2012 Oct 21
CenturyLink Field, Seattle, WA
32' SEA: Brad Evans (PK)
40' DAL: Blas Perez
60' SEA: Brad Evans (Christian Tiffert, Fredy Montero)
79' SEA: Mauro Rosales (Fredy Montero, Eddie Johnson)
Seattle: Michael Gspurning; Adam Johansson, Jeff Parke, Jhon Kennedy Hurtado, Marc Burch; Mauro Rosales (Andy Rose 83'), Osvaldo Alonso, Christian Tiffert (David Estrada 89'), Brad Evans; Fredy Montero, Eddie Johnson.
Substitutes not used: Marcus Hahnemann, Mike Seamon, Mario Martinez, Steve Zakuani, Sammy Ochoa.
Dallas: Kevin Hartman; Zach Loyd, Matt Hedges, Hernan Pertuz, Jair Benitez; Ricardo Villar (Scott Sealy 74'), Andrew Jacobson, Daniel Hernandez (Carlos Rodríguez 81'), Fabian Castillo; David Ferreira, Blas Perez.
Substitutes not used: Richard Sanchez, Bobby Warshaw, James Marcelin, Bryan Leyva, Matias Jara.
Match report from Ron Stickney:
The Seattle Sounders FC played their last home match in the 2012 regular season and improved their playoff positioning with a 3-1 win over FC Dallas. The visitors were eliminated from the playoffs with the loss.
Another big crowd set the season average to 43,143, setting a new MLS season record as the Sounders have done every year in the league.
Assistant coach Brian Schmetzer skippered the squad, as head coach Sigi Schmid was suspended for comments critical of referee Ricardo Salazar the previous match. Schmetzer has won both MLS matches when he stepped in for Sigi.
A cold downpour started just before kickoff, but fortunately it let up after about ten minutes. The rainy period saw just one shot, a 20-yard try by Dallas midfielder Andrew Jacobson that missed the lower far corner by a yard.
Seattle's first chance came when Jhon Kennedy Hurtado headed down a corner kick in front of goal to give his central defense partner Jeff Parke a chance, but Parke's first touch was too strong and the defense collapsed on the ball as he shot. Hurtado was playing his first match with a clear face shield, as he is recovering from a facial fracture suffered when he cleared an air ball in the recent Portland match. Hurtado had a fine night in his return to action.
In the same minute as Parke's chance, a ball was curled in front of goal for Fredy Montero or Eddie Johnson, and it fell for Eddie, who measured a shot and then sent it a yard high and wide.
32' SEA: Evans (PK). A long Parke free kick was head-flicked by Johnson to Montero between two defenders just inside the penalty area. Montero played the ball nicely into open space and as he went after the ball he was pulled back from behind twice by central defender Hernan Pertuz. The resulting penalty kick was hammered to the right as goalkeeper Kevin Hartman guessed the wrong way. 1-0 Seattle.
The next minute Dallas left back Jair Benitez gave Seattle a scare when his long cross from the left touch line bounced past the crowd, and only a diving save by Michael Gspurning prevented the ball going in.
For Seattle, Montero soon had a good chance when Mauro Rosales' cross past goal made it through to the striker. Montero was open for a shot but fired it hard into Hartman's face. After a brief medical examination, Hartman continued the match.
40' DAL: Perez. A long free kick by Ricardo Villar was curled to the 6-yard line. With the crowd running towards goal, the ball came off Johnson's shoulder and fell for Blas Perez, who was making the near-post run. He slammed the shot home from two yards. 1-1.
Seattle had the first chance of the second half when Rosales fed Montero for a shot from the arc, sent right at Hartman.
From a Dallas corner kick play, Perez made space for a shot, then fired it high and wide.
At 58' Seattle midfielder Osvaldo Alonso got his first chance and curled a shot a yard over the bar.
60' SEA: Evans (Tiffert, Montero). After Montero was fouled in front of Dallas' bench, he quickly got up and sent the free kick ahead to an open Tiffert. The midfielder threaded a nice cross between two defenders to Evans, who slotted a shot between two defenders and past Hartman. 2-1 Seattle.
With their playoff chances slipping away, Dallas began sending large numbers forward in search of goals. A long cross gave David Ferreira a header when a defender stumbled, but the soft shot was easily run down by Gspurning. Perez tried from the right end of the arc and Gspurning watched it roll a yard wide.
At 71' Alonso got around Pertuz on the left and fired a nice shot aimed inside the far post, and Hartman did well to block it wide with an arm reach. Montero's shot from 20 yards was deflected an inch wide of the far post. Montero looked like he would score when he was sprung from the halfway line on a counterattack to go in alone, but he fired a yard over the top near corner.
