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Seattle Sounders 1, DC United 0 | MLS Match Recap

SEATTLE -- It took 88 minutes, but the Seattle Sounders finally broke out of their offensive funk, riding a late goal from right back Tyrone Mears to a much-needed 1-0 victory over D.C. United Friday night at CenturyLink Field.

Seattle struggled to finish the chances they did generate for much of the night and were in real danger of being shut out for the third time in their last four games before Mears came to the rescue, pouncing on a loose ball in the D.C. box and rifling it by ‘keeper Andrew Dykstra to tally the game’s only score.

It was Mears’ first goal of the season and his first career MLS goal since coming to Seattle from England last offseason to replace the outgoing DeAndre Yedlin.

A shutout and draw would have been all the more frustrating for the Sounders, given that they were handed a one-man advantage after a first-half red card to forward Fabian Espindola left D.C. with 10 men for the duration of the match.

The Sounders appeared reinvigorated by the return home after last weekend’s 4-1 thumping at the hands of the Portland Timbers, managing seven shots in the first half, including three on target. The improved fluidity of the Sounders’ attack would not result in any goals, however, as Dykstra was able to comfortably handle all of the shots that Seattle did manage to put on frame.

Lamar Neagle had Seattle’s best look of the opening half after turning and unleashing a distance shot from outside the D.C. penalty box, but the attempt would fall harmlessly into the side netting.

DCU were dealt a huge early blow in the 27th minute, after Espindola was shown a straight red by referee Silviu Petrescu for a high elbow to Sounders center back Zach Scott, leaving the visitors shorthanded for the rest of the contest.

The Sounders were dealt a crucial blow of their own after goalkeeper Stefan Frei collided with DCU defender Steve Birnbaum as both were jumping for a ball sent into the Seattle box on a free kick. Frei initially tried to stay in the game but would sub out just before the first half whistle, handing the reigns to veteran backup Troy Perkins.

The Sounders move to 10-7-2 on the season and now have some positive vibes ahead of next Saturday’s road clash with the Chicago Fire. DCU fall to 10-6-5 and now head southwest for their match next weekend against FC Dallas in Frisco.

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