It's a home win that earns a free haircut and takes over first in the Supporters' Shield standing. Both sides were drained by injury, suspension and call-ups, but only one looked like a favorite to take trophies this year. With the three-nil win Seattle Sounders FC have 29 points and a plus 12 goal differential. That goal differential matches the goal differential total of the next two highest GD teams (DC and Sporting). The Sounders are now third in possession, third in pass completion, second on shots in the six for, second on preventing shots in the six, and first on preventing shots in the 18.
Last night's win over FC Dallas showed that a diminished Seattle is still a top team in this parity driven league. The hydra is alive and well.
Seattle Sounders FC 3 - FC Dallas 0
Saturday, June 13, 2015
Venue: Xbox Pitch at CenturyLink Field
Referee: Alan Kelly
Assistants: Corey Rockwell, Kermit Quisenberry
Fourth Official: Alejandro Mariscal
Weather: Clear and 70 degrees
SEA - Lamar Neagle (Brad Evans) 55'
SEA - Obafemi Martins (Andy Rose) 73'
SEA - Leonardo Gonzalez (Lamar Neagle, Obafemi Martins) 90'+2'
DAL - Victor Ulloa (caution) 49'
SEA - Brad Evans (caution) 50'
DAL - Blas Perez (caution) 85'
LINEUPS & STATS
Seattle Sounders FC - Stefan Frei; Tyrone Mears, Chad Marshall, Zach Scott - Captain, Dylan Remick; Andy Rose (Leo Gonzalez 89'), Micheal Azira, Gonzalo Pineda (Brad Evans 45'), Thomás (Obafemi Martins 61'); Clint Dempsey, Lamar Neagle
Substitutes not used: Troy Perkins, Oniel Fisher, Victor Mansaray, Cristian Roldan
Total shots: 9 (3 players tied at 2)
Shots on goal: 3 (3 players tied at 1)
Fouls: 10 (Lamar Neagle/Brad Evans, 2)
Offside: 2 (Lamar Neagle, 2)
Corner-kicks: 3 (Lamar Neagle, 2)
Saves: 2 (Stefan Frei, 2)
FC Dallas - Dan Kennedy; Ryan Hollingshead, Walker Zimmerman, Zach Loyd, Michel; Fabian Castillo, Victor Ulloa, Kyle Bekker (Rolando Escobar 74'), Alex Zendejas (Coy Craft 84'); Mauro Diaz, Blas Perez - Captain
Substitutes not used: Chris Seitz, Michael Barrios, Otis Earle, Stephen Keel, David Texeira
Total shots: 10 (Fabian Castillo, 4)
Shots on goal: 2 (Fabian Castillo/Kyle Bekker, 1)
Fouls: 13 (Ryan Hollingshead, 3)
Offside: 2 (Blas Perez/Coy Craft, 1)
Corner-kicks: 8 (Michel, 5)
POST-MATCH QUOTES: SOUNDERS FC 3 - FC DALLAS 0
SATURDAY, JUNE 13, 2015
SOUNDERS FC HEAD COACH SIGI SCHMID
"It was basically a game of two halves. In the first half they were the better side, we gave them way too much space in the midfield to play, and as a result they caused a lot of problems, a lot of danger for us...We were just way too loose. In the second half, we were much better. We created turnovers, we moved the ball quicker, which is another thing we talked about at halftime, and we ended up with three goals."
On Leo Gonzalez's goal:
"It was good to see Leo get a goal, I am happy to see Leo get a goal. It was a great combination by [Obafemi Martins] and [Lamar] Neagle to free Neagle on the wing. Sometimes things don't show up in the box score - [Clint] Dempsey makes a great run, and that clears the space for Leo at the back post. Leo did well to finish it - he's happy, he's happy he got a goal."
On the substitutions:
"They sort of came in according to plan. I think Brad [Evans] could have started if we absolutely needed it, but we know we've got a series of games and we know we've got to rotate a few people. Then my decision to bring Brad to midfield was just that I thought he could bring some energy for us. I wanted him on the field in case Zach (Scott) wouldn't be able to go further because had that knock he was carrying. And then Oba, we felt we would bring him in around the 60th minute. We felt Thomás would have about 60...It made sense to bring Oba in and move Neagle wide."
