Sounders tangle with Chivas USA at StubHub Center

By The Sports NetworkApril 18, 2014 at 4:26 PM
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Carson, CA ( - Seattle Sounders FC will go for its second straight victory in league play on Saturday when the club visits the StubHub Center to battle Chivas USA.

The Sounders snapped a brief two-game winless streak in dramatic fashion last weekend, coming back from a 2-1 deficit to earn a 3-2 victory over league- leaders FC Dallas at Toyota Stadium.

FC Dallas opened the scoring in the 10th minute. A deflected pass, a high bounce and some wind put Sounders FC goalkeeper Stefan Frei in trouble, and the ball went off his fingertips and landed behind him for David Texeira to tap into an empty net.

But the visitors were level in the 22nd minute. Clint Dempsey stepped up to a 35-yard free kick and bent it over the wall, off the underside of the crossbar and just over the goal line. The ball then spun back into play, and Obafemi Martins headed in the rebound to make sure, but Dempsey was credited with the goal.

The hosts got their noses back in front just before the intermission when Texeira was fouled in the penalty area by DeAndre Yedlin and referee Juan Guzman pointed to the spot. Michel converted the penalty kick, his second in as many weeks.

Seattle battled back to draw level again 15 minutes from time when substitute Marco Pappa sent in a curling ball from the left that was headed only to the far side of the penalty area, from where Dempsey fired a cross that deflected off defender Stephen Keel and into the net behind helpless Dallas goalkeeper Chris Seitz.

The game-winner came 10 minutes later. Racing for the return pass off a one- two with Chad Barrett, Dempsey one-timed the ball into the top of the net to give Seattle the victory.

"We're not making it easy on ourselves," said goalkeeper Stefan Frei. "We need to fix those issues a little bit because you can't give up three to four goals every game, but I think the games are really important for us as a show of character when you can keep your heads up and keep plugging away and trying to step up and help one of your teammates out, it shows a lot of character and I'm very proud of the guys."

With his brace, Dempsey, a Texas native, took over the MLS Golden Boot race with six goals -- five in the last two matches.

"It's always good to perform well in Texas, because that's where I developed my game in Nacogdoches and driving to Dallas playing my club ball," Dempsey said.

"A lot of friends and family were here, and it's nice to perform well. But the most important thing is we got the win for the team, and we need to keep getting points like that. I think you'll see us start to put in better performances, and we'll tighten up and we'll get it right."

Chivas, meanwhile, enters the match riding a five-game winless streak following a 1-1 draw with the Portland Timbers last weekend at Providence Park.

The Timbers took the lead after just seven minutes. Max Urruti picked up a failed Chivas USA clearance and threaded a pass to Darlington Nagbe, who sliced a pass through two defenders to Will Johnson in open space. His rolling shot from just outside the box slipped past Chivas USA goalkeeper Dan Kennedy.

But Chivas found an equalizer 16 minutes from time when Leandro Barrera crossed to the far post to an open Erick Torres, who tapped in for the easiest of finishes.

Despite riding a significant winless streak, Chivas USA head coach Wilmer Cabrera was happy with his team's effort.

"More than the result, its the performance," Cabrera said. "We rebounded from a performance that didn't belong to us last week. Thats very positive, especially here against a very good, talented team. We outplayed them and showed personality by coming back. We showed character. That's important for what is coming for us."

"I thought we took a really good step forward. Last week was a tough weekend for us, a tough game," said Kennedy. "So for us to bounce back like that shows that we have some character on this team and it's going to be important for us throughout the year."


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