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FC Dallas Gets 1-1 Draw Against Sounders

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Christian Tiffert of the Seattle Sounders dribbles the ball against Zach Loyd of FC Dallas at FC Dallas Stadium on September 2, 2012 in Frisco, Texas. (credit: Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)

FRISCO (AP) - Jackson scored in the 32nd minute and Kevin Hartman made a couple of key saves to lift FC Dallas to a 1-1 draw against the Seattle Sounders on Sunday night.

Dallas (8-12-9) preserved its playoff hopes alive, improving to 3-1-1 in its last five to move four points behind Vancouver for the Western Conference’s fifth and final postseason spot.

Mauro Rosales scored in the 20th minute for Seattle (12-6-8), which improved to 5-1-2 in its last eight MLS contests and edged past Los Angeles into third place in the West. After defeating Caledonia AIA 3-1 in Trinidad on Thursday, the Sounders faded in the 99-degree heat, especially in the second half.

“For us, with what we’ve had to go through this week, with the travel and so forth, the early morning airport calls, the lack of sleep the guys have had to deal with, I was very pleased at what we showed in terms of character and our morale,” Sounders coach Sigi Schmid said. “We knew that we’d have to hang on at times, but I was really pleased with our character.”

Rosales agreed, adding: “I think the heat was enough for both teams, and we were coming from Trinidad and Tobago, a 10-hour flight, with delays and all that stuff, so I think it was a good point on the road.”

Hartman, the MLS’ all-time leader in virtually every goalkeeping category, made three saves, including one on Sounders forward Fredy Montero, who was scoreless on five shots after getting six goals in his previous four league matches.

“Obviously, we need three points, so we’re disappointed,” Hartman said. “I thought we showed a lot of character to come back, and we certainly had enough opportunities to win it tonight, but unfortunately, we couldn’t get the second one.”

Rosales, who leads the MLS with 13 assists, put Seattle ahead with his second goal of the season after taking a beautiful setup from Steve Zakuani. Zakuani, making his first start and third appearance after recovering from a broken leg on April 22, 2011, ran around Dallas defender Zach Loyd on the left side before delivering a perfect feed across the goalmouth to the charging Rosales for an easy tap-in at the right post.

“I knew that in this heat, I might just get one or two chances to run at the guy, so when it came, I took it,” said Zakuani, who was substituted out in the 66th minute. “I looked up and saw Mauro had made a good run to the back post and he was free, and it was up to me to find him. I managed to do that and Mauro made a very good finish.”

Jackson’s third goal of the year tied it 12 minutes later. Blas Perez, making his first start and second appearance for Dallas after missing 12 games with a right foot sprain, delivered a nifty pass across the penalty area to the charging Jackson, who re-directed it home near the left post.

“(Perez is) our goal scorer, that’s what we brought him in for,” Dallas coach Schellas Hyndman said. “He is not 100 percent. Today took a lot out of him but I thought we got his best. He had a couple of really clean cut chances. I think if he was game-sharp we might see a different result.”

The Sounders nearly regained the lead just three minutes later, but Hartman made an outstanding leaping hand save on Brad Evans’ point-blank header, barely deflecting the ball over the crossbar.

Seattle controlled the majority of the action through the first 20-plus minutes of the second half, but Jackson who had the best opportunity to snap the 1-1 tie, in the 69th minute. A short pass from Perez left Jackson alone with the ball about 10 yards out, but his point-blank shot was stopped by Sounders goalkeeper Michael Gspurning, who made a spectacular diving save.

Star forward Eddie Johnson, who is tied with Montero for the team lead with 11 goals, did not make the trip for the Sounders, remaining back in Seattle to rest.

Meanwhile, Dallas was missing speedy forward Fabian Castillo, who had scored goals in three straight games before leaving their last contest with a strained right hamstring.

“He’s our goal scorer, that’s what we brought him in for,” Hyndman said of Perez. “He is not 100 percent. Today took a lot out of him but I thought we got his best. He had a couple of really clean cut chances. I think if he was game-sharp we might see a different result.”

The Sounders nearly regained the lead just three minutes later, but Hartman made an outstanding leaping hand save on Brad Evans’ point-blank header, barely deflecting the ball over the crossbar.

Seattle controlled the majority of the action through the first 20-plus minutes of the second half, but Jackson who had the best opportunity to snap the 1-1 tie, in the 69th minute. A short pass from Perez left Jackson alone with the ball about 10 yards out, but his point-blank shot was stopped by Sounders goalkeeper Michael Gspurning, who made a spectacular diving save.

“In this situation, if you get down 2-1, then it’s tough to come back,” Gspurning said. “I was standing big and waiting on what the striker was doing, then I had a quick reaction and I was happy that I made the save.”

Star forward Eddie Johnson, who is tied with Montero for the team lead with 11 goals, did not make the trip for the Sounders, remaining back in Seattle to rest.

Meanwhile, Dallas was missing speedy forward Fabian Castillo, who had scored goals in three straight games before leaving their last contest with a strained right hamstring.

(© Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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