On Gonzalo Pineda's halftime substitution:
"He just hyperextended his knee again a little bit. He felt he could come in again in the second half, but it was a little bit too much of a risk and we didn't want to take that risk."
On Thomás making his first MLS start:
"I thought he did alright, he still needs to learn. It's different when you're training and you're playing more small-sided games and few big games, but he needs to learn the rhythm of the big game. At times I think he dropped a little too deep - I would like to see him stay high. You saw the play early in the game when he beats the guy in the box, megs one and gets behind the other - those are the things he can do in that final third. We just want to make sure he gets the ball a little bit more in the final third, but I thought he was cognizant, he was probably almost too aware of his defensive responsibilities sometimes, but I thought he put in a good shift."
On the flow of the game:
"Today it was a little different, all games are a different. I think, as we said, we gave them way too much space, and that's the reason they had good attacking play in the first half...Hats off to them, I thought they played a really good first half."
On Micheal Azira's performance:
"I found Azira to be pretty much like the team - I didn't think he played really well in the first half, and I thought his second half was better. He got better as the game went on. I think with Micheal it's just consistency sometimes. We talk about it all the time - his heart is in the right place, and he gives everything for the team, and I thought his second half today was good."
On Stefan Frei's big save in a key situation:
"That's a big-time save. That's why you pay goalkeepers money, and that's what you're supposed to do. That's why they are on the field. To me, I have always felt, the mark between average goalkeepers and goalkeepers that are very good in the elite class, are maybe guys who don't have a lot to do and suddenly you're called upon to make a big save. He was called upon when maybe he didn't have a ton to do, there was a lot of ball in our area but he hadn't had to make a ton of saves yet, and he comes up with a big save. Stefan has been very good."
On Lamar Neagle's performance:
"He was like the team pretty much. First wasn't good, second half was much better. He scored a good goal, I thought his passing was better tonight, especially in the second half and even when we moved him out wide. From a Lamar standpoint, I think it was good. A player always needs confidence, and getting that goal helps his confidence and takes a big burden off your back."
SOUNDERS FC DEFENDER/MIDFIELDER BRAD EVANS
On playing midfield:
"Watching the game in the first half and looking at the guys that we had on the bench, as soon as Zach went down I jumped up and started warming up. He's a trooper and he's never going to say no. You're going to have to literally rip him off the field physically, and then Gonzo goes down and it goes through your mind that it's either going to be me or Cristian [Roldann] and I think that the way that the game was going maybe we needed a little bit of a veteran presence in there to up the tempo and make a statement in the second half. I think if we're winning 2-0 maybe Sig puts Cristian in and lets him have a free roll and get another game...Whatever the team needs is what I'm going to do."
On Leo Gonzalez's goal:
"Just one of those things you don't expect. You expect certain guys to score on the field and when you bring a guy on as a defensive sub and he's found himself in the box, and from my angle I'm looking up and I see Clint at the far post and I think, ‘Alright that's a tap in,' and all of a sudden the ball gets played back at an angle and I see Leo there to clean it up and just veteran finish right there."
On remembering Gonzalez's last goal:
"New England probably, the volley. I mean he only scores good goals. When you're a defender, a leftback, you don't get many chances anyways so all good finishes."
SOUNDERS FC FORWARD/MIDFIELDER LAMAR NEAGLE
On what Brad Evans brought to the game in the second half:
"Just that energy. I think obviously he's a veteran, our captain, and you can kind of put him anywhere on the field and he does a good job and that's exactly what he did. He came in; I kind of flowed the pass to him and he made a tackle to save it and I just turned and hit it."
On ending a 260-minute scoring drought between the two teams:
"Just always a battle between us. They're a good team; they have some dangerous guys. I think they'd say the same thing about us. So it's kind of funny that we hadn't scored a goal in that many minutes but that's something that we didn't even think about. We're just thinking about this stretch of games - obviously this game first and trying to start it off right."
On scoring after coming close a number of times:
"It seems like I've had a few games where I've been hitting the target but not hitting the back of the net and so to finally shoot and score is nice and then to get the assist to Leo is pretty cool."
