Roger Levesque scored on a header in the 89th minute and the Sounders ended a four-game winless skid with a 1-0 win over D.C. United on Thursday night.
WASHINGTON — A return to the nation’s capital — a venue that has been kind to it in recent history — helped Sounders FC snap a four-game winless streak in league play as a dramatic Roger Levesque header in the 89th minute earned Seattle a 1-0 win on Thursday.
Levesque glanced in a header off a curling cross from striker Fredy Montero late in the game. Seattle won for the third time in three tries at RFK Stadium.
“The three points (for the win) is everything. We’re just so happy — we’ve needed something to go our way,” goalkeeper Kasey Keller said. “We’ve given up late goals for draws, and it feels good to win that 1-0.”
Seattle (5-8-4) picked up its first Major League Soccer win since June 5.
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The offense started strong, creating a couple of scoring chances early on.
Montero was close in the fourth minute, narrowly missing wide of the D.C. net. It set the tone for the striker’s evening — he pestered United’s defense all night, eventually delivering the assist on Levesque’s winner.
“(Fredy) held the ball up for us, he dropped off the front line a little bit, let Roger (Levesque) stay high, was able to slip different people in,” coach Sigi Schmid said. “He had a couple of opportunities where he had some shots I know he’d probably like to have back. His work rate the last two games has been very, very good.”
Midfielder Steve Zakuani had an opportunity of his own to break the deadlock in the 35th minute, working a give-and-go with Montero in the penalty box, but Zakuani couldn’t shrug off the challenge of defender Dejan Jakovic, who knocked the ball to safety.
Scoreless at the break, the hosts picked up their offensive attack in the second half. Andy Najar was at the center, going after Seattle on the counter attack.
Disaster almost struck in the 65th minute. Keller came out to contest Najar and stayed down on the pitch after a collision with the midfielder. Keller remained away from the net and a shot from Santino Quaranta was cleared off the line by defender Patrick Ianni.
Keller received treatment for a right midfoot sprain but elected to play with the pain. He finished with five saves.
“It was nice to be able to get through it, because Sanna (Nyassi) was instrumental in the goal,” Keller said. “If I had come off, then he wouldn’t have been able to come on.”
United (3-9-4) tested the injured keeper, but the veteran stood up strong, stopping a long-range effort from Quaranta in the 77th minute, and also bailing out defender James Riley, who almost deflected a shot into his own net.
Substitute Nyassi engineered the Seattle goal. He stripped the ball from defender Jordan Graye, playing it to Montero, who whipped in a cross that Levesque powered past goalie Troy Perkins.
Levesque praised his teammates for the 90-minute effort.
“Everyone was doing everything they needed to … just doing the right things on the field,” he said.
Schmid was pleased as well.
“We’ve been giving up some late goals so it was nice to do the reverse this time,” Schmid said.
Sounders FC 1, D.C. United 0
|Seattle Sounders FC||0 1 — 1|
|D.C. United||0 0 — 0|
First half — None. Second half — 1, Seattle FC, Levesque 1 (Montero, Nyassi), 89th minute. Goalies — Seattle FC, Kasey Keller; D.C. United, Troy Perkins. Yellow cards — James, D.C. United, 54th; Gonzalez, Seattle FC, 85th. Total shots — Seattle 15, D.C. 10. Shots on goal — Seattle 5, D.C. 5. Fouls — Seattle 12, D.C. 9. Offsides — D.C. 3, Seattle 1. Corner kicks — Seattle 11, D.C. 3. Saves — Seattle 5, D.C. 4. A — 13,716.
Seattle FC — Kasey Keller, Patrick Ianni, Leo Gonzalez, Nathan Sturgis, James Riley, Jeff Parke (Tyrone Marshall, 62nd), Steve Zakuani, Mike Seamon (Osvaldo Alonso, 73rd), Fredy Montero, Roger Levesque, Pat Noonan (Sanna Nyassi, 88th).
D.C. United — Troy Perkins, Julius James, Jordan Graye, Dejan Jakovic, Devon McTavish (Adam Cristman, 81st), Andy Najar, Stephen King (Branko Boskovic, 72nd), Clyde Simms, Chris Pontius, Jaime Moreno (Pablo Hernandez, 56th), Santino Quaranta.
Celtic @ Sounders FC, Noon, KONG, ESPN