Sounders FC recorded its second shutout in the first three matches of the season on Saturday, coming away with a scoreless draw against an FC Dallas side that was 3-0-0 prior to the contest.
Playing in its first road match of the year, Seattle was without five starters – Obafemi Martins, Clint Dempsey, Osvaldo Alonso, Chad Marshall and Marco Pappa. Despite that, the club held Dallas without a shot on goal and to just four total attempts. The Hoops played with 10 men after Kellyn Acosta was shown a red card early in the first half, and Seattle would proceed to control the possession and create more of the scoring chances.
Sounders FC captain Brad Evans had a strong outing in his third game playing at centerback for the club. Stefan Frei, who recorded a career-high nine shutouts as the starting goalkeeper last year, picked up his second clean sheet in the early going of this season.
Here’s what Evans, Frei and Head Coach Sigi Schmid said about the defensive performance.
“I’m pleased that we played to zero in the back. A lot of people would think that with a one-man advantage, you should get more out of the game. But the way Dallas plays, playing a man down doesn’t really impact their game because they play for free kicks and they play a lot of long passes through to [Fabian] Castillo. So having one less man doesn’t really affect how they play.”
“I thought [our defenders] were good. I thought they were conscientious about making sure that they doubled when Castillo had the ball. I thought Tyrone Mears did a good job for us defensively. Zach Scott stepped in and played very well. For Brad, it was a big game because of the fact that he lays the blame on himself for the [last] game. It shows his character and what he’s all about.”
“Overall, we’re happy with the performance. We kept it to zero, which is the most important thing. At the end of the day, we had chances to win, and that's the bottom line. …A shutout on the road is always the objective. These past couple of years, we’ve been a very good road team. We look to build off this.”
“A clean sheet is definitely good, and I thought the other positive to take from it is that we stayed patient through the game. …I think it’s big for the whole team, not just me, because last year we were firing on all cylinders offensively, and defensively we were finding ourselves a little bit. We made it a team goal to be stingier as a defensive unit. So two out of three is good, and it’s something to build upon.”