79' SEA: Rosales (Montero, Johnson). Captain Rosales got Seattle's insurance goal. He was the playmaker early in the sequence when he received the ball up the middle, cut back, and left the ball for Johnson. Eddie sent a perfect diagonal pass in front of Montero on the left. Montero was in on goal and drew Hartman out before sending a cross for Rosales' far-post run, which was finished with a sliding shot. 3-1 Seattle.
Dallas' last good shot came at 84' when Zach Loyd earned a 15-yard shot to the lower near corner, where Gspurning made a diving save.
Seattle's Alonso had one last try from a Johnson cross on a counterattack, and Hartman again knocked the shot wide with a fine save.
Shots: 15 11
Saves: 2 4
Corners: 6 5
Fouls: 17 12
Offsides: 1 5
45' SEA: Tiffert cautioned for a foul after the ball was gone
72' SEA: Rosales cautioned for wasting time on a Seattle throw-in
Referees: Baldomero Toledo; Ian Anderson, Fabio Tovar; Alejandro Mariscal
Attendance: 38,755 (new MLS record for season average attandance at 43,144)
Seattle Sounders FC
Brian Schmetzer - Coach
On the game: "The last time I sat here it was Pat Ianni on a bicycle kick -- when we played Houston -- to win the game. I don't know how many two-goal games Brad Evans has in his career ... but I'm very thankful for Brad happening to have one now, and then the rest of the guys pitching in, as well, to make this a successful evening for not just myself, but the whole coaching staff. Like Sigi said at the stadium to thank the fans, but for the guys that did the hard work on the field. Our job is certainly important, but the players are the ones that really do the hard work. Being in my shoes, I get to work with some of the younger players on the squad, and I also get to help some of the older guys and the stars, as well. I certainly think I've touched or been involved with the group from top to bottom, and I think that's what I'm feeling right now -- I'm proud of those guys for coming through and making sure really did our jobs tonight and made it into the second or third place and we control our destiny here with our last game. For me to win another game, it's just a pretty good feeling."
On Portland beating Vancouver to clinch the Cascadia Cup right before the game tonight: "Before the game we were watching the TV's and we knew the result walking out on the field and I said, 'Well, it's up to us. We have to do our job here and not worry about what they did.'"
On avoiding the play-in between the fourth and fifth seeds: "It's massive. It's massive. It's just an extra game on an already busy schedule. I think we must play more games than most teams in this league. We've had a couple injuries and we're trying to get back at it, and Wednesday games we're used to it. It certainly would have put a lot more mileage and a little bit more pressure to get us to where we want to be."
On the build-up leading up to the game: "I think we had a good week of training. I think the guys have kind of figured out that this is the lineup we're using. Certainly injuries and other things come into play, but the team has been on a steady up-tick as far as performances are concerned. You didn't want to add too much pressure to them, you wanted to tell them, 'Hey, we can control what we can control.' Whatever the result was up in Vancouver, whatever the result was LA-San Jose, those things are just little side-notes as far as our story is concerned."
On the team: "I think this team is good enough that if we play up to our potential and we worry about ourselves that we have a chance to beat anybody in this league."
On getting the win at home: "Yeah it was a good way to close out our home stand at the end of the season. I think this is one of the most important games of the season so far. We made a statement and if we play well next Sunday I think we give ourselves a good chance going into the playoffs."
On getting the penalty kick: "It was bound to happen. Some teams get them all and some teams don't, but fortunately Fredy made a good touch."
On knowing what happened between Portland and Vancouver making the MLS cup more of a goal: "Once we knew that was over, and we knew Dallas had to win this game we knew that they were going to throw numbers forward and we were able to catch them on a couple of counter attacks. We said that this is what the playoffs are going to be like so it was a good test for us going into the playoffs."
On the build-ups today: "Anytime a team throws that many guys forward you are going to have good build-ups. Especially with the type of team that we are, and with our skill at counter attacking, we knew that we were going to have some good build-ups today. For us it happens every game. It is just about making the right runs. There was a lot of unselfish play tonight, and we benefited from that tonight."
On this team being more prepared for the playoffs than previous years: "I think we are hungry more than anything. We can compete with anybody, and we have shown that throughout the year. For us I think that we are confident, but we aren't overconfident. I think we are playing with our backs against the wall and a chip on our shoulder. We are not overconfident, but I know the players we have, and I am confident with what we can do."
