October 21, 2012
CLOSE THE WINDOW
Hoops bow out of postseason chase with 3-1 loss to Seattle
SEATTLE—FC Dallas’s postseason dreams died Sunday night at CenturyLink Field, with a 3-1 loss to Seattle Sounders FC.
|Brad Evans had two goals as Seattle Sounders FC knocked FC Dallas out of the playoff chase with a 3-1 win Sunday at CenturyLink Field.
Linda Cuttone/Sports Vue Images
The loss leaves the Hoops (9-13-11, 38 points) four points behind Vancouver for the fifth and final playoff spot in the MLS West with only one game to play. Seattle (15-7-11, 56) leapfrog Real Salt Lake into second place in the conference and, more importantly, open up a five-point cushion over the fourth-place LA Galaxy to ensure that they will avoid the wild card round regardless of the outcome of next weekend’s regular season finale against LA at the Home Depot Center.
Brad Evans paced the Sounders with two goals, and Fredy Montero added two assists. Blas Perez scored for the fourth time in last three games to keep the Hoops even before halftime.
The Hoops threatened early, with a long shot by Andrew Jacobsen that Sounders netminder Michael Gspurning ushered by the goal as it missed to the left. But Seattle’s slow start was deceptive, and they slowly began to put their stamp on the proceedings. In the 17th minute, both Jhon Kennedy Hurtado and Eddie Johnson missed from close range, and a minute later, Evans took the ball deep on the left side before mis-hitting what should have been a dangerous cross and sending the ball out of bounds.
Evans finally broke the ice from the penalty spot in the 32nd minute. At the half-hour mark, Johnson used his head to relay a pass from the far side of midfield to the top of the penalty area for Montero, who was closely marked by Hernan Partuz. Montero spun away from the Dallas defender, who grabbed him by the shoulder and pulled him down from behind. Evans drove a low spot kick into the right side of the net as netminder Kevin Hartman dove the other way.
In what would become a pattern for the night, Dallas threatened to respond almost immediately, but Fabian Castillo’s shot went straight to Gspurning.
Finally, in the 40th minute, the Hoops leveled the score, with some help from a confused Seattle defense. Ricardo Villar teed up a free kick toward the far post from the left side. Perez easily slipped defender Hurtado and was lurking unmarked off the right post and poised for the easy finish when the ball bounced off Johnson’s shoulder and back across the goalmouth.
The teams traded chances after the intermission, Montero coming closest with a 19-yard shot that flew straight to Hartman. And in the 60th minute, Evans caught the Dallas defense napping to restore Seattle’s two-goal lead. Pertuz shoved Montero near the left sideline, and instead of getting into position to defend the ensuing free kick, opted to argue the call with referee Baldomero Toledo while Montero quickly sent the restart up the flank to Christian Tiffert. The German midfielder alertly squared the ball into the center of the box for Evans, who finished from point-blank range.
Evans’ second goal sparked an end-to-end flurry that saw Gspurning grab David Ferreira’s pop header out of the goalmouth and Johnson lead a Seattle breakaway into the Dallas area only to lose the ball to Hartman.
Dallas spent their share of time in the attacking end after that, but gave Gspurning little cause for concern. Meanwhile the Sounders continued to press. In the 71st minute, Osvaldo Alonso dodged around the over-committed Pertuz and forced Hartman to acrobatically parry his sharply-angled shot out for a corner kick. Montero had a shot deflected wide right in the 73rd minute and missed high in the 78th before setting the stage for Seattle’s third strike. He brought the ball deep into the left side of the penalty area, then squared it toward the far post for Rosales, who slid in unencumbered by a defender to poke the ball home in the 79th.
Late substitute Carlos Rodriguez added a little spark to the Hoops’ attack, forcing Gspurning into a save in the 84th minute, only three minutes after entering the game.