Sounders FC Concedes Late Penalty, Draw
By MATT GASCHK
Sounders FC Insider
FRISCO, TEXAS -- The Sounders FC has been down this road before. Already in the young 2010 season they have twice gone into stoppage time toting a 2-1 lead on the road. It happened two weeks ago as the Sounders drew with Real Salt Lake on the road and after allowing a penalty in the 94th minute against FC Dallas on Thursday night, they have now settled for 2-2 draws on both occasions.
Steve Zakuani and Fredy Montero both notched their second goals of the season, but the Sounders FC conceded two penalties, both of which were converted by Jeff Cunningham.
Jason Yeisley collected the ball at the top of the penalty box and pushed the ball forward between the legs of Jhon Kennedy Hurtado and Leo Gonzalez, who had converged in front of him. Yeisley then took one step and fell to the ground while trying to fight his way through the Sounders FC defenders and was awarded the controversial penalty.
“Bad call,” Sounders FC head coach Sigi Schmid said. “There were couple of bad calls near the end of the game. When you’re leading the game 2-1 and a guy gets fouled … that’s just not understanding what’s going on in the game. I haven’t seen the replay, but everyone who has says it was a bad call.”
Adding injury to insult, goalkeeper Kasey Keller had to leave the game when he was kneed in the head by Cunningham while sliding out to stop a run from the FC Dallas striker. He had blurred vision, but remained in the game for the remainder of the first half, only to be replaced at halftime by Terry Boss, who made his Major League Soccer debut.
Boss finished with one save in 45 minutes, but couldn’t stop the decisive stoppage time penalty and came away with the draw. Keller, meanwhile, will be reevaluated Friday morning, at which point his availability for Seattle’s next game against Toronto FC will be determined.
Cunningham got the home side off to a first-half lead when he raced out in front of the Seattle defense to chase a slow ball rolling back to Keller to earn the penalty. Cunningham scored the penalty to put FC Dallas up 1-0 in the 27th minute.
Seattle evened the score in the 38th minute when Osvaldo Alonso sent a long ball forward for Zakuani up the left side. Zakuani carried the ball into the Dallas box without any resistance from the defense and blasted a shot past Dario Sala for his second goal of the year, beating the Dallas keeper inside the far post.
That score held into the second half when Montero was brought down for a foul 41 yards out on the left side. Montero then stepped over the free kick and bent a shot high and inside the left post for his second goal of the season, giving Seattle a 2-1 lead in the 55th minute.
It looked as though Seattle would finish with the road victory, but the stoppage time bug bit them for a second time in two road matches, as Cunningham scored his third goal of the season and second of the night with a 94th minute penalty to tie the score at 2-2.
“The Salt Lake game was less disappointing because we gave ourselves away there. This one sort of got taken away from us,” Schmid said. “It was like Christmas and someone stole your present.”
Seattle is now 2-1-2 (8 points) while FC Dallas remains winlees at 0-1-3 (3 points). The Sounders will remain on the road to face Toronto FC Sunday at 11 am Pacific Time at BMO Field in Toronto.
Sounders FC: Kasey Keller (Terry Boss 46), James Riley, Tyrone Marshall, Jhon Kennedy Hurtado, Leo Gonzalez, David Estrada (Pat Noonan 69), Brad Evans, Osvaldo Alonso, Steve Zakuani, Fredy Montero (Freddie Ljungberg 78), Roger Levesque.
FC Dallas: Dario Sala, Zach Loyd (Jason Yeisley 81) Ugo Ihemelu, George John, Jair Benitez (Brek Shea 73), Atiba Harris, David Ferreira, Dax McCarty (Eric Avila 64), Daniel Hernandez, Heath Pearce, Jeff Cunningham.
Sounders FC: Steve Zakuani (Osvaldo Alonso) 38; Fredy Montero 55.
FC Dallas: Jeff Cunningham (pk) 27; Jeff Cunningham (pk) 94+.