And in this case the assumption was right, as FC Dallas made its lone goal by Brek Shea stand up for a 1-0 win over Sounders FC at Qwest Field.
Dallas arrived in Seattle having scored three goals and allowed none over its previous four games. Meanwhile, Seattle had scored a single goal in each of its three previous games.
That made playing with a lead an especially appealing prospect. And it was the Hoops who did so in the 18th minute, when Andrew Jacobsen found Shea splitting the middle of the Seattle defense. Shea fired from just inside the penalty area, beating goalkeeper Kasey Keller to the far post.
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Seattle reacted by stepping up its offense. Erik Friberg and Mauro Rosales had especially good chances in the latter minutes of the half. Mike Fucito and others had solid chances in the second half.
But nothing got through, as Dallas (6-3-3) claimed its fifth straight shutout, and ran its shutout streak to 489 minutes. That’s the longest in the club’s 16 seasons and the longest in MLS this season.
Seattle (4-4-5) finished a three-game homestand at 1-1-1.
The game was played before an announced crowd of 36,026. And even though many empty seats were visible along the upper end zone sections, the figure extended the Sounders sellout streak to 37 league matches, as the club set 35,500 as its sellout target.
The Sounders now hit the road for two games: at Real Salt Lake on Saturday and at Chicago on June 4. They return home July 11 to face Vancouver.
Stats and quotes follow:
Scoring Summary:DAL -- Brek Shea 4 (Andrew Jacobson 2) 18
FC Dallas -- Kevin Hartman, Ugo Ihemelu, George John, Zach Loyd, Brek Shea, Eric Alexander (Bobby Warshaw 74), Andrew Jacobson, Daniel Hernandez, Fabian Castillo (Ruben Luna 64), Jackson Goncalves, Marvin Chavez (Ricardo Villar 89).
Substitutes Not Used: Eric Avila, Bruno Guarda, Moises Hernandez, Chris Seitz.
TOTAL SHOTS: 7 (Brek Shea 3); SHOTS ON GOAL: 2 (Marvin Chavez 1, Brek Shea 1); FOULS: 12 (Jackson Goncalves 3, Andrew Jacobson 3); OFFSIDES: 2 (Marvin Chavez 1, Brek Shea 1); CORNER KICKS: 2 (Marvin Chavez 2); SAVES: 4 (Kevin Hartman 4)
Seattle Sounders -- Kasey Keller, Zach Scott, Jeff Parke, Jhon Kennedy Hurtado, Leo Gonzalez, Erik Friberg, Osvaldo Alonso, Mauro Rosales (Lamar Neagle 83), Alvaro Fernandez (Roger Levesque 64), Fredy Montero (Nate Jaqua 75), Mike Fucito.
Substitutes Not Used: Servando Carrasco, Patrick Ianni, James Riley, Terry Boss.
TOTAL SHOTS: 19 (Mike Fucito 5); SHOTS ON GOAL: 6 (Mike Fucito 3); FOULS: 4 (4 tied with 1); OFFSIDES: 5 (Mike Fucito 2, Fredy Montero 2); CORNER KICKS: 9 (Mauro Rosales 4); SAVES: 1 (Kasey Keller 1)
Misconduct Summary:DAL -- George John (caution; Delaying a Restart) 44SEA -- Zach Scott (caution; Unsporting Behavior) 82
Referee: Baldomero ToledoReferee's Assistants:-Craig Lowry; Kevin Duliba4th Official: Juan GuzmanAttendance: 36,026Time of Game: 1:51Weather: Rain-and-54-degrees
All Statistics contained in this boxscore are unofficial
Postgame QuotesSIGI SCHMID: "So basically the soccer was better, but everyone is more disappointed with the result. Sometimes with bad soccer, you get a result, and better soccer, you don't get a result. The mistake on the goal, where we opened up... I thought we had chances and we certainly went forward. I was very pleased with the effort of [Mike] Fucito, thought he played very well. I thought [Lamar] Neagle came in and did well, I thought [Nate] Jaqua came in in this one and had an impact. I thought [Mauro] Rosales had some moments, I thought [Erik] Friberg had some moments as well. Guys do need to step up. They need to step up and score goals when we get a chance. We can't take extra touches in the box. We've got to get things the first time. Sometimes we can't do a cutback. Friberg had one where he cut back, but other ones, when we try to take two or three touches, and try to get the perfect shot - perfect shots don't happen. You've got to put the ball in the back of the net."
Sarcastic reply when asked if he's disappointed with the 1-1-1 homestand) "No, we're really happy about it. I mean, we're over-thrilled about it. Of course we're disappointed. We're not happy about the fact that we only got four points at home in three games."
On the officiating of Baldomero Toledo tonight) "No comment. Toledo is Toledo."
Sounders forward NATE JAQUAOn the effort tonight) "It felt like we had some good plays but the bottom line is it wasn't good enough. We've got to win that game at home."On ending the homestand on a loss) "You want to get points at home. You want to get wins. To lose to a team at home is always frustrating. It's not good. Now we've got to go on the road and get a result, get a win in Salt Lake."
Sounders defender ZACH SCOTT On the effort tonight) "It's just kind of one of those things [...] to get a win you need to put three things together - effort, quality, and something magical out there. At times we had one or two of those but never all three of that. I think that's what let us down in the end."
On if having a quick turnaround to a road game in Salt Lake helps after a tough loss) "I think so. I'm not someone who dwells on past games. Take what you can out of it and move on. That's definitely the case with this one. There's not too much time to think too much into it, it's just kind of, let's go get into a tough game at Salt Lake."
