2012 May 9

Fredy Montero enters at halftime and wins it with a brace

FC Dallas  0 - 2  Seattle Sounders FC

FC Dallas Stadium, Frisco, TX

68' SEA: Fredy Montero (Cordell Cato)
71' SEA: Fredy Montero (Alex Caskey, Andy Rose)

Dallas: Kevin Hartman; Zach Lloyd, George John, Matt Hedges, Hernan Pertuz (Ruben Luna 84'); Jackson, James Marcelin, Andrew Jacobson, Jair Benitez; Fabian Castillo, Scott Sealy (Brek Shea 70').
Substitutes not used: Chris Seitz, Bruno Guarda, Bryan Leyva, Victor Ulloa, Alex Lee.

Seattle: Bryan Meredith; Zach Scott, Jhon Kennedy Hurtado, Jeff Parke, Marc Burch; Mauro Rosales (Fredy Montero 46'), Andy Rose, Brad Evans (Servando Carrasco 77'), Alex Caskey; David Estrada (Cordell Cato 65'), Eddie Johnson.
Substitutes not used: Andrew Weber, Adam Johansson, Roger Levesque, Sammy Ochoa.

Match report from Ron Stickney:

Playing a road match at Dallas FC, Fredy Montero played as a super sub, entering at intermission and scoring a brace to give the Seattle Sounders FC a 2-0 win and five consecutive wins. Rookie Cordell Cato, the youngest player on the team, came on for his MLS debut and within three minutes had an assist on the first goal. Bryan Meredith was outstanding in goal to earn his second shutout in his second MLS start.

It was a good time to travel to Texas, as FC Dallas had two key players suspended due to red cards, Blas Perez and Daniel Hernandez. Both teams had a long injury list.

Dallas came out of the starting gate with a lot of energy. Fabian Castillo stood out as the most dangerous attacker, earning two chances in the opening ten minutes. First, he got around Zach Scott on the left and shot into the near side netting from a nearly impossible angle. Then he worked a nice give and go, but touched the ball too far, allowing Meredith to claim it. At 12' Jair Benitez forced the first save of the match with a 25-yard shot right to Meredith.

Seattle nearly scored at 17'. Eddie Johnson ran down a long ball and worked his way to the middle to serve a square ball to Andy Rose coming up the right side. Rose served a nice pass to Mauro Rosales in front of goal. Rosales was maybe offside, but the flag stayed down. His first shot was saved by Kevin Hartman, the rebound gave Rosales a golden second chance that he wasted into the post, and on the doorstep his third try was cleared backwards over the bar by Zach Loyd.

Midway in the half Castillo proved dangerous again, nutmegging Scott at the touch line, then getting by Jeff Parke at the corner of the penalty area. In the end, Castillo's shot from a steep angle hit Meredith in the chest.

At 36' Seattle's Johnson was tripped just inside the edge of the lenalty area, but it was deemed to be too trifling for referee Fotis Bazakos to whistle in his MLS debut.

The save of the match came when Castillo's cross to the far post was headed back across goal by Andrew Jacobson for a shot aimed at the top near corner by Scott Sealy. Meredith leaped to push it onto the crossbar for a save of the week candidate. The rebound came back to Sealy but he played it too far and Meredith pounceed on it.

Seattle pressed hard for the last five minutes of the first half. On a corner kick play, Dallas defenders had to clear dangerous crosses from their area three times in succession. A strong Seattle attack led to a header by Brad Evans off Scott's cross, and it was deflected to Hartman for a save.

Montero entered for Rosales at halftime and soon earned shots. His first attempt was a long shot sent will wide. Next was a 25-yard free kick that didn't quite get over the wall.

Dallas had a free kick from the arc and Benitez sent it a half yard over the center of the bar.

68' SEA: Montero (Cato). On a Seattle attack, Montero served the ball ahead for Cato at the right touch line. Cato worked to get by rookie defender Matt Hedges, then returned the ball to Montero in the penalty area. Montero switched directions to get free of a double-team by James Marcelin and Hernan Pertuz, then beat Hartman with a blast inside the near post. 1-0 Seattle.

71' SEA: Montero (Caskey). Just two or three minutes later, Marc Burch passed from the touch line to Andy Rose, who sent a nicely weighted forward pass in front of Alex Caskey's run into the penalty area. Caskey's cross was slightly deflected by George John's stab at the ball, and at the center of the 6-yard line Montero dove low past Marcelin to head the ball in. 2-0 Seattle.

Dallas pressed hard for the final 20 minutes, but Seattle's defense was equal to Dallas' attacks. Substitute Brek Shea bent a shot a yard wide of the far post soon after Montero's second goal. Castillo blasted a cleared corner kick inches over the top far corner. Jacobson tried from a steep angle but hit it right at Meredith, who held on to it. In added time, Shea was fouled by Parke for a 20-yard free kick that was quickly taken, giving Castillo a 10-yard shot from the side that hit the near side netting.

Credit both sides for strong efforts, but the Sounders will go home much happier with their second road win of the young season.

          DAL   SEA
Shots:     15    11
Saves:      2     5
Corners:    7     2
Fouls:     11    16
Offsides:   2     0

30' SEA: Burch cautioned for a tactical foul on Jackson
42' SEA: Parke cautioned for a tactical foul on Sealy
57' DAL: John cautioned for a tactical foul on Johnson
75' SEA: Scott cautioned for a harsh foul on Castillo
82' SEA: Montero cautioned for a seemingly fair tackle on Jackson, but maybe he showed a bit too much of the cleats

Referees: Fotis Bazakos (MLS debut); Frank Anderson, Corey Rockwell; Abiodun Okulaja

Attendance: 10,092

Post-Match Quotes

Seattle Sounders FC

Sigi Schmid - Head Coach

On five straight victories: "It's great. Today was tough for us because it's our fourth game in (12) days, so we had a lot of tired bodies out there. But you try to get people through it. That's why we tried cut the minutes for Rosales. We tried to cut Montero's minutes, as well, to keep us as fresh as possible because we have another game on the weekend. But I thought our team responded well. I thought we defended well, which we've done all season... I thought Jeff Parke was superb. I thought Meredith came up with a big save at a big time for us and then obviously Montero finished two good goals. There was a lot of good work by Cordell Cato on the first goal. I was pleased for him in his first game."

