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Seattle Sounders Newest Player, Clint Dempsey Dominates: FC Dallas Loses

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SEATTLE, WA - JUNE 11: Clint Dempsey #8 walks onto the pitch prior to the match between USA against Panama during the FIFA 2014 World Cup Qualifier at CenturyLink Field on June 11, 2013 in Seattle, Washington. (credit: Otto Greule Jr/Getty Images)

SEATTLE, WA – JUNE 11: Clint Dempsey #8 walks onto the pitch prior to the match between USA against Panama during the FIFA 2014 World Cup Qualifier at CenturyLink Field on June 11, 2013 in Seattle, Washington. (credit: Otto Greule Jr/Getty Images)

SEATTLE, Wash. (CBSDFW.COM) – FC Dallas (8-6-8, 32 points) suffered a 3-0 defeat to Seattle Sounders FC Saturday night in front of 39,360 fans at CenturyLink Field.

Spurred by the pregame presentation of Sounders FC’s newest player, U.S. National Team star Clint Dempsey, Seattle dominated the early parts of the match and took a 1-0 lead in the eighth minute. Obafemi Martins scored the goal, heading home a serve from Mauro Rosales after Eddie Johnson earned a free kick for the Sounders 35 yards away from goal.

Dallas regrouped and won the possession battle between the 15th and 20th minutes, but the Sounders picked off a pass from David Ferriera and countered quickly. Seattle center back DeAndre Yedlin moved the ball up field to Brad Evans and Eddie Johnson timed his run perfectly to beat the offsides trap. In alone against FC Dallas goalkeeper Raul Fernandez, Johnson feinted right before knocking a shot high to the left corner of the net to give Seattle a 2-0 lead 22 minutes into the match.

FC Dallas head coach Schellas Hyndman started the second half just as the Sounders did the match, by introducing a new player. Hyndman subbed in Argentine attacking midfielder Mauro Diaz for Je-Vaughn Watson in the 46th minute.

Diaz made his mark on the game in the 69th minute when Fabian Castillo took the ball down the left flank with speed before dishing a pass inside to Ferreira. Dallas’ captain turned with the ball and found Diaz, who was sprinting through the area. Diaz was able to shake his defender and get an open look at Sounders FC goalkeeper Marcus Hahnemann, but his low strike was just wide of the left post.

FC Dallas Homegrown player Kellyn Acosta also made his MLS debut when he came on for Zach Loyd in the 73rd minute but the night belonged to Seattle. Sounders FC made it a 3-0 game four minutes into stoppage time when Ferreira was whistled for a foul on Lamar Neagle inside the area. Brad Evans stepped to the spot and converted the penalty kick via a low shot into the right side netting.

Scoring Summary:
SEA – Obafemi Martins (Mauro Rosales) 8
SEA – Eddie Johnson (Brad Evans) 22
SEA – Brad Evans (PK) 90+4

FC Dallas – Raul Fernandez, Jair Benitez, George John, Matt Hedges, Zach Loyd (Kellyn Acosta 73), Fabian Castillo, Andrew Jacobson, Je-Vaughn Watson (Mauro Diaz 46), Jackson (Kenny Cooper 83), David Ferreira, Blas Perez.

Substitutes Not Used: Chris Seitz, Ramon Nunez, Michel, Stephen Keel.

TOTAL SHOTS: 8 (Andrew Jacobson, Mauro Diaz 2); SHOTS ON GOAL: 0; FOULS: 19 (Blas Perez 6); OFFSIDES: 4 (Fabian Castillo 2); CORNER KICKS: 2 (David Ferreira 2); SAVES: 1 (Raul Fernandez 1).
Seattle Sounders FC – Marcus Hahnemann, DeAndre Yedlin, Patrick Ianni, Djimi Traore, Leo Gonzalez, Mauro Rosales (Marc Burch 77), Osvaldo Alonso, Brad Evans, Lamar Neagle, Obafemi Martins (Servando Carrasco 86), Eddie Johnson (Zach Scott 90+2).

Substitutes Not Used: Andrew Weber, John Kennedy Hurtado, Andy Rose, Eriq Zavaleta.

TOTAL SHOTS: 11 (Obafemi Martins 4); SHOTS ON GOAL: 4 (Brad Evans 2); FOULS: 17 (Eddie Johnson, Osvaldo Alonso); OFFSIDES: 2 (Eddie Johnson 2); CORNER KICKS: 3 (Mauro Rosales 3); SAVES: 0.

