Red-hot Sounders win fifth straight game, topping Dallas 2-0
Fredy Montero entered a scoreless game just after halftime and scored two goals three minutes apart to lead Seattle to a victory.
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FRISCO, Texas — Even though Sounders FC is in the midst of playing four games in 10 days, forward Fredy Montero wasn't thrilled with the idea of having his minutes reduced. But it's tough to argue with the results.
Coming off the bench for the second half Tuesday, Montero scored two goals to lead the Sounders to their fifth straight victory, a 2-0 decision over FC Dallas, which is winless in its past five (0-3-2).
Seattle improved to 7-1-1 heading into a showdown with Real Salt Lake on Saturday. A win could boost the Sounders into the Western Conference lead.
"We had a lot of tired bodies out there, trying to get people through it," said Seattle coach Sigi Schmid. "That's why we cut Montero's minutes, to keep us as fresh as possible, because we've got another game on the weekend."
"Obviously, when you are winning games, you want to keep working the same way," Montero said.
After going scoreless in the season's first six games, Montero now has three goals in the past three matches.
"Obviously, I tried to score the first games, but you never understand soccer," shrugged Montero, who scored 12 last season. "I'm scoring goals. I want to keep doing this and I'm happy right now, so I will keep working hard and let's see what happens, because it's a very long season."
Sounders goalkeeper Bryan Meredith, in just his second pro start and third appearance, made five saves for his second straight shutout. In 225 minutes of MLS action since taking over for starter Michael Gspurning, who is out with a hip injury, Meredith has yet to concede a goal.
"It's been fun. You've got to be ready at any time, to be able to step in and do the job right, which sometimes can make the backup position a little bit tough," said the 22-year-old Meredith. "You have to give most of the credit to the defense."
"We have a lot of faith in Bryan," Schmid said. "He's a goalkeeper that I was very impressed with. I think what people forget about him is he's very young and I think he's going to just get better and better."
After a scoreless first half, Montero came on for the start of the second half and immediately added a spark.
"It was a decision by the coach, and obviously as players, we have to respect what he decides," said Montero of not starting. "He's the head coach and I'm happy to be here, so I got to come in and it was good to score two goals and at the end of the game, we got three points."
Montero's first goal made it 1-0 in the 68th minute. A brilliant move allowed him to elude Dallas defenders Matt Hedges and Hernan Pertuz and he drilled a 7-yard blast past Dallas goalkeeper Kevin Hartman just inside the right post.
"It was a really fast play," Montero said of the goal. "Everything I tried to do was put the ball in the net, but it was a big moment for me."
Alex Caskey set up Montero's second of the night three minutes later, with a nice cross from the left flank that deflected off Dallas defender George John and into the middle, where Montero fought off Pertuz for a diving header that found the back of the net.
"Montero comes on the field, we know what he's all about," Dallas coach Schellas Hyndman said. "He's a very good player, a difference-maker. ... He's a shark. He's a finisher."
• Sounders defender Patrick Ianni was a game time scratch due to a lower back issue, while Leo Gonzalez sat out serving a one-game suspension.
|Seattle||0 2 — 2|
|Dallas||0 0 — 0|
Seattle — Brian Meredith, Marc Burch, Jeff Parke, Jhon Kennedy Hurtado, Zach Scott, Andy Rose, Alex Caskey, Mauro Rosales (Fredy Montero, 46th), Brad Evans (Servando Carrasco, 77th), David Estrada (Cordell Cato, 66th), Eddie Johnson.
Dallas — Kevin Hartman, Jackson, Zach Loyd, Hernan Pertuz (Ruben Luna, 84th), George John, Jair Benitez, Matt Hedges, Andrew Jacobson, James Marcelin, Fabian Castillo, Scott Sealy (Brek Shea, 70th).
|Best teams in West|
|Seattle plays Real Salt Lake on Saturday with the Western Conference division lead in the balance.|
|Real Salt Lake||7-3-2||23|