Sounders FC 2 FC Dallas 0
The Sounders traveled to Dallas for a midweek match, their fourth match in ten days. May is a busy month for Seattle and manager Sigi Schmid juggled his lineup, sitting forward Fredy Montero for the first half and midfielder Osvaldo Alonso for the full 90 minutes.
The weakened lineup showed as Dallas dominated the stats. Unfortunately for them, Schmid swapped out Mauro Rosales for Fredy Montero at halftime. Montero responded with two goals and gave Seattle a full three points.
His first goal came in the 68th minute. An excellent move in traffic got him free of Dallas defenders Matt Hedges and Hernan Pertuz. Montero didn’t waste the space, drilling the ball from seven yards out past Dallas goalkeeper Kevin Hartman just inside the right post.
Montero had some terrible luck trying to get his first goal of the season. It took him six games to get his first goal; now he has three goals in three games. Karma plays a big role in sports. It dictates that what goes around comes around, and for Fredy that proved true on the second goal in particular.
It only took three more minutes for Montero. In the 71st minute, the ball was crossed into the box by Alex Caskey. The ball took a deflection off defender George John’s foot. That would usually end the threat, but this time the deflection took the ball into a path that Montero was able to get a head onto it. His shot eluded Dallas keeper Kevin Hartman completely, making the rest of the match an exercise in damage control for Seattle.
Seattle’s defense struggled early with the speed of Dallas forward Fabian Castillo. The midfield missed Alonso, who took his first match on the bench of the season. Brad Evans and Andy Rose spent the first half giving up too much space to James Marcelin, although adjustments at the half helped limit the problem.
Despite the early weaknesses, Sounders keeper Bryan Meredith, in for injured starter Michael Gspurning, has now notched up 225 minutes of scoreless play. Meredith has not allowed a goal in 2.5 matches and looks strong in goal. Seattle may have found its long term replacement to Kasey Keller.
The win takes Seattle to 7-1-1 with 22 points, one behind Western Conference leading Real Salt Lake and tied with San Jose.
That makes for an interesting, albeit a quick, turnaround for the Sounders’ next match. Seattle returns home to host Real Salt Lake on Saturday night at CenturyLink Field for a primetime early season match up.