Sounders FC climbed to the second-best record in Major League Soccer tonight with a 1-0 win over FC Dallas.
The lone goal came in the 16 minutes, when Fredy Montero claimed a lose ball near midfield, touched it forward once, then slipped a pass to Mauro Rosales who knocked a shot past Dallas goalkeeper Kevin Hartman.
The Sounders protected that lead the rest of the way before a crowd of 11,635 at Pizza Hut Park.
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Seattle also got a boost in the 56th minute, when Dallas’ Daniel Cruz received his second yellow card of the game, this one for diving. That gave the Sounders a one-man advantage the rest of the way – no small thing considering the temperature stood at 104 degrees at kickoff.
Despite that, the Hoops continued to swarm, ending with 25 shots to Seattle’s six, and putting four on goal to Seattle’s two.
Dallas’ last chances came in the final minute of stoppage time, when Kasey Keller knocked away a cross and then got off the turf in time to make a diving save.
“The weather was a monster,” Keller told television station KONG. “We were a man up, we just didn’t hold the ball well enough. They put us under pressure like you would at the end: of course they’re going to take risks and pump the ball in the box. They made us work for that win. It’s a good win for us. … It puts us into second place, but it was a tough game.”
The result extended one Sounders streak, as they moved to 7-0-2 in games they finish with a man advantage. It also ended one, as they got their first win in six tries in the state of Texas, moving to 1-3-2.
More importantly, Seattle climbed to 12-5-9 and 45 points on the season, sliding past Dallas (12-7-7, 43). Seattle also got good news from some other Western Conference results, as fourth-place Colorado settled for a home draw with Chivas USA and fifth-place Real Salt Lake lost at Houston.
The Sounders will fly directly from Texas to Mexico where they will meet Monterrey in CONCACAF Champions League group play on Tuesday. Their next MLS match is next Saturday, when Columbus visits CenturyLink Field.
Stats follow. I'll add quotes in a new post above.
SEA - Mauro Rosales (Fredy Montero, Lamar Neagle) 16'
FC Dallas - Kevin Hartman, Jackson Goncalves (Fabian Castillo 73'), Zach Loyd (Jeremy Hall 24'), Ugo Ihemelu, Jair Bentiez, Marvin Chaves, Daniel Cruz, Daniel Hernandez (Bruno Guarda 81'), Brek Shea, Ricardo Villar, Maicon Santos.
Substitutes Not Used: Andrew Jacobson, Bobby Warshaw, Peri Marosevic, Jack Stewart, Chris Seitz.
TOTAL SHOTS: 25; SHOTS ON GOAL: 4; FOULS: 19; OFFSIDES: 0; CORNER KICKS: 11; SAVES: 1.
Seattle Sounders FC - Kasey Keller, Zach Scott, Jeff Parke, Jhon Kennedy Hurtado, Leo Gonzalez, Mauro Rosales, Osvaldo Alonso, Erik Friberg (Brad Evans 63'), Lamar Neagle, Mike Fucito (Pat Noonan 78'), Fredy Montero (Alvaro Fernandez 68').
Substitutes Not Used: Tyson Wahl, James Riley, Roger Levesque, Terry Boss.
TOTAL SHOTS: 8; SHOTS ON GOAL: 2; FOULS: 22; OFFSIDES: 2; CORNER KICKS: 3; SAVES: 4.
Misconduct Summary: DAL -- Daniel Cruz (caution; Reckless Tackle) 3 SEA -- Erik Friberg (caution; Tactical Foul) 6 DAL -- Ugo Ihemelu (caution; Reckless Foul) 27 DAL -- Daniel Cruz (caution; Simulation) 56 DAL -- Daniel Cruz (ejection; Second Caution) 56 SEA -- Fredy Montero (caution; Reckless Foul) 60 SEA -- Jhon Kennedy Hurtado (caution; Tactical Foul) 62 SEA -- Zach Scott (caution; Handball) 94+
Referee: Dave GantarReferee's Assistants:Phil Briere; Anthony Vasoli4th Official: Tyler PloegerAttendance: 11,635Time of Game: 1:51Weather: Clear and 104-degrees
62nd minute: Brad Evans in for Friberg.
57th minute: Cruz sent off with second yellow ... this one for diving. Sounders up 1-0 and now playing a man up. (I see five worse dives every MLS match I watch.)
Second half: ... has begun.
Halftime: Sounders hold 1-0 lead.
16th minute: GOAL Seattle. Freddy Montero takes loose ball near midfield, takes one touch and lays it off to Mauro Rosales, who finishes strong inside of Hartman. Seattle, 1-0.
Kickoff: The game has begun.
Lineup: For the Sounders: GK Keller; D Scott, Parke, Hurtado, Gonzalez; M Rosales, Alonso, Friberg, Neagle; F Fucito, Montero. Reserves: Boss, Evans, Wahl, Riley, Fernandez, Levesque, Noonan.
The basics: Sounders at Dallas, 6 p.m. on KONG.
The clubs are second and third in MLS are are presently on pace to open the MLS playoffs against each other. Each won a CONCACAF Champions League match earlier this week, and the clubs will meet again in about 10 days in the U.S. Open Cup seminfinals.
In other words, a fascinating matchup.