[MLS] More last-minute drama livened up a contentious match between FC Dallas and Seattle Thursday night that a national ESPN2 audience and very few spectators watched Thursday at Pizza Hut Park. Here are three notable elements of the 2-2 tie ...
SPOT-ON? The last-minute penalty kick by which FCD tied the match looked to be a questionable call, as Jason Yeisley went down as he tried to split Sounders’ defenders Jhon Kennedy Hurtado and Leo Gonzalez. As the latter tackled the ball with his right foot and as the ball caromed forward, Yeisley went down.
Replays weren’t clear, but perhaps Vaughn ruled that Hurtado tripped Yeisley a split-second after Gonalez’s tackle as both defenders sandwiched him. A skeptic could say Vaughn’s vision would need to be extraordinary to decipher such a contentious play, yet earlier in the match, the referee waved off claims of a handball by Brad Evans, who appeared to have blocked a goal-bound shot with his arm. A replay showed David Ferreira’s shot hit Evans in the chest before deflecting onto his arm and that of FC Dallas defender George John as they grabbed each other.
As the FCD players appealed, Vaughn gestured with his hands to his chest to indicate how he judged the incident.
ZAKUANI THE ZIP. Coach Sigi Schmid in preseason said he had high 2010 expectations for Steve Zakuani, who as a rookie out of Akron in 2009 scored four goals and registered four assists. Schmid still wants production, but he also wants a broader game from Zakuani, including cutting inside to work the middle of the field as well as the flank.
Zakuani scored Seattle’s first goal by running down the left side and veering inside to curl a right-footed shot into the net from a sharp angle. He also set up two great chances for Roger Levesque by getting to the goal line to curl a left-footed cross, and cutting inside to chip a precise right-footed serve.
Levesque blew both opportunities, so Zakuani couldn’t add to his assist total, but his goal and two excellent final passes is an encouraging indicator for a team that has floundered while finishing chances.
TURNABOUT. FCD had conceded three penalty kicks in its first three games; by being awarded two against Seattle, they are even on the season with three in each department. All have been converted by Jeff Cunningham, who has yet to score by any other method.
The Sounders gave up a controversial stoppage-time equalizer five days after stunning Kansas City, 1-0, with a last-minute winner from Michael Fucito, who scored after running onto a throw-in that should have been annulled. Seattle also had to settle for a 2-2 tie with Real Salt Lake when Alvaro Saborio equalized in -- you guessed it -- stoppage time, though no controversy tainted that goal.