an early lead.
Yet again though, the scoring prowess of the Seattle attack proved to much for the opposition to stop. Once again, the Sounders proved that no lead is safe going deep into the game. Kenny Cooper relieved Lamar Neagle in the game and immediately crushed the hopes against his former squad. Cooper's goal in the 88' was the seventh goal the Sounders have scored at the 80' mark or later in MLS games this season.
DAL- Michel (penalty) - 16'
SEA- Neagle (Martins) - 62'
SEA- Cooper (Martins) - 88'
Seattle Sounders FC - Stefan Frei, DeAndre Yedlin, Chad Marshall, Zach Scott, Brad Evans (captain), Lamar Neagle (Kenny Cooper 86'), Osvaldo Alonso, Gonzalo Pineda, Marco Pappa (Chad Barrett 74'), Obafemi Martins, Clint Dempsey (Jalil Anibaba 90')
Substitutes Not Used: Marcus Hahnemann, Michael Azira, Chad Barrett, Leo Gonzalez, Andy Rose
TOTAL SHOTS: 19 (Marco Pappa, 5); SHOTS ON GOAL: 9 (2 tied at 2); FOULS: 11 (DeAndre Yedlin, 3); OFFSIDE: 0; CORNER KICKS: 8 (Gonzalo Pineda, 5); SAVES: 1 (Stefan Frei, 1).
FC Dallas - Raul Fernandez, Zach Lloyd, Matt Hedges, Walker Zimmerman, Michel, Hendry Thomas, Andrew Jacobson (captain) (Jair Benitez 78'), Adam Moffatt, Danny Garcia (Victor Ulloa 72'), David Texeira (Fabian Castillo 65'), Blas Perez
TOTAL SHOTS: 7 (2 tied at 2); SHOTS ON GOAL: 2 (2 tied at 1); FOULS: 18 (Blas Perez, 7); OFFSIDE: 1 (Danny Garcia, 1) ; CORNER KICKS: 9 (Michel, 9); SAVES: Raul Fernandez, 7).
DAL - Michel (caution) 17'
DAL - Matt Hedges (caution) 23'
SEA - Brad Evans (caution) 37'
SEA - Marco Pappa (caution) 42'
DAL - Blas Perez (caution) 47'
Referee: Baldomero Toledo
Referee's Assistants: Fabio Tovar, Mike Kampmeinert
4th Official: Baboucarr Jallow
Time of Game: 1:55
Weather: Sunny and 64 degrees
All statistics contained in this boxscore are unofficial
-Seattle extended its winning streak to five games, matching the club record.
-Sounders FC (7-2-1, 22 points) extended its lead atop the MLS table to five points ahead of second-place Real Salt Lake.
-Seattle is now 4-1-0 this season when conceding the first goal, winning the last four times. The team leads the league with 15 second-half goals this season and has scored in the last 15 minutes in each of its past five games.
-Seattle has lost just once (7-1-1) in the past nine meetings with FC Dallas and is 2-0-0 against the Hoops this season.
-Kenny Cooper scored his third goal of the season when he netted the 88th minute game-winner against his former team.
-Lamar Neagle, celebrating his 27th birthday, scored his fourth goal of the season, tied for second on the team. Neagle has scored three goals with one assist in his last four games.
-Obafemi Martins assisted on both goals, giving him a league-best six assists on the season. Martins has now scored or assisted in eight of his 10 appearances and has recorded multiple assists twice.
-Sounders FC has now scored in all 10 games this season, extending its club best streak to start a season, including a league-high 22 goals.
-Zach Scott started the game at center back and Brad Evans at left back. It marked Scott's first start of the season after setting career-highs in appearances, starts, and minutes in 2013, and marked Evans' first start at left back after filling in on Saturday when Dylan Remick suffered an injury.
Sigi Schmid- Seattle Sounders FC Head Coach
(Opening Statement...) "Obviously you would not like to go down 1-0, that would be nice...I think our team played some very good soccer. I thought in the first half we possessed the ball really well. I thought we were combining well. They were pretty defensive, had a lot people in the box-it made it difficult. We got to open up with some crosses, but when there's all people in the back it's tough to get much there. So we talked about making sure we built out of the back... we felt we needed to run across people if we were going to score, which we obviously did. The subs getting in helped our team. They never lost hope and faith, and continued to show good character and battled well."
(On comebacks being nerve-wracking...) "It's more nerve-wracking for us on the bench than it is for them on the field. They have the right belief in themselves."
(On giving up the penalty kick...) "If you look at the last four goals that we've taken-it's [included] two PK's, an own goal. If we can eliminate the PK's and own goals, we'll be OK."
(On the starting lineup...) "I thought (Brad) Evans did a good job filling in at left back in the second half of last game, so we put him back there again at left back. We came out with Zach Scott because for Djimi (Traore) it's tough to play three games in a week on turf. We felt we needed to make a change there. Zach had been training well and Jalil (Anibaba) was certainly someone we were considering as well."
(On the opponent slowing down the game...) "There were fouls and they were certainly trying to slow the game down, taking time on throw-ins and goal kicks, and try to kill the game in various different ways. I look at that as a compliment to our team, as teams try to slow us down. Our team has done a good job of reacting well and continuing to play."
(On Obafemi Martins' performance...) "That's his unselfish play for the team. He'll run the channels, he'll post up when he needs to post up, he'll drop off and find the ball. He will chase and battle and fight for the ball. He has just been a great teammate this year and this is something good...If we can get him on the ball and if we can get Dempsey on the ball in the final 20 yards of the field, it's problems for the opponent."
