Minus suspended defender Leo Gonzales, the Sounders seek to improve their record start Wednesday in Dallas.
MATCH: Seattle Sounders FC (6-1-1, 16 points, 3rd, West Conf.) at FC Dallas (3-3-3, 12 points, 6th, West Conf.) TYPE: MLS. WHEN: Wednesday, 5:30 p.m., FC Dallas Stadium, Frisco, TX. MEETING: 7th (Sounders lead 2-1-3 in MLS). TV: KONG 6/16. RADIO: 97.3 KIRO FM; SPANISH RADIO: La Gran D 99.3 FM.
Third in the Western Conference (19 points) behind the San Jose Earthquakes (22) and Real Salt Lake (22), but playing fewer games, the Seattle Sounders will try to extend the best start to a season in franchise history when they engage FC Dallas Wednesday.
With three wins in the past eight days, Seattle holds the second-longest winning streak (four games) in MLS this season, and extended its unbeaten run to five games (4-0-1), the longest active streak.
The bump in points helped Sounders FC remain among the league’s elite. Seattle leads MLS in points per match (2.375) and is the only team with just one loss.
This marks the second consecutive week that the Sounders will play two matches. Last week, Seattle recorded 2-0 and 1-0 wins over the Los Angeles Galaxy and Philadelphia Union, respectively.
After playing FC Dallas, the Sounders return home Saturday to face Real Salt Lake, which has 22 points in three more matches than Seattle has played (8).
F.C. Dallas is led by U.S. international Brek Shea and Panamanian international Blas Perez. Perez will be unavailable Wednesday after receiving a red card Sunday against Colorado.
Daniel Hernandez also received a red card in the match and will miss Wednesday’s meeting as well. Shea and Perez have three goals apiece, and Perez has added a team-high three assists.
Shea led Dallas with 11 goals last season, including the lone goal in a 1-0 win over Sounders FC at CenturyLink Field. Brazilian midfielder Ricardo Villar has scored two goals in five matches this season.
The Dallas back line is headed by Ugo Ihemelu, who plays alongside University of Washington product George John at center back. Ihemelu (one goal) and right back Zach Lloyd (one goal, one assist) have contributed offensively while playing every minute this season.
Seattle and Dallas have three common opponents. Seattle drew with D.C. United 0-0 and Dallas lost 4-1. Seattle defeated Colorado 1-0 and Dallas lost 2-0. Seattle beat Los Angeles 2-0 and Dallas tied the Galaxy 1-1.
Seattle defender Leo Gonzales will serve a one-game suspension for a dangerous challenge on a Philadelphia player Saturday. Gonzales stepped on Sheanon Williams in the 88th minute, and will sit out Wednesday. Seattle goalkeeper Michael Gspurning, ailing from a right hip injury, is listed as doubtful. If Gspurning doesn’t play, Bryan Meredith will start. Meredith recorded his first career shutout last Saturday against Philadelphia.
It was a lot of fun very exciting, Meredith said. I wasnt too nervous. It was a relatively easy game for me. The back four didnt really allow much through and I dont think I saw any shots on target so I think it was a good way to start my first game.
As or Gspurning’s return, coach Sigi Schmid said, Theres an outside shot that he would be able to be back by the time we play Vancouver, or maybe that week after. They (team physicians) feel pretty confident in terms of its something that will take two to three weeks to ramp him up to full activity.
SERIES: Dates to May 16, 2009, when the Sounders and FC Dallas battled to a 1-1 draw, Seattle receiving its goal from Jhon Kennedy Hurtado. The Sounders have won the last two matches played between the clubs across all competitions. Most recently, they met Aug. 30 in U.S. Open Cup play, Seattle coming away with a 1-0 victory. In the six previous MLS meetings, Seattle has recorded seven goals, Dallas FC six.
LAST MATCH (Sounders, May 5): Mauro Rosales tallied his first goal of the season as Sounders FC blanked the Philadelphia Union in front of a sellout crowd of 38,399 at CenturyLink Field. Fredy Montero recorded his first assist of the season and Bryan Meredith got his first career shutout as Seattle won its fourth straight. The game’s lone goal came in the 63rd minute and started with a throw-in that Eddie Johnson chested to Montero. Montero touched it twice, then played the ball to a wide-open Rosales on the right side of the box, who fired a hard, low shot inside the far post.
LAST MATCH (FC Dallas, May 6): Jaime Castrillons 61st-minute header amounted to all that the Colorado Rapids needed to cruise to a 2-0 win against an FC Dallas side reduced to nine men by two first-half red cards. Castrillon got on the end of a Brian Mullan cross to head the ball past FC Dallas goalkeeper Kevin Hartman. Buoyed by their two-man advantage, the Rapids peppered Hartmans goal with shots before Castrillon made the breakthrough. Martin Rivero sealed the victory with a 74th-minute goal, his first in MLS. FC Dallas was forced to play with nine men for 55 minutes due to the red cards issued to Daniel Hernandez and Blas Perez.
SOUNDERS STATS / NOTES
COACHES: Sigi Schmid became first head coach of Seattle Sounders FC Dec. 16, 2008, and is in his fourth year. Born in Tübingen, Germany, Schmid relocated with his family to the U.S. in 1956, and to Torrance, CA., in 1962. He was a four-year starter at UCLA (1972-75) and graduated with a B.S. degree in economics in 1976.
Schmid later earned a M.A. in business administration from Southern California. A certified public accountant, Schmid coached the Los Angeles Galaxy from 1999 through 2004, winning four major competitions: 2002 MLS Cup, 2002 MLS Supporters Shield, 2001 U.S. Open Cup and the 2001 CONCACAF Champions Cup. He coached the Columbus Crew from 2006-08, winning the MLS Cup in his final season.
In 2009, under Schmid’s direction, the Sounders became the first expansion team to reach the MLS playoffs since the 1998 Chicago Fire. The Sounders also won the U.S. Open Cup in Schmid’s first season. They added their second and third U.S. Open Cup titles in 2010 and 2011.
Schelles Hyndman: Hyndman is in his fifth season as head coach of FC Dallas. Schelles is one of the most successful college soccer coaches in American sports history, compiling a 466-122-49 record as the head coach at Southern Methodist University. He also coached at Murray State (1974-75) and Eastern Illinois (1977-83). He was the 1981 NSCAA Coach of the Year.
COMING UP: The Sounders return to CenturyLink Field for a Saturday match against Real Salt Lake. The Sounders have a week off before playing the Whitecaps in Vancouver.
Seattle Sounders FC 2012 Schedule / Results
(6-1-1, 16 points, MLS; 1-1 CCL)
|4/7||^at DC United||4:30||KING||D||0-0||2-1-1|
|5/9||^at FC Dallas||5:30||KING||—||—||—|
|6/30||^vs. New England||4:30||KING||—||—||—|
|7/15||^at New York||1:00||ESPN||—||—||—|
|8/5||^vs. LA Galaxy||7:00||ESPN2||—||—||—|
|8/11||^at San Jose||7:30||KING||—||—||—|
|9/2||^at FC Dallas||4:00||KING||—||—||—|
|10/21||^vs. FC Dallas||6:00||ESPN||—||—||—|
|10/28||^at LA Galaxy||6:00||ESPN||—||—||—|
*=CONCACAF; ^=Major League Soccer; #=International friendly