SEATTLE - The Sounders FC has been down this road before. Like the season opener against the LA Galaxy, the Sounders possessed the ball the majority of the match on Wednesday against FC Dallas. And just like that mid-week match, they fell 1-0 on a highlight goal.
FC Dallas put just two shots on goal the entire match, but Brek Shea’s 18th minute effort was all the hot-streaking defending Western Conference champions would need. Seattle forced Kevin Hartman into four saves and had two shots saved off the line by Dallas defenders.
“We had some good plays, but the bottom line is that it wasn’t good enough. We’ve got to win that game at home,” forward Nate Jaqua said. “Dallas is a good team, but to lose to a team at home is always frustrating.”
Shea broke through in the 18th minute and took an incredibly threaded ball from Andrew Jacobson up the middle of the field. He cut around Sounders FC goalkeeper, who saved the only other effort on goal on the night from Marvin Chavez, and found the back of the net for the 1-0 lead.
The Sounders looked to get the quick equalizer, but a shot from Erik Friberg was blocked at the mouth of the goal by defender Zach Loyd.
Otherwise, Seattle out-possessed Dallas 65%-35%. They out-shot Dallas 19-7 and put six on goal to just two for the visitors. In the end though, better soccer wasn’t enough.
“Getting a win you need to put three things together - effort, some quality and something magical,” defender Zach Scott opined. “At times we had one or two of those, but never all three and that’s what let us down.”
Some of those moments came off the boot of Mike Fucito. The third-year forward got his first MLS start and capitalized with five shots, three of which he put on frame.
The first came in the 64th minute when his shot was saved by Hartman and Osvaldo Alonso took a crack at the rebound, but that was blocked by Daniel Hernandez.
Just two minutes later, Fucito nearly found his moment of magic.
Off a long throw from Leo Gonzalez, Fucito whipped the header toward the net. Hartman made the sprawling stop and Fucito got his right foot on the rebound, but that was smothered by Hartman.
“One of these times the ball’s going to bounce to my left foot,” Fucito said after the match. “We’ve got to put one away and I think if we were able to get one, I think more would have come.”
Head coach Sigi Schmid agreed with that assessment.
“Guys do need to step up,” he said. “They need to step up and score goals when we get a chance … 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.”
The loss dropped the Sounders to 4-4-5 (17 points) and kept them locked with Real Salt Lake and the Portland Timbers in third in the Western Conference. FC Dallas, meanwhile, moved closer to the first-place Galaxy at 6-3-3 (21 points) and extended their unbeaten streak to seven matches (5-0-2). The clean sheet also extends their shutout streak to 489 straight minutes.
The Sounders travel to face Real Salt Lake on Saturday at Rio Tinto Stadium, where RSL is unbeaten in their last 28 MLS matches. Kickoff is set for 6 pm Pacific Time on KONG 6/16 and 97.3 KIRO FM.
Sounders FC - None.
FC Dallas - Brek Shea (Andrew Jacobson) 18.
Sounders FC - Zach Scott (caution) 82.
FC Dallas - George John (caution) 44.
Sounders FC - 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.
FC Dallas - Kevin Hartman, Jackson Goncalves, Ugo Ihemelu, George John, Zach Loyd, Eric Alexander (Bobby Warshaw 74), Andrew Jacobson, Daniel Hernandez, Brek Shea, Marvin Chavez (Ricardo Villar 89), Fabian Castillo (Ruben Luna 64).