(On Martins' transition to a full MLS season...) "He's playing what we expected of him. Last year was a difficult year, moving back and coming all the way over. Playing in-season in Russia, playing in-season in Spain, to a season with us, he eventually broke down physically. When you look back on that, in 12 months time he played 40-plus games, so we knew he could do that but it just ended up being too much and he broke down at the end of last year."
(On Martins playing for Nigeria's national team...) "[The Nigeria coach] and I have talked. He didn't expect me to get a call. Every coach has his group that he's been putting together, sort for Chad as well, the train maybe has left the station. Oba, the way he is playing, he might have considered him. He is playing regular football and there are some guys that are not playing regular football."
(On the winning mindset...) "We always believe we are going to win. That's why we came in with another offensive sub. We wanted to keep fresh legs going because Lamar had a great shift and we felt we could still take the game to them."
(On the team's key to success...) "I think the players, the guys who are coming into the game, are quality players and we have a quality bench.... We wanted to make sure in the offseason we had stronger options coming off the bench and I think we achieved that. Those guys have come off the bench and contributed. Chad Barrett didn't get on the scoreboard today, but he caused some problems for people on the outside."
(On the team's chemistry...) "I think the guys who are saying we have to play with each other have gotten to play with each other more on the training field and have realized, 'Hey I can drop the ball into space and move again.' We are finding little pockets, finding the seams. They are playing behind the lines and playing through the windows, and those combinations is what making us very effective. They understand that is how we play."
(On Lamar Neagle's improved passing...) "If you look at the passing stats from the last three games, his pass completion percentage has gone up each game. He has really started to understand that and connect with that."
Lamar Neagle - Sounders FC Midfielder/Forward
(On the team winning on another late goal...) "We don't want it to always come to that but it's nice at least to know that we have it in us. We keep kind of saying the same thing-we always know we can score goals no matter what, so if we're down one-zero or if it's zero-zero, I think we're confident until the 90th minute."
(On his goal...) "We just went wide, obviously we wanted to start taking more chances offensively, so I was making runs in the box. I know Oba always has his head up, so he picked out the near post and ran towards it."
(On the team's ability to pass...) "Oba [Martins] and [Clint] Dempsey and [Gonzalo] Pineda and Ozzie [Alonso]-those guys are on a different level passing. I know if I make good runs then I'm going to get the ball."
Kenny Cooper - Sounders FC Forward
(On his game-winning goal...) "It was a really great ball from Oba. He has so much quality and just great vision and really put it on a platter for me."
(On scoring a goal against his former team...) "It always feels good when that ball goes in the back of the net no matter who it's against. But yeah, that one felt good for sure."
(On getting five straight wins...) "Yeah, the team has shown so much great character in this early part of the season. It's just such a great trait to have as a team, and I think we always believe that we're never out of a game. Not only can we come back but we go on to win games. It's just a really great team effort and good belief."
Obafemi Martins - Sounders FC Forward
(On recording two assists and coming from behind...) "I'm here to help score goals as a team. Today, in the second half we deserved to win because we kept going. We were losing and everything, but we just kept going. We knew we could get a point, but now we're happy with three."
Oscar Pareja - FC Dallas Head Coach
(On the lineup and formation changes...) "We play with the players that belong to the team and they had a game three days ago and now we have another game in three days. That's the way the schedule was set and so we play with the boys that are healthy and the boys that can come in and do the job. With the formation we prepare the game depending on the opposite team, too."
(On the strategy going into the second half...) "We knew that Seattle was going to throw bodies up front. Definitely we wanted to control the tempo of the game. We knew it's a place where we know the fullbacks are coming up, the forwards are moving in a way that may put us in a [tough position]. But I don't think that was the case. We defended well and tried to keep the resolve that we had at the moment."
(On the overall performance...) "A good game for us, a good game. We deserved more but that's the game."
Michel - FC Dallas Defender
(On penalty kick...) "I simply passed the responsibility onto the keeper, gave sometime waiting for him to make a decision but maybe he got confused and ended up not moving. At that point I chose one of the corners and managed to score."
(On FC Dallas strategy in the second half...) "We knew that Seattle was going to come pressing and attacking, so we knew that we needed to pass the ball, control the ball, and pass quickly. We held the result but ended up getting goals against us; goals that are unexpected and uncommon for us to get."
(On what made Sounders FC difficult to defend...) "Seattle always does that when they play at home, they press on the other teams defense field so there was no real surprise. We tried to control the game but they ended up having the success scoring goals, we even had the chance to score a couple of goals but didn't succeed so with that they had no surprises and they managed to win the game."
(On FC Dallas lack of energy coming into second half...) "Not at all, the 11 players gave it all and the other ones that came they all gave it all. We tried to keep the score or even expand it's just that we didn't manage to get the three points, we tried; we put in all the effort."
Andrew Jacobson - FC Dallas Midfielder
(On awareness of Sounders FC comeback tendencies...) "We knew they were going to push, they're at home. We were in a good position going into the second half but we knew they were going to push they have a lot of talented guys it was no surprised."
(On FC Dallas mindset coming into second half...) "We wanted to keep our good shape and see if we could play through their lines. They attacked us very well but the guys fought hard but we just couldn't close out those last few minutes."
(On what makes Sounders FC difficult to defend...) "They play well together very collective in their attack, move well together and move off the ball, they're a good team."