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Dempsey sparks surge, Sounders beat FC Dallas 5-0

Clint Dempsey

Seattle Sounders’ Clint Dempsey gestures as he celebrates scoring a goal against the Portland Timbers in the second half of an MLS soccer match, Sunday, April 26, 2015, in Seattle. The Sounders beat the Timbers 1-0. (AP Photo/Ted S. Warren)


SEATTLE (AP) Andreas Ivanschitz knew a game like this was coming for the Seattle Sounders.

It came in a big way Wednesday night against the best team in MLS.

Clint Dempsey, Ivanschitz and Jordan Morris scored during a 15-minute span of the first half and the Sounders routed league-leading FC Dallas 5-0 to snap a four-game winless streak.

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Joevin Jones and Cristian Roldan added second-half goals for the Sounders (6-10-2), who started the night with the lowest goal total in the league (14).

Ivanschitz, an Austrian midfielder, helped set up the first goal when his shot led to a Seattle penalty kick, then scored the second, and assisted on the fifth.

“It was a perfect night. It feels great for us,” Ivanschitz said. “After so many games where we ended up losing and were pretty disappointed because we played great and didn’t score, it was a frustrating time for us. But this win tonight is well deserved because we started pretty well, we were on our front foot, we pressed them pretty high, and we finished up our chances.”

Dempsey scored in the 6th minute when he drilled a penalty kick past goalkeeper Chris Seitz for his third goal of the year. The PK was set up when defender Maynor Figueroa was called for an intentional hand ball on a shot by Ivanschitz just outside of the 6-yard box and shown the red card. Dempsey’s kick went high into the right side of the net, with Seitz leaping the opposite way.

That halted a 321-minute shutout streak for Dallas (11-6-4).

Seattle had not scored on its home field since a 2-0 victory against San Jose on May 7 - a drought of 277 minutes.

Ivanschitz increased the lead to 2-0 in the 18th minute. Osvaldo Alonso sent a long through ball toward the top of the penalty area. Ivanschitz and Dallas’ Atiba Harris both went for it, Ivanschitz got there first and chipped a shot over the onrushing Seitz and watched it bounce into the net for his third of the season.

Just four minutes later, Morris pushed it to 3-0 with his team-leading seventh. Dempsey sent a ball into the box, and Morris met it at the top right corner of the 6, sending it into the far left corner.

“It was very important to have those moments to have a good start at home,” Ivanschitz said. “In the last games, we always had the first chances in the game, but didn’t score.”

Jones scored in the 61st, his second of the sesaon, followed by Roldan in the 73rd. Roldan, who played his college ball at nearby University of Washington, notched his first MLS goal.

“We always felt if we got a goal, maybe those floodgates would open up,” said Sounders coach Sigi Schmid, whose team hadn’t scored that many since a 6-2 win against Columbus in August 2011. “And they opened up a little bit for us today.”

Dallas coach Oscar Pareja, whose team played its second game in six nights on the road, didn’t start three of his leading scorers: Michael Barrios (six goals), Fabian Castillo (five) and Maximilano Urruti (four). Barrios came in to start the second half, and Castillo entered in the 61st minute.

“We needed to choose tonight. We have a game in three days at home, and we just came from San Jose,” Pareja said. “We have a (U.S.) Open Cup game in the middle of next week, and that’s an important tournament for us, and after that, we have Colorado away.

“Seattle had a lot of intensity and did a lot of good things,” Pareja added. “And for those moments, we couldn’t find the rhythm of the game. We have to give them credit.”

The Sounders also finished with 10 men after Dempsey was sent off in the 34th minute.