Substitute Kenny Cooper netted a late winner against his former club FC Dallas to earn the Seattle Sounders FC their fifth consecutive victory.
Michel had put the Burn 1-0 up from the penalty spot, but first Lamar Neagle and then Cooper converted Obafemi Martins' cross to extend the Rave Green’s lead at the top of the table.
The Sounders have been flying of late, led by their deadly strike-force of Clint Dempsey and Martins – the latter scoring in their 2-1 win over Philadelphia Union at the weekend.
Dempsey’s league-high eight goals have seen Seattle climb to the top of the table, but as of next week they will be without the Texan for the foreseeable future as he fulfils his international duties.
Dallas, on the other hand, have fallen away lately. They’ve now lost four of their last five, having occupied top spot themselves just three weeks ago.
Sounders FC almost began the game precisely how they’d finished the victory against Philadelphia – with a Chad Marshall goal from a set-piece. The centre-back met Gonzalo Pineda’s deep free-kick, but found the side-netting with his header.
The home side came even closer after 11 minutes. Marco Pappa hammered a left-footed effort on target, and when Raul Fernandez fumbled, Dempsey scuffed his effort harmlessly wide.
But the game turned three minutes later. When Danny Garcia floated a cross into the Seattle box, Brad Evans and Blas Perez came together, and referee Baldomero Toledo awarded a contentious penalty.
Michel, returning from suspension, took the spot-kick, and coolly placed the ball beyond a stationary Stefan Frei.
The goal sparked the Sounders into life, and they immediately began to display the neat interplay that has become synonymous with their side this campaign. This led to a free-kick being awarded against Matt Hedges on the edge of the Dallas area.
Dempsey scored from a dead-ball when the two sides met earlier this season, but this time Fernandez was his equal with a flying save.
It was from another set-piece that Seattle went close in the 32nd minute. Evans rose highest to meet a lofted free-kick, and his knock-down found Marshall whose header was deflected inches wide of the post.
Toledo’s tendency to blow his whistle resulted in a very stop-start encounter, and the visitors just about made it through to half-time with their lead intact.
With star man Mauro Diaz missing, the Burn preferred to contain their hosts, and sat deep rather than attacking.
Finally though, after 62 minutes, the Rave Green found their breakthrough.
Having fired over five minutes earlier, Dempsey chose to instead find Martins. The Nigerian’s near-post cross was met by a clever run across the centre-backs from Neagle, who finished smartly into the top corner.
Despite trying to change the game with a substitution, Dallas remained on the back-foot and could have fallen behind when Fernandez saved well from Pineda.
If the goalkeeper’s save from the Mexican was impressive, his next sequence was miraculous.
Osvaldo Alonso hit a dipping drive from distance, and after he had turned the ball onto the post, Dempsey looked destined to score. Fernandez sprung to his feet though, and somehow blocked the Texan’s goal-bound effort.
With the visitors visibly tiring, Chad Barrett almost created a winner for Seattle. The substitute slalomed between two defenders, before sending in a cross that was just inches from Neagle’s boot.
And just when it looked as though the Sounders would have to settle for a point, Cooper rose from the bench to tap home Martins’ cross, and sent CenturyLink Field into raptures.
Write for GiveMeSport! Sign-up