Brad Evans scored twice to lead Seattle Sounders FC to a 3-1 win over FC Dallas in the MLS regular season home finale. With the win, Seattle will finish the season as the number two or three seed and will face Real Salt Lake in the Western Conference semifinals.
Sounders FC got on the board first when they were awarded a penalty kick in the 30th minute after Fredy Montero was taken down by Dallas defender Hernan Pertuz in the box. Evans converted the penalty low and to the right to give the home side the lead. Seattle is two for two in penalty kicks this season, as Evans converted the first on March 23 against Houston.
Dallas equalized in the 40th minute when David Ferreira’s free kick was knocked down to Blas Perez in the box, and the striker finished into the back of the net for the to make the score 1-1.
Evans put Seattle up again in the 60th minute. Montero’s quick restart on a free kick played to Tiffert up the left side, who then crossed to a wide-open Evans in the box for an easy score. It marks the second career multi-goal game for the 27-year-old, who scored two against Toronto on April 30, 2011.
Sounders FC extended their lead in the 79th minute when Mauro Rosales scored his third goal of the season. Eddie Johnson fed Montero on the left side of the box, who then crossed to Rosales for a sliding tap-in to make the score 3-1.
Montero’s two assists tonight give him eight on the season, good for second on the team and just two short of his career-high set in 2010.
The win for Seattle moves them into a tie with Real Salt Lake for second place in the Western Conference. If the season ended today, Sounders FC would be the second seed in the playoffs due to their advantage in goals scored over Salt Lake. They can now finish no lower than third place, allowing them to avoid the play-in game against the fifth seed.
Perez’s goal ended a 369-minute shutout streak for Gspurning dating back to September 22. The streak is the second longest in franchise history, just 10 minutes short of Kasey Keller’s streak of 379 minutes from July 25-August 28, 2010.
Tonight’s attendance was 38,755, bringing the total to 733,441 on the season, breaking last season’s MLS-record of 654,466. Sounders FC supporters averaged 43,144 per game in 2012, breaking the 2011 record of 38,948 by 4,646 per game.
SEA – Brad Evans (PK) 32′
DAL – Blas Perez 40′
SEA – Brad Evans (Christian Tiffert, Fredy Montero) 60′
SEA – Mauro Rosales (Fredy Montero, Eddie Johnson) 79′
Brian Schmetzer – Sounders FC Coach
(On the game…) “The last time I sat here it was Pat Ianni on a bicycle kick-when we played Houston-to win the game. I don’t know how many two-goal games Brad Evans has in his career…but I’m very thankful for Brad happening to have one now, and then the rest of the guys pitching in, as well, to make this a successful evening for not just myself, but the whole coaching staff. Like Sigi [Schmid] said at the stadium to thank the fans, but for the guys that did the hard work on the field. Our job is certainly important, but the players are the ones that really do the hard work. Being in my shoes, I get to work with some of the younger players on the squad, and I also get to help some of the older guys and the stars, as well. I certainly think I’ve touched or been involved with the group from top to bottom, and I think that’s what I’m feeling right now-I’m proud of those guys for coming through and making sure really did our jobs tonight and made it into the second or third place and we control our destiny here with our last game. For me to win another game, it’s just a pretty good feeling.”
(On Portland beating Vancouver to clinch the Cascadia Cup right before the game tonight…) “Before the game we were watching the TV’s and we knew the result walking out on the field and I said, ‘Well, it’s up to us. We have to do our job here and not worry about what they did.'”
(On avoiding the play-in between the fourth and fifth seeds…) “It’s massive. It’s massive. It’s just an extra game on an already busy schedule. I think we must play more games than most teams in this league. We’ve had a couple injuries and we’re trying to get back at it, and Wednesday games we’re used to it. It certainly would have put a lot more mileage and a little bit more pressure to get us to where we want to be.”
(On the build-up leading up to the game…) “I think we had a good week of training. I think the guys have kind of figured out that this is the lineup we’re using. Certainly injuries and other things come into play, but the team has been on a steady up-tick as far as performances are concerned. You didn’t want to add too much pressure to them, you wanted to tell them, ‘Hey, we can control what we can control.’ Whatever the result was up in Vancouver, whatever the result was LA-San Jose, those things are just little side-notes as far as our story is concerned.”
(On the team…) “I think this team is good enough that if we play up to our potential and we worry about ourselves that we have a chance to beat anybody in this league.”