SEATTLE - The Sounders FC got all the heart, desire and passion they were hoping for when head coach Sigi Schmid made some lineup changes for their match with FC Dallas Sunday night.
However, they couldn’t get the points they desired and earned and had to settle for a 1-1 draw in front of a sellout crowd of 36,091 at Qwest Field.
“That was disappointing because I thought we put the right team out there. I thought we played with a lot of energy, we played well,” Schmid said. “I feel bad for our guys because they played with a lot of heart and desire and I thought they deserved to win tonight.”
Fredy Montero scored his sixth goal of the season and Kasey Keller made four saves, including two dramatic second-half stops. But a Miguel Montaño red card and a David Ferreira goal spoiled the evening and the Sounders moved to 4-8-4 as they start the second half of their season with a draw.
Montero got the Sounders off to the start they wanted with his 14th minute goal. Seattle got a quick restart from Montero, who rolled the ball to Mike Seamon 35 yards out, then darted toward the goal. Seamon sent the ball outside to James Riley, who crossed the ball into the box to meet Montero for a header inside the near post for the goal and a 1-0 lead.
Montero continues a hot streak that has seen him tally three goals and three assists in the last five matches.
“He put a lot of heart and soul into the game. I was pleased not only with his play, I was pleased with his effort,” Schmid said.
That lead held into the second half, even when Seattle went down a man on Montaño’s red card ejection.
On the play, Dallas midfielder Brek Shea took a vicious tackle to Nate Jaqua and followed with another high boot into the leg of Montaño, who appeared to retaliate with a blow to the back of Shea’s head to draw the red card. Shea was issued a yellow on the play.
“I was falling down. My intention was not to hit him. It was the motion of my body,” Montaño said. “If I made contact it was not my intention.”
The 56th minute ejection left the Sounders playing down a man for the final 34 minutes.
That left Seattle scrambling while Dallas strived for the equalizer. It looked close in the 71st minute when Ferreira dove for a header at the left post, but Keller dove to his right and swatted the shot away for a corner kick. On the corner kick, Dallas managed another header that Keller nabbed to maintain the lead.
However, they couldn’t keep the dangerous Ferreira off the board all night.
In the 87th minute, Ferreira passed to Heath Pearce on the top of the box. Pearce returned a lob pass to Ferreira up the left side of the box and Ferreira smashed the volley inside the far post with a left-footed shot to even the score at 1-1 and end Seattle’s hopes at three points.
“You have been defending for a half an hour and they get that one chance. I thought we dodged a couple bullets. Kasey came up big on a great save. I thought the luck was finally turning for us,” Riley said. “At the same time, it was a good step. We take the positives and negatives from this one. We think there’s more positives than negatives and so we try to get it right.”
The draw snapped a three-game losing streak for the Sounders FC and keeps them in the hunt for the playoffs with 14 games left on the schedule.
“I’m just glad we were able to hang on for the point because it really would have been a shame to not get anything out of this game,” Schmid said. “Yes, if we could’ve hung on to all three it would have been phenomenal but, in the end, it took a great strike to beat us and I think we have a lot to build on in this game.”
Seattle heads to RFK Stadium to face DC United in a nationally televised game on ESPN2 on Thursday.
Sounders FC - Fredy Montero (James Riley, Mike Seamon) 14.
FC Dallas - David Ferreira (Heath Pearce) 87
Sounders FC - Kasey Keller, James Riley, Jeff Parke, Patrick Ianni, Leo Gonzalez, Miguel Montano, Mike Seamon (Osvaldo Alonso 70), Nathan Sturgis, Steve Zakuani (Sanna Nyassi 62), Nate Jaqua (Roger Levesque 78), Fredy Montero.
FC Dallas - Kevin Hartman, George John, Ugo Ihemelu, Jair Benitez (Zach Loyd 80), Daniel Hernandez, Dax McCarty, Marvin Chavez (Jeff Cunningham 64), Heath Pearce, Brek Shea, David Ferreira, Atiba Harris.
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