SEATTLE (AP) – The Sounders’ season looked all but over on the morning of July 4. Seattle was way out of the playoff hunt and struggling for wins.
It hasn’t lost since.
Nicolas Lodeiro’s free-kick goal in the 63rd minute was the winner as the Sounders defeated FC Dallas 2-1 on Sunday night for their franchise-tying fifth straight victory.
Seattle (9-9-5) is unbeaten in eight matches to improve from last to seventh place in the Western Conference.
“That group of guys in there are all good pros,” Sounders coach Brian Schmetzer said. “They’re all proud guys. They were tired of being on the bottom of the standings. It’s all credit to them. We’ve had some adversity. They have overcome all of those obstacles and the bumps in the road.”
Despite the loss, Dallas (12-5-6) still leads the conference standings.
The Sounders set a club record by earning 11 corner kicks in the opening half, the 10th of which was headed into the net by Chad Marshall off a cross from Lodeiro, the Uruguayan international’s team-leading seventh assist of the season.
“With the amount of corner kicks that we gave up, it was difficult to control,” FC Dallas coach Oscar Pareja said. “But I thought we played a very good game. I’m very proud of our players, especially in the second half, when we found our goal.”
Dallas tied it seven minutes into the second half. Dominique Badji, who made his FCD debut having been obtained in a trade with the Colorado Rapids last month, finished off a nice combination of passes with his chest from close range.
The lead didn’t last long, with Lodeiro restoring Seattle’s advantage 11 minutes later. His free kick from the right flank looked as though it was meant to be a cross but evaded numerous bodies before curling past Dallas goalkeeper Jesse Gonzalez. The goal was Lodeiro’s sixth of the season, tying him with Will Bruin for most on the team, and his fifth in six games.
“It was a very, very good performance,” Schmetzer said. “Not only just because it was three points, not only because there was fight in the team, but statistically, our passing percentages were high. Overall, very good.”
Dallas’ Reto Ziegler received a red card in the 91st minute, reducing the visitors to 10 men for the majority of stoppage time.
With the loss, Dallas fell to 1-9-1 all-time at CenturyLink Field, with its only victory having come in 2011.
Coach Oscar Pareja also failed to earn his 100th career MLS coaching victory. With a win, Pareja would have become the third-fastest coach in league history to reach the milestone.
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