Misconduct Summary:
SEA – Djimi Traore (caution) 54
DAL – Blas Perez (caution) 65
SEA – Osvaldo Alonso (caution) 69
DAL – George John (caution) 84
SEA – Eddie Johnson (caution) 90+2

Referee: Edvin Jurisevic
Referee’s Assistants: Anthony Vasoli, Eric Boria
4th Official: Juan Guzman
Attendance: 39,360
Time of Game: 1:54
Weather: Partly cloudy, 70 degrees

FC Dallas head coach Schellas Hyndman

On moving forward…

The comment was just let this one go. We’ll try to refocus on the next one.

On whether his team’s scoring dry spell is being caused by back luck…

No, I just don’t think we’re playing – I don’t think we’re in good form. I don’t think we created enough opportunities. It seems like we’re very content with keeping the ball but not really going anywhere with it. So when you look at the chances we had, I think [Mauro] Diaz had a nice move at the top of the box, or in the box, and just put it a little bit wide, but it was probably our only really good chance.

On whether playing in Seattle was tougher tonight given the pregame announcement of Clint Dempsey’s arrival…

I don’t think that really mattered. During the pregame announcement I thought it might have been more of a distraction for their players. But again, you look at the first half and the two goals we gave up, and they’re both stoppable goals. I thought we played much better in the second half.

On whether it was tough to get Blas Perez back in the rhythm of the team after the Gold Cup series…

Yeah, I think, you know what… It’s a tough place to play as you all know. For our players who aren’t used to playing on an artificial surface, the balls are just skidding a little bit away from us, so give a lot of credit to Seattle for giving us a struggle in the first half. I wish we would have came out and played a little bit better.

On whether FC Dallas’ scoreless streak is compounding the team’s performance…

Sure it does. I don’t think the players have really got the whole grasp of it, but for the coaches, we’re very frustrated. We were just talking about that before y’all walked in. We need to maybe get away a little bit from some of the things we’ve been doing in training and put more into our attacking patterns.

On whether he was surprised his team gave up early goals…

Yeah, it was one of the three points we brought up and that was, ‘don’t give up an early goal,’ because we felt that the crowd obviously was going to put us under pressure and the last thing we wanted to do was give up an early goal so that we had to be chasing the game. And we did.

FC Dallas midfielder Je-Vaughn Watson

General thoughts on the game…

It’s always tough to come to Seattle and get a result with the fans and everything… Giving up two early goals cost us the game. The first goal, the guy was just free in the box. The second one came when I thought we were playing well and they hit us on the counter attack.

Was the first goal a missed assignment?

Everyone was fighting hard on the play and you do have to give Seattle credit but we just missed a mark. The ball was played in very well, also.

FC Dallas defender George John

On the loss…

Right now we’re going through a dry spell. We can’t point any fingers, as a team, no one is getting the job done. Defensively we didn’t get the job done tonight and that’s disappointing.

On not scoring in five MLS matches…

As a defender, it’s not something I focus on. Obviously I try to get goals when I can but the fact that we let in three goals is really disappointing. It’s a team game so again, we’re not pointing fingers at anybody. We’re going to have to figure it out as a group and move forward from here.

Did the fact that Clint Dempsey was introduced prior to the match make it any tougher?

No.

Sounders FC Head Coach Sigi Schmid

On the game…

Obviously happy with the score line, obviously happy that we got a shutout. I thought we played very well in the first half, got on top of the game with two-nothing lead. The last time we did that they came back and equalized the game, so we wanted to make sure we didn’t let them back into the game. Second half—the tempo slowed down a little bit, but even then I thought we had some good opportunities to score some goals, and then the penalty at the end was just icing on the cake.

On having a number of dangerous players…

Having good players is always a good problem to have. Adding a player like Clint [Dempsey] is going to be very important for our team. Our team tonight went out there and showed that we could play. Tonight I think we set a record for games undefeated at home—consecutive games undefeated at home. That’s something that is really helped us—our home form so far. Being able to score from different places on the field, getting Oba [Martins] on the sore line, getting Eddie [Johnson], and Lamar [Neagle] getting taken down for that PK. We’ve got to continue to be dangerous from numerous sources.

On signing Clint Dempsey…

Obviously, we’re going to talk a lot about Clint tomorrow. Today, he came in before the game and we introduced him to the guys and he met the guys on the team before the game. I wanted them to know before everybody else knew, so it was good. I think everybody realizes that we have the potential to get to the playoffs—that’s where we need to get to, we need to get to the playoffs to put ourselves in a good position and then make noise. Last year, the two fifth-place teams ended up playing for MLS Cup. We are, technically right now point-wise, we’re not in the playoff picture. When you look at points per game, we’re pretty close, we just have to make sure we get into the playoffs.