SOUNDERS FC MIDFIELDER THOMÀS
On making his home debut:
"I'm really happy to play here in front of the fans. I didn't even know that it was going to be this good and really the fans play as a number 12, they play together and hopefully I'll be able to help and bring some wins."
On his play tonight:
"I believe I played well; it's just the first [start]. There's a lot to do and to adapt but for a first game I believe I played well."
On the MLS style of play:
"Soccer played here in the MLS is fast, a lot of contact, very physical, but soccer is like that anywhere in the world. I have experience playing in different places in the world. I played for the national team, as well, so in the end it's about soccer and I plan to be very successful and help the team."
FC DALLAS HEAD COACH OSCAR PAREJA
On the first half:
"I thought that was our best first half in the season so far. We created a lot of chances in front of the goal. I think we domintated the game and created a lot of sequences of good soccer, but we were not effective. Then Seattle took advantage of it in the second half."
On what changed in the second half:
"I think after the first goal, Seattle started finding more spaces and they were effective. When you have players who are effective, have one chance to put it in the back of the net, that makes a difference. We didn't do that."
On what the biggest deciding factor tonight:
"The effectiveness that [Seattle] had, absolutely. You can see the way the game developed and I have to give credit to that efficiency and we were not. But in the big picture, I have to see how our team plays and how the game ended, with a score, for me, that was very generous. That's what it is and we will make sure that we continue to grow with this young group. No excuses. We have to get better in front of the goal because at the end, that's what decided the point."
On what difference Clint Demsey makes for Seattle:
"There are some players that have been around, with international pedigrees, and sometimes [Dempsey] comes heavy. Obviously he's a tremendous player who makes a difference. But as I said before, we have a tremendous group full of young players here. I back them up 100-percent and love to work with them. One day they will collect those games and give them that hierarchy that's needed in the game."
On if he thinks the MLS should adjust the schedule so there's not as much overlap with national team play/absences:
"When you suffer it, it's easy to say, but everybody is suffering now. I have to look at this as an opportunity for some players to be seen and to play. Today I saw a few that had not played much and they did an excellent job, especially in the first half. That's a very positive note for me. Our kids are growing and I will keep supporting them as much as I can."
On how he thought some of the younger players did tonight:
"I think they did great. Alex [Zendejas] came into a game with 40,000-plus people and a very difficult atmosphere, playing against people who have been around for a long time. I saw him very mature and with a lot of personality. Coy Craft came in in the second half and did a great job. All these things help us in the model that we have. It's encouraging and the future is bright for these kids."
On how the team will rebound:
"Working. Working. That's the way you do it and that's a cure for a moment like this when you have a series of games when you're not collecting enough points. All you have to do is stand strong, stick together and keep working. We will keep pushing."
FC DALLAS FORWARD BLAS PEREZ
On the game:
"The first 45 minutes we played well but they have two very good central defenders that didn't give me too much space and made it a little bit difficult for me. In the second half I didn't have all the time I wanted to have with the ball. The chances they had Seattle was able to finish them out."
On how the season is going:
"This is the time in the season when FC Dallas typically struggles but it is up to us as a team to take this thing forward and continue to change this into a successful season."
On the difference between halves:
"We did not have as much space in the second half and Seattle moved the lines forward and put more pressure on the midfield and offense and because of this we were not able to create the space or chances we needed."
FC DALLAS MIDFIELDER FABIAN CASTILLO
On the game and how Seattle defended him:
"Seattle seemed to focus more on completing their chances then on stopping me. Seattle finished those chances up. Even though we had a strong first half the second half was just difficult for us and we were not able to have a successful match."
On not having much success in Seattle:
"Seattle is one of the best teams in the league and they have a reputation of having an amazing set of fans that helps push there team every time. We have come here every time trying to have a good match and we have had good matches but every time Seattle seems to come through."
On his play and gaining attention abroad:
"My mind is here in Dallas and that is what I am focused on. Opportunities are going to come as long as I put my full effort in and continue to play well with the team. That is my objective. To play well for the team. This will help Dallas as a team to grow and for me to grow and then there will be more opportunities to go other places. Today though in my mind my focus is on Dallas."