SEATTLE, WASH. – Returning to the Xbox Pitch at CenturyLink Field on Saturday night, Seattle Sounders FC (9-4-2, 29 points) defeated Western Conference foe FC Dallas (6-5-4, 22 points) courtesy of three unanswered strikes from Lamar Neagle, Obafemi Martins and Leo Gonzalez in front of 41,108 supporters. With the win, Seattle returns to the top of the Supporters’ Shield race atop the Major League Soccer standings. At 29 points, Sounders FC holds a one-point lead over Eastern Conference leader D.C. United with one game in-hand, and the club has regained sole possession of the Western Conference lead over second-place Vancouver.
Entering the match as a second-half substitute after returning from international duty with the U.S. Men’s National Team, Sounders FC’s Brad Evans initiated the play that led to Seattle’s match-leading goal by breaking-up a Dallas possession in the 55th minute. After Evans won the ball, Neagle lined-up his shot from outside FC Dallas’ 18-yard-box, slotting his attempt past goalkeeper Dan Kennedy at the far post.
Seattle doubled its advantage in the 73rd minute during a corner-kick, with fullback Tyrone Mears delivering the set-piece service. Andy Rose got on the end of Mears’ out-swinger, knocking the ball onto teammate Martins. The Nigerian finished calmly at Kennedy’s near post, doubling his side’s lead by netting his seventh strike of the year. The goal is Martins’ first since a May 3 brace at New York City FC. He is now tied for the Sounders FC lead in scoring with frontline partner Clint Dempsey.
Sounders FC added an exclamation point in second-half stoppage time through defender Gonzalez, who smashed home a Neagle cross after Martins initiated a counterattack in midfield. Gonzalez – a second-half substitute that replaced Andy Rose in the 89th minute – netted just his second MLS goal for Seattle, and his first strike since June 5, 2010 against the New England Revolution.
Seattle goalkeeper Stefan Frei made two saves – including a diving point-blank stop on Kyle Bekker’s open look in the 31st minute – en route to his league-leading eighth shutout of the season.
The Rave Green return to action in just three days, with Sigi Schmid’s side beginning its defense of the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup title in a Fourth Round matchup with the Portland Timbers on Tuesday, June 16 at Starfire Stadium (7:30 p.m. PT / SoundersFC.com). Sounders FC returns to MLS play on Saturday, June 20 against the San Jose Earthquakes (1:00 p.m. PT / JOEtv, This TV, ROOT SPORTS, KIRO Radio 97.3 FM, El Rey 1360 AM).
Seattle Sounders FC 3 – FC Dallas 0
Saturday, June 13, 2015
Venue: Xbox Pitch at CenturyLink Field
Referee: Alan Kelly
Assistants: Corey Rockwell, Kermit Quisenberry
Fourth Official: Alejandro Mariscal
Weather: Clear and 70 degrees
SEA – Lamar Neagle (Brad Evans) 55’
SEA – Obafemi Martins (Andy Rose) 73’
SEA – Leonardo Gonzalez (Lamar Neagle, Obafemi Martins) 90’+2’
DAL – Victor Ulloa (caution) 49’
SEA – Brad Evans (caution) 50’
DAL – Blas Perez (caution) 85’
LINEUPS & STATS
Seattle Sounders FC – Stefan Frei; Tyrone Mears, Chad Marshall, Zach Scott – Captain, Dylan Remick; Andy Rose (Leo Gonzalez 89’), Micheal Azira, Gonzalo Pineda (Brad Evans 45’), Thomás (Obafemi Martins 61’); Clint Dempsey, Lamar Neagle
Substitutes not used: Troy Perkins, Oniel Fisher, Victor Mansaray, Cristian Roldan
Total shots: 9 (3 players tied at 2)
Shots on goal: 3 (3 players tied at 1)
Fouls: 10 (Lamar Neagle/Brad Evans, 2)
Offside: 2 (Lamar Neagle, 2)
Corner-kicks: 3 (Lamar Neagle, 2)
Saves: 2 (Stefan Frei, 2)
FC Dallas – Dan Kennedy; Ryan Hollingshead, Walker Zimmerman, Zach Loyd, Michel; Fabian Castillo, Victor Ulloa, Kyle Bekker (Rolando Escobar 74’), Alex Zendejas (Coy Craft 84’); Mauro Diaz, Blas Perez – Captain
Substitutes not used: Chris Seitz, Michael Barrios, Otis Earle, Stephen Keel, David Texeira
Total shots: 10 (Fabian Castillo, 4)
Shots on goal: 2 (Fabian Castillo/Kyle Bekker, 1)
Fouls: 13 (Ryan Hollingshead, 3)
Offside: 2 (Blas Perez/Coy Craft, 1)
Corner-kicks: 8 (Michel, 5)
- Seattle Sounders FC regains sole possession of first place in the Western Conference with a record of 9-4-2. At 29 points, Sounders FC holds a one-point lead over Eastern Conference leader D.C. United in the Supporters’ Shield race with one game in-hand.
- Lamar Neagle’s goal in the 55th minute ended a streak of 271 consecutive scoreless minutes between Sounders FC and FC Dallas. Since Osvaldo Alonso’s goal in the First Leg of the Western Conference Semifinals last November, the two sides had played to two scoreless draws, in addition to a scoreless first half on Saturday evening.
- Obafemi Martins scored his seventh goal of the season, which ties him with Clint Dempsey for the team lead. Dempsey and Martins are joined by two others in a tie for third-most scoring tallies in 2015 across the league. It was Martins’ first goal since a brace at New York City FC on May 3, and his first at home since April 4 against Houston.
- Stefan Frei made two saves – including a diving point-blank stop on Kyle Bekker’s open look in the 31st minute – en route to his league-leading eighth shutout of the season. The Swiss netminder also leads MLS with nine wins, 57 saves and a 0.73 goals against average (among goalkeepers with at least seven games played).
- Leo Gonzalez netted his second career MLS goal and his first since June 5, 2010 against the New England Revolution.
- Thomás made the first start of his MLS career, playing 61 minutes in the midfield.
- Sounders FC improves to 6-1-1 at home against FC Dallas in regular season play.