SEATTLE, WASH. – With defender Tyrone Mears unleashing a stunning strike just before full-time, Seattle Sounders FC (10-7-2, 32 points) secured a 1-0 victory over Supporters’ Shield-leading D.C. United (10-6-5, 35 points) before a crowd of 40,410 on the Xbox Pitch at CenturyLink Field on Friday night. After going down to 10 men early in the match courtesy of a Fabian Espindola red card, United stymied Seattle’s advances throughout the evening, only for Mears to shatter the deadlock with an emphatic right-footed strike from just inside D.C.’s 18-yard-box. With the win, Sounders FC halts a three-match losing skid, and climbs back into first place in Major League Soccer’s Western Conference, one point ahead of second-place Vancouver Whitecaps FC (31 points). Seattle is now 6-2-2 all-time against D.C. United in regular-season play, including a 4-1-1 record at home, with the Rave Green holding D.C. to five consecutive shutouts.
After a contentious opening that saw a couple of cautions exchanged between the two sides in the first 20 minutes, United forwardEspindola was sent off in the 27th minute of action for a forearm shiver to the face of Sounders FC captain Zach Scott, giving Seattle a man-advantage for the remainder of the contest.
The match continued along a chippy course in the 30th minute, when Sounders FC goalkeeper Stefan Frei collided with United’s Steve Birnbaum as the two players challenged for an aerial ball. Frei landed awkwardly, resulting in his early exit from the match in first-half stoppage-time, with backup netminder Troy Perkins entering the match to face his former team. Frei’s substitution marked the end of a run dating back to the beginning of 2014 that saw the Rave Green goalkeeper feature in 4,725 consecutive minutes, including every minute of the 2015 season prior to tonight’s premature exit.
Both sides exchanged their share of chances throughout the match, and physical play continued, resulting in six total cautions on the evening. However, it was Mears’ strike that decided things, with the first-year Sounder bagging his first goal for the club since arriving from England in the offseason. His last goal came on January 8, 2011 with English-side Burnley.
Sigi Schmid’s side returns to action on Saturday, July 11 with a road match at the Chicago Fire. Kickoff is slated for 5:30 p.m. PT at Toyota Park, with regional television coverage available via JOEtv, and radio coverage being provided by KIRO Radio 97.3 FM and in Spanish via El Rey 1360 AM.
Seattle Sounders FC 1 – D.C. United 0
Friday, July 3, 2015
Venue: Xbox Pitch at CenturyLink Field
Referee: Silviu Petrescu
Assistants: Mike Rottersman
Fourth Official: Marco Arruda
Weather: Sunny and 84 Degrees
SEA – Tyrone Mears 88′
SEA – Zach Scott (caution) 13′
D.C. – Fabian Espindola (ejection) 27′
D.C. – Conor Doyle (caution) 58′
SEA – Osvaldo Alonso (caution) 78′
D.C. – Perry Kitchen (caution) 78′
SEA – Lamar Neagle (caution) 90’+ 1′
LINEUPS & STATS
Seattle Sounders FC – Stefan Frei (Troy Perkins 45’+1′); Tyrone Mears, Chad Marshall, Zach Scott – captain, Dylan Remick; Cristian Roldan, Osvaldo Alonso, Gonzalo Pineda, Thomás (Andy Craven 78′), Lamar Neagle; Chad Barrett (Darwin Jones 85′)
Substitutes not used: Micheal Azira, Leo Gonzalez, Jimmy Ockford, Andy Rose
Total shots: 16 (Lamar Neagle, 4)
Shots on goal: 5 (Thomás, 2)
Fouls: 13 (Osvaldo Alonso, 3)
Offside: 4 (Chad Barrett, 4)
Corner-kicks: 4 (Gonzalo Pineda, 3)
Saves: 2 (Frei/Perkins, 1)
D.C. United – Andrew Dykstra; Chris Korb, Steve Birnbaum, Bobby Boswell – captain, Taylor Kemp; Nick DeLeon, Davy Arnaud, Perry Kitchen, Chris Rolfe; Fabian Espindola, Luis Silva (Conor Doyle 5′) (Miguel Aguilar 89′)
Substitutes not used: Travis Worra, Jairo Arrieta, Facundo Coria, Marcus Halsti, Kofi Opare
Total shots: 10 (Nick DeLeon, 3)
Shots on goal: 2 (DeLeon, Rolfe, 1)
Fouls: 14 (Conor Doyle, 5)
Corner-kicks: 3 (Taylor Kemp, 2)
Saves: 4 (Andrew Dykstra, 4)
- After tonight’s result, Sounders FC is now 10-7-2, and ranks first in the Western Conference with 32 points. The club’s 10 wins are tied for the most in MLS.
- Seattle is now 6-2-2 all-time against D.C. United in regular season play, including a 4-1-1 record at home. The Rave Green have held D.C. United to five consecutive shutouts.
- Tonight’s match marked Chad Marshall 300th game in MLS.
- Andy Craven made his home debut, playing 12 minutes in a reserve role with one shot attempt.
- Tyrone Mears scored the match’s lone goal, and it was his first scoring strike in MLS. His last goal came on January 8, 2011 with English-side Burnley.
- Troy Perkins made his first appearance in goal with Sounders FC in league play during first-half stoppage-time. Due to a shoulder injury, Stefan Frei missed his first regular season action since joining the club, ending a streak of 4,725 consecutive minutes.
- Sounders FC is now 8-2-1 when Osvaldo Alonso starts the match.