On the combination of Martins, Johnson, and Neagle…

I thought tonight was their best game together as a group of three, for sure. Especially against a team like Dallas, which plays really a five-man midfield when you look at it, and one up top, so you’re always short somebody there. Ozzie [Alonso] and [Brad] Evans did a good job of taking care of the more attacking guys and there were times where Oba took turns, Neagle and Eddie sometimes took turns dealing with the guy who went deep. From a defensive standpoint they did a good job and offensively, I thought they were all on the ball. They all played roles in the attack, they found each other, they combined with each other.

Seattle Sounders FC forward Eddie Johnson

On the game tonight…

It was good. For me it was important to come back tonight and gel as quickly as I did with the team. I missed two games with the national team and the team had a tie and a good result so for me I got to start tonight and I’m delighted to help my team get the win.

On if it was more electrifying out there tonight…

Yeah for me I’m playing out here with really big emotions. It was hard for me not to tell anybody what was coming. But now the whole world knows. What a great contribution added to our team, and added to this league. You know every little kid in America wants to be like Clint [Dempsy]. We’re happy to have him here in Seattle.

On if he talked to Clint Dempsey about the atmosphere in Seattle and if that influenced him into coming…

I think that he felt it during our qualifier here. We played against Panama and he saw how electric and amazing the fans are here in Seattle, and whenever you have an opportunity after staying in the same place for a long time and you want a different challenge in your life and this league is growing, and I think it was a good decision for him and his family to be closer to his family back here in America and I think he’ll really like this atmosphere here in Seattle.

On if he knew his he was going to score when he got the ball…

For me, I’m just trying to get better and better as a player. I went in with the national team and I had two goals in three games and I tried to take my confidence and momentum back from there and add it here in Seattle. I’m just happy for the team.

On how quickly it will take for he and Clint Dempsey to click…

I don’t think that it’s going to take long at all. I think that Clint [Dempsey] is a very experienced player. He knows this game inside and out, and if you look at his career he’s always adapted to his situation, even from when he was a rookie in the MLS he’s been going up and up and up and I know that he’s going to score many goals here and that he’s going to be a fantastic addition to this team.

Sounders FC goalkeeper Marcus Hahnemann

On what is was like being back out on the field playing with the Sounders…

Well I got a tweet last night saying something about a 14 year something, and I sent one back saying ‘when was the last Sounders league appearance’ and it was 16 years. You know it’s an incredible time, my career has been unbelievable, I’ve been so blessed and you know Kasey [Keller] said something like ‘You’re so unlucky to be injured right now’ and I said ‘I’m 41, and I’m still playing and I’m able to make it back today. I’m not quite 100 percent, but I was able to have a really good training yesterday and everything went well so we thought that we would go ahead and try it today, and it worked out. We got a clean sheet which was absolutely awesome and I got one more chance to play in front of this crowd. It’s great, I’ll take it. You know it was worth the risk today to try and do it.

On what the quick first goal did for the team…

Oh yeah, I mean the goal that Obafemi [Martins] scored in the first eight minutes gave us some breathing room and I knew that we were going to pop up again and what a great day.

On what it was like for he and the defense to keep Dallas off of the scoreboard…

Well we’ve got a really good team in front of us. They did such a solid job today and we kept their chances to a minimum which was key. I came out for a couple of crosses, I was only able to get my fingertip on one corner, but it was just enough to keep it going. Sometimes that’s all that you have to do, and it’s just a great day. Standing here and listening to the crowd afterwards, I’m just soaking it in because it is just incredible.

On what he thinks Clint Dempsey will add to the team…

More firepower if we don’t already need it which is unbelievable. My phone was going crazy on Thursday with all of the rumors, and I’m all like ‘No I don’t know anything’, but when they didn’t say anything the next day we were optimistic, and I had a feeling that it was going to happen. And then when they don’t deny it when you come into the training room. And then when Randy Noteboom, our head trainer is gone I was like ‘Oh, I have a feeling that they might be taking a look at Clint [Dempsey] today, getting the physical done.’ It was just great to see it get done and we can only thank the staff here. It’s unbelievable to get a player of that quality who is still 30, and I have a new fishing buddy so I’m excited.