On Dallas' 489-minute shutout streak) "To be honest, I didn't even know they had a shutout streak so I don't think that was the case at all. We knew they were very quick up top. We knew that we couldn't let them get any behind us. To be honest, the one good chance they had all game they tucked away and that's the most frustrating thing."
Sounders forward MIKE FUCITOOn the effort tonight) "That's one where I think we should come away with at least a point, definitely three points. We were able to get in behind them a couple times. It's just you got to put one away. I think if we were able to get one then more would have come."
On his scoring chances tonight) "He (FC Dallas goalkeeper Kevin Hartman) made some pretty good saves. It'd be nice if one of these times the ball bounced to my left foot. We got close. I thought we were going to get one."
On not getting better results at home during the three-game home stand) "Yeah, very frustrating. We expect to get three points every time we play here."
Dallas coach SCHELLAS HYNDMANGeneral Comments) "It's Kevin [Hartman's] birthday today and we were talking about getting that shutout and to do it in a difficult environment like this with as much pressure on us. I thought it was a very good team performance."
On the defense) "The whole game, especially the last 20 minutes, was really hard. I think they threw everything at us. When [Nate] Jaqua came in it brought another problem because not only was he able to hold the ball, but he was able to flick the ball on and he was able to connect at the end of it. We had it pretty well in our favor but what we had to do was keep knocking it out. When he came it, it added a different dimension. They are a good team that was very inspired to play at home and win in front of their fans. We don't get this done today if it isn't a complete team effort."
On Brek Shea) "He continues to develop. He just turned 21 and we just signed him to a four year contract so he's a player that we have a lot of faith in. He's going to continue to develop. He broke through and beat [Kasey] Keller when he was coming out. It changed the whole game at that point in time."
Dallas goalkeeper KEVIN HARTMAN "It was one of those games where we really have to concentrate. We had to work hard for a long period of time because Seattle was throwing a lot of numbers at us and some quality at us. I thought we weathered the first half pretty easily and they kept throwing bodies at us in the second half. Fortunately we were able to block some shots, save some shots and prevent shots. At the end of the day, we were pretty content to get the three points and get out of here."
On Seattle offense) "It seemed like on occasion they were playing with three on top. I think that their left-sided midfielder got forward quite a bit and put Jackson under a lot of pressure. Their two strikers are very active. [Fredy] Montero is someone you can't give any leeway."
Dallas goal-scorer BREK SHEAOn Dallas defense) "As a team, we got a goal early. It was a pretty crazy game. Every time we come to Seattle, the fans, the turf, the water. We had to defend a lot tonight."
On goal) "I was able to make a run, saw an opening, and split the defense. AJ (Andrew Jacobson) happened to find me and I saw Keller coming out and I tried to put it past him."
Attendance: 36,026. That continues the sellout streak, as the Sounders set the sellout mark at 35,500.
75th minute: Jaqua in for Montero.
Halftime: Dallas still up, 1-0.
Seattle leads in shots, 4-3. Shots on goal are even at 1.
Sounders staring hard at a really disappointing homestand unless they can get a couple of second-half goals against a team that hasn't allowed any in 444 minutes.
30th minute: Looks like it's stopped raining.
Meanwhile, Sounders look like a different team since falling behind. However, they're still behind.
21st minute: Goal seems to have lighted some fire under Sounders, who are pushing forward more aggressively now. But suddenly even one point out of this seems like it would be an accomplishment.
18th minute: GOAL Dallas. Brek Shea splits Seattle defense (pass from Jacobson), and finishes wide of Keller from just inside penalty area.
16th minute: Still nil-nil, meaning Dallas is now at 415 minutes without allowing a goal. That's a new club record and the longest in MLS this season.
13th minute: First good chance: Rosales through to Fucito, who couldn't finish on goal through a pair of Dallas defenders.
Kickoff: We're under way. Sounders in green/blue, Hoops in red and white hoops.
And it's still raining. And I don't think I've ever seen so many empty seats for a league match here. ECS, however, is singing in the rain.
Half hour till kickoff: Suddenly it is pouring. And the wind is whipping across the upper deck tarp in a way I have never seen before. Wow.
Lineups: Interesting lineup for the Sounders, with Mike Fucito starting up top with Fredy Montero, and Erik Friberg moving back in at midfield. Also, Zach Scott in James Riley's normal spot. Still no Brad Evans, however, even among the reserves.
Sounders: GK, Keller; D Scott, Parke, Hurtado, Gonzalez; M Friberg, Alonso, Rosales, Fernandez; F Montero, Fucito. Reserves: Boss, Carrasco, Ianni, Jaqua, Levesque, Neagle, Riley.
Dallas: GK, Hartman; D Ihemelu, John, Loyd, Shea; M Alexander, Jacobson, Hernandez, Castillo, Goncalves; F Chavez. Reserves: Seitz, Avila, Guarda, Hernandez, Luna, Villar, Warshaw.
90 minutes till kickoff: A light rain is falling at Qwest Field 90 minutes before Dallas and the Sounders kick off at 7 p.m. (KONG.)
We'll keep this blog post open all evening for pregame, in-game and postgame updates. (We'll also have more regular updates thru the Twitter address in the left-hand column.) And as always, we'll also be hoping for a good discussion from you guys concerning what looks to be a defensive-minded game where any goal would be crucial, a game when you have to aim for three points, but anything over one will be work because no goal is likely to come easily.