On three straight shutouts: "They work for each other. They get in the way. They block shots. They help each other. They cover for each other. You know they take a lot of pride in keeping things away from goal... I think our goalkeepers don't have to make a lot of big saves because we're doing a lot of saves in front of them, and when they do they're able to come up with it and do well with it. So it's a mindset and the mindset is with our midfielders and forwards as well in terms of making plays predictable."

On second half play vs. the first: "I think the first half we were too stretched out. I thought Rose and Evans played too deep together and so there was a big hole there. Also Estrada and Johnson are big forwards that like to stay high a little bit, so we had a big hole in the middle of midfield... So basically in the first half Marcelin ran the whole show and he was able to put balls to the next guy, who then play into Castillo and people like that. And we talked about that at halftime... The second half Evans pushed into that hole a little bit. Montero drops into that hole, so now all of the sudden we were able to play and connect some passes into that hole and hold the ball for longer sequences and that forced them back a little bit."

On playing Real Salt Lake this Saturday: "It doesn't get any easier. We told our guys this was a five-game, grueling set. You know 5 games in (15) days and we wanted to maximize what we got. Right now we've got 12 points. If we can finish this set with 15 points, that will be unbelievable and a tremendous tribute to the team... Then I probably do have to give them about two days off at the beginning of the following week. But I think that the guys battled and I think that we'll have some fresh bodies back for our game Saturday... Alonso will be back. Obviously, Leo Gonzalez will be back, so that's another player for us, so I feel pretty good. I think Fernandez should be able to go as well on Saturday; so getting those guys back helps us."

On Montero's performance off the bench: "It was something we had to do. We talked about it before the game. I talked to Mauro and Fredy, so that was a planned sub -- that Mauro would play the first half, Fredy the second -- and we knew we had to save him some minutes. I mean he's played a lot of minutes this year, as has Mauro, recently in this stretch of games... All goal scorers are a little bit streaky and now over his last three games he's got three goals and an assist, so he's starting to find his rhythm."

On goalkeeper Bryan Meredith's night: "We had a lot of faith in Bryan. That's why we drafted him. That's why we brought him back last year. As I said he's a goalkeeper that I was very impressed with... We looked at all the goalkeepers coming out this year and we said we don't need another one -- he's good. I think people forget about him, too, because he's very young. He's just turned 22, so he's not an old goalkeeper and I think he's just going to get better and better... Obviously when you make a save like he did at the end of the first half, that's a huge save. You got to be happy about that, but also happy with how he deals well with crosses... Coming out in traffic, he's learned a lot from (Kasey Keller) obviously over the years and even from Michael Gspurning this year. Michael punches a little more, which is more of a European trademark, so he's incorporated that into his game. We are very confident when balls are crossed and how he deals the 18-yard box."

On Fredy Montero's performance: "When he wasn't scoring goals we just talked about it and we just said, 'Hey, I'm not going to put any pressure on you. It will come; don't worry about it. Just keep playing. You're getting chances. If you weren't getting chances, then we'd talk about it and we'd worry about it.' ... He got that tremendous goal - the bomb - and that sort of like sealed him in. You could tell, the next day at practice he scored a couple of good goals and you could just see, 'Okay, that's over with and that's behind me.' It's a feeling more so than anything else."

Bryan Meredith

On the win: "As a team this is our fifth win in a row, which is a franchise record for us. It's very exciting. It was a great game. Sometimes you have to grind it out defensively, but the defense again did a great job. You have to give most of the credit to the defense for playing from minute 1 to minute 90 at 100 percent."

On diving save to end the first half: "He hit it across the goal and I don't even know who it was. The ball just got up and kind of floated to the upper 90 and I just did everything I could to get a little tip on it."

On stepping in to play: "It's been fun. You've got to be ready to step in and do the job at any time, which sometimes makes a backup position tough. I was prepared correctly before every game and luckily I've been able to extend our winning streak."

On the fast-paced game: "It's different. Mentally it's a little easier to stay tuned into the game than when you're not getting a lot of saves on your side. You have to kind of focus a lot more this way. I had a couple of shots I had to save today, so you have to stay tuned in."

Fredy Montero

On the game: "It's a great feeling coming off the bench. I try to do my best and did what Sigi told me and it was a big surprise for me to score those two goals and get the three points... Obviously when you are winning games you want to keep working and doing the same stuff. We tried to jump into the field and just enjoy the game. Try to be honest with us and try to be honest with the team and work hard for each other... We had a great battle today. We scored two goals and we got three points, which was super important for us."

On the second goal: "It was a little touch by the defense and the ball came to me and I just jumped and guided the ball into the net."

On the first goal: "It was a really fast play. I mean I was battling for the ball and when I got the ball I tried to fake one defender and when I looked up I was right in front of the keeper. Then I just tried to put the ball into the net. It was a goal and a big moment for me."

On coming in for the second half: "That was a decision made by the coach and obviously we are players, we have to respect what he decides. He is the head coach and I'm happy to be here, so I got the opportunity to come in. I did my best and it was good to score two goals, and at the end of the game we have three points... I tried to score before, but you never can understand soccer. Now I'm scoring goals. I want to keep doing this. I'm really happy, so I will work hard like I did this week and we'll see what happens this season."