Sounders FC

‘Bad call’ results in 2-2 draw for Sounders

FRISCO, TEXAS – For the third game in a row, a stoppage-time goal supplied a surprise ending to a Sounders game.

This time, Seattle seemed on its way to taking three points on the road before a disputed penalty kick in the 93rd minute gave FC Dallas a 2-2 draw.

The sequence began when Dallas rookie reserve Jason Yeisley tried to split defenders Jhon Kennedy Hurtado and Leo Gonzalez in the center of the penalty area. Yeisley touched the ball past them, but when he tried to follow it, he went down, grabbing an ankle.

Referee Terry Vaughn blew his whistle and pointed to the spot.

“Bad call,” Sounders coach Sigi Schmid said. “There were a couple of bad calls near the end of the game. … That’s just not understanding what’s going on in the game. I haven’t seen the replay, but everyone who has says it was a bad call.”

Jeff Cunningham – who had scored Dallas’ first goal on an undisputed PK – tied the game by sending a hard, low ball to the left past reserve keeper Terry Boss, who had lunged right.

“It took a lot of courage to step up and take that, and I’m happy we gained a point from the game,” Cunningham said. “I waited until the last second to make a decision, and I’m happy I did.”

The result moved the Sounders to 2-1-2 on the season. The other draw also came on a stoppage-time goal, 12 days earlier at Real Salt Lake. One of the wins came on a stoppage-time goal Saturday against Kansas City.

FCD fell to 0-1-3 and remains one of two MLS teams without a victory.

The game was played before a crowd of 8,512 at Pizza Hut Park.

Boss made his MLS debut after starting keeper Kasey Keller was taken out at halftime after complaining of blurred vision.

That only added to the unusual look of the Sounders’ lineup, which gave a first career start to first-round draft pick David Estrada and began with Freddie Ljungberg and Pat Noonan on the bench.

The odd mix of Sounders started the game looking not only like they hadn’t played together much but like they had never met. Similar unorganized play by Dallas kept the game a scoreless gumbo of errors for the first 25 minutes.

Then some of that disorganization finally bit the Sounders. Hurtado reached a ball at the top of the penalty area, but instead of clearing it, he tried to shield it for Keller to come get. However, Cunningham got to the ball first, and when Keller belatedly arrived, he hit Cunningham’s leg. That drew a penalty, and Cunningham snuck in the PK just beyond the Keller’s fingertips.

Seattle pulled even in the 38th minute when Osvaldo Alonso sent a long pass down the left side to Steve Zakuani, who was running free past the Dallas defense. Zakuani continued his run until he was about 10 yards from the goal, and he beat Hoops keeper Dario Sala to the far side.

The Sounders took the lead in the 55th minute when Fredy Montero beat Sala on a curving free kick from 41 yards.

Seattle preserved that lead until the final minute of stoppage time.

The Sounders now have earned at least one point in seven of their past eight regular-season games. However, they left this one thinking about the two points that got away.

“The Salt Lake game was less disappointing because we gave ourselves away there,” Schmid said. “This one sort of got taken away from us. We had a few opportunities to score a goal. … It was like Christmas, and someone stole your present.”

More information on this game is available at blog.thenewstribune.com/soccer.

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