On the Cascadia Cup result fueling that hunger: "Obviously that is important to everybody top to bottom, especially the fans. If we can't give them that then we need to give them something else."
On the big win: "Before the game we knew the results, and we knew that we were going to have to win this game. It was a very difficult game too, because they had to win today to get into the playoffs, and we did an excellent job. We need to keep playing like this, and then go into the playoffs at our best level."
On Dallas playing differently because they knew they had to win: "Yeah they did, but we knew they were going for the win so we were going to have more space to play. This helped us create more room for offense, and allowed us to score three goals today."
On a difference between the 2nd and 3rd seed: "There is a difference, because if we pass the conference round then we want to be the highest seed to host the final round, but we have to beat the conference teams first. We are in a good spot, and we just need to keep going."
On this team being more prepared than previous years: "Yeah everybody is tired, but we need to play with 5% extra because it is playoff time. The concentration and work need to be there during the week, and then we can do a better job in the playoffs."
On the build-up to your goal: "Patience. It was the patience that we had to go forward and play the ball from Eddie to Fredy, and eventually to me. We knew that we were going to have space every time, and we did a great time controlling the game."
On the difference between setting up goals and scoring goals: "No, it doesn't feel any different. I was just trying to find space. The defense was looking for the guys that score all the time, and not for me. I had to be creative and find the space."
On the game: "It was a very good effort from the team. Brad Evans -- it was an unbelievable night for him. At the end of the day, I'm happy with my job out there and hopefully we keep going for the playoffs."
On if the team is ready for the playoffs: "Yeah, definitely. I think we are prepared for what we are going to have. The playoffs are going to be difficult. We've been waiting this whole year and we just want to start playing in the playoffs and see what we can do."
On playing Real Salt Lake in the playoffs: "It's the playoffs. You never know what's going to happen, but our mentality is going to be the same. At home, try to attack and score goals. You can see the last game that's what we tried to do."
On this year's team compared to previous years' teams: "Three years before we were new in this league. We didn't know anything about the playoffs, so now we have three times gone to the playoffs and we couldn't advance. This year, we are focused on what we need to do -- run and battle every single ball and hopefully that's going to be enough for us to advance."
On Portland winning the Cascadia Cup: "I think we did what we needed to do. We played two games at home, and we won those games, we tied a couple times away, so that's all."
Schellas Hyndman - Head Coach
Thoughts on game: "It was a very important game for us, obviously, with Portland beating Vancouver, we felt like we had an opportunity to get a point and hopefully three, but it was a well played game by both teams, difficult environment as everyone says, and our guys gave everything they had."
On goals: "PK called, always a game changer, we score a nice goal, come back a call on our side of the field, but they played it quick, something we talked about, and they got a pretty easy goal out of that, and then scored a third. I think if you look at the stats and everything, it's probably a lot closer game than the score line."
On the disappointment of not getting a point: "Well, it's not just this game, it's the whole season. I ask you to look at any team in the league that has gone without seven starters in a game, tonight we went without five, we left five guys at home. We've done that the whole year. I think Blas is leading the team with 9 goals, and I think he has missed half the season, with injuries and call-ups. For what we have on our team, not just with the injuries and suspensions and the things we could have done a little better at, I know my team, and I don't know how much more I could get out of them. We had Seattle twice at home, and both games we think we outplayed them, and found a way not to win. It has been a whole season thing."
On today's game: "I thought we were a little naďve a couple of times tonight. It's a little disappointing that Vancouver left the door open for us tonight so we were in a position that if we were to get the win, or get a point at least, we would've put ourselves in a position that it would've come down to the last game. Seattle came out with a good game plan and stuck to it and were able to capitalize on some of their chances. It's been a rough one. Dealing with some scheduling and dealing with injuries, at the end of the day, it just wasn't good enough."
On the injuries to the team this season: "I would imagine that we were missing half of our salary cap for majority of the season. So it's difficult to compete without that level of talent on the field. To have such a front loaded schedule can be difficult as well, but we're not in the business of making excuses, we're in the business of getting wins and tonight we weren't able to do it. The pressure was on and the guys that we needed to have out there, the majority was out there. Seattle just beat us."
On today's game: "We knew that coming in a tie wasn't good enough. We were throwing bodies forward especially in the second half. We were tied one - one, and we knew that a tie wasn't going to get it. Unfortunately we got caught on a few counters and they capitalized on them, and we missed a few chances. At the end of the day I'm proud of the guys. We put everything on the field, and it's unfortunate that it ended the way it did, but we have one more game so hopefully we can go home and end the season on a good note."