Seattle Sounders FC walked a well-worn path to its 2-1 win over FC Dallas on Wednesday at CenturyLink Field – many of the details may sound familiar.
The Sounders won for the fifth straight time – matching the club record.
They also extended their unbeaten streak to six.
Seattle won for the fourth straight time after conceding the opening goal.
For the seventh time this season, the Sounders scored a goal after the 75th minute.
They scored for the 10th consecutive game – their longest such streak to start a season.
“It goes without saying: We’d obviously like to not go down 1-0,” coach Sigi Schmid said. “That would be nice. I can’t really comment on that call on that PK. But I think our team played some very good soccer.”
To hear Brad Evans tell it, the Sounders may not have deserved to go down a goal. They did so in the 14th minute, after Blas Perez drew a foul in the box. The call went against Evans, who thought the play merited an Oscar, not a whistle.
“Blas Perez, it’s pretty standard, that’s what he’s looking for,” Evans said.
“I think once he felt foot-on-foot – if he’s kicking back, I don’t know—he just falls like a sack … on the ground. That’s pretty typical of him. That’s how he plays. I don’t expect anything else.”
Michel converted the penalty kick, and suddenly the Sounders were trailing 1-0 – just as they had last weekend against Colorado, and last month against Chivas USA, and the week before that at Dallas and the week before that at Portland.
And just like in all of those games, the Sounders worked their way back for a result.
This time, the equalizing goal came in the 62nd minute from Lamar Neagle – who was celebrating his 27th birthday.
“Not bad,” he said. “I wished for three points and I got it.”
The winner came in the 88th minute, when Obafemi Martins took the ball down the left side of the penalty area before crossing to Cooper, who finished from close range in front of the goal.
“It’s not the first time we’ve come back this year,” Cooper said. “I think there’s definitely belief that we can not only come back but go on to win games. It’s a testament to these great guys as hard-working players.”
Both goals were assisted by Martins, whose six assists on the season are the most in Major League Soccer.
"That's his unselfish play for the team,” Schmid said. “He'll run the channels, he'll post up when he needs to post up, he'll drop off and find the ball. He will chase and battle and fight for the ball. He has just been a great teammate this year. If we can get him on the ball and if we can get (Clint) Dempsey on the ball in the final 20 yards of the field, it's problems for the opponent."
Two goals proved to be enough despite the Sounders playing with a reworked back line.
Evans made his first start of the season at left back, filling in due to injuries to Leo Gonzalez (hamstring) and Dylan Remick (ankle). And veteran Zach Scott his first start of the season, starting in place of Djimi Traore, who was rested in the middle game of Seattle’s stretch of three games in nine days.
Still, the group limited Dallas (5-4-1) to seven shots, and just two on target.
“We did really well,” goalkeeper Stefan Frei said. “We limited the team to very, very few opportunities. A PK unfortunately again. But … very good even though we had some new guys in. We’re all a big unit, we all trust each other. It doesn’t matter who’s on the pitch.”
The Sounders (7-2-1) will train at Starfire Sports Complex in Tukwila on Thursday before heading to New England for their match against the Revolution at 3 p.m. Sunday.