Sounders FC settles for 1-1 tie against FC Dallas
Seattle allows tying goal in 87th minute to remain winless against Western Conference
Seattle Times staff reporter
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On a day hundreds of millions of soccer fans watched the FIFA World Cup final from all corners of the globe, Sounders FC hosted a game that meant the world to its season.
And despite having a late lead, Seattle couldn't close out a win with 10 men, eventually settling for a 1-1 draw with FC Dallas (5-2-7) in front of 36,091 fans at Qwest Field on Sunday night.
Sounders FC, which unveiled a new-look starting lineup, has yet to beat a Western Conference opponent this season and has only won once in the last seven MLS games.
"Disappointing, because I thought we put the right team out there," coach Sigi Schmid said. "I thought we came out and played with a lot of energy."
The spark gave the hosts an early lead, but a red card in the 56th minute to young midfielder Miguel Montano weakened Seattle (4-8-4) in its attempt to preserve the lead. The crushing equalizer came in the 87th minute, when Dallas forward David Ferreira played a give-and-go with midfielder Heath Pearce and then laced a shot to the far post past the diving Kasey Keller.
Said Sounders defender James Riley: "That's a brilliant, brilliant goal from him. ... It's one of those things where you're defending for half an hour and they get that one chance."
The disappointing result was familiar, but a new lineup has given team extra effort and a positive outlook on the rest of the season.
Those new faces included midfielders Michael Seamon and Nathan Sturgis. Forward Nate Jaqua also made his first start of the season, after recovering from a lower abdomen injury.
"I think this was a big step forward, to battle for 30 minutes a man down," Keller said. "I think if we continue to show that kind of endeavor and that kind of work rate, I see no reason why we all can't be very optimistic to where this season is going to go."
The night started right enough, with Sounders FC taking a 1-0 lead in the 14th minute.
Riley collected a pass on the right wing from Seamon and swung in a cross to Fredy Montero, who leapt high to slam a header to the near post past Dallas goalkeeper Kevin Hartman.
The Colombian forward has had either a goal or assist in the last five games. Montero has also scored or assisted on nine of the team's last 11 goals.
Everything changed after the red card.
In the 56th minute, Montano (the youngest Sounder to start an MLS game at 19 years old) was sent off for throwing an elbow after getting tangled with Dallas' Brek Shea. Through a translator, Montano said he was falling down on the play and didn't mean to hit his opponent.
Keller thought the call — Seattle's first red card of the season — was harsh.
"I even asked the ref after the game, 'Did it really need to be a red card? Was it that violent?' " said Keller, who made a great save off the goal line in the 71st minute on a Ferreira header.
But Seattle will need more answers than questions if it hopes to get back into the playoff picture.
• Seattle was without star midfielder Freddie Ljungberg, who suffered an ankle injury last week in training. Three other starters from last week's loss in Los Angeles — defender Tyrone Marshall, midfielder Peter Vagenas and forward Pat Noonan — were left out of the lineup for tactical reasons.
• Incoming forward Blaise Nkufo had a bronze statue of his likeness unveiled outside the stadium of his former team, FC Twente of Holland, on Sunday. Nkufo is expected to join the Sounders on Tuesday in Washington, D.C., and would be eligible to play against D.C. United on Thursday pending international clearance.
• Seattle's next home game will be Sunday against Scottish club Celtic FC. More than 43,700 tickets have been sold for the match, which is included in season-ticket packages as "Friendly B."
• Sunday night was Sounders FC's 25th consecutive sellout.
Joshua Mayers: 206-464-3184 or email@example.com
SOUNDERS FC 1, FC DALLAS 1
|FC Dallas||0 1 — 1|
|Seattle||1 0 — 1|
FC Dallas — Kevin Hartman, Jair Benitez (Zach Loyd, 80th), George John, Heath Pearce, Ugo Ihemelu, Marvin Chavez (Jeff Cunningham, 64th), David Ferreira, Dax McCarty, Brek Shea, Daniel Hernandez, Atiba Harris.
Seattle — Kasey Keller, James Riley, Jeff Parke, Patrick Ianni, Nathan Sturgis, Leo Gonzalez, Steve Zakuani (Sanna Nyassi, 62nd), Mike Seamon (Osvaldo Alonso, 70th), Nate Jaqua (Roger Levesque, 78th), Miguel Montano, Fredy Montero.
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