The Sounders FC fell 1-0 to FC Dallas, giving Dallas a seven game unbeaten streak and 489 consecutive shutout minutes. The loss drops Seattle to 4-4-5, and tied for third in the West with 17 points. However, Real Salt Lake (5-1-2) has played fewer games and holds a +7 goal difference and the Colorado Rapids (4-3-5) also have played fewer games, but hold the same +2 goal difference. The Portland Timbers (5-3-2) have played fewer games, but are well behind in goal difference at -1.
Goals change games and Brek Shea’s charge down the middle of the field that resulted in the game’s only goal was certainly a game-changer. The 18th minute goal, Shea’s third of the year, allowed Dallas to fall back into a far more defensive posture, stacking as many as six players at the top of the box to provide a nearly impenetrable wall. Seattle did manage 19 shots, but seven of them were blocked and of the five that were on target, Kevin Hartman saved four and another was cleared off the line by Zach Loyd.
Mike Fucito had his first start in Major League Soccer and made a lot out of it. He led the team with five shots, putting three of them on goal. He didn’t come away with a goal, but you could sense discomfort in the Dallas defense when he had the ball. He created immense amounts of havoc with his speed and desire. Don’t doubt that he will break through and score soon for the Sounders.
Mauro Rosales and Erik Friberg are both back from their injuries in a big way. Both midfielders filled their roles well and each garnered a shot on goal – Friberg’s cleared by Loyd and Rosales finding the chest of Hartman with his effort.
What We Learned
Roll The Dice – Sigi Schmid made several lineup changes after a 1-0 win over Sporting Kansas City, starting Zach Scott and Leo Gonzalez at outside and bringing Friberg back into his starting role at right mid. However, the move that will be talked about most will be starting Fucito. The final score line won’t show it, but it made a tremendous difference to the offense. The 1-0 defeat can hardly be blamed on Schmid’s lineup decisions.
All It Takes Is One – FC Dallas made one run in the game that truly threatened Kasey Keller and it resulted in a goal. Seattle, meanwhile, seemed to be too dependent on extra touches, probing for the perfect shot rather than challenging the Dallas defense early and reacting to the fall of the ball. Dallas was quick to retreat into defense, but some of that may have been amplified by the Sounders FC’s willingness to be overly patient with the ball.
Next In Line
The Sounders will travel to Utah to face Real Salt Lake at 6 pm Pacific on Saturday, looking to break RSL’s 28 game MLS unbeaten streak at Rio Tinto Stadium. Seattle is 0-1-1 at the Sandy, Utah, stadium, dropping a 1-0 result in 2009 and giving up a late 2-1 lead to allow an equalizing stoppage time goal in their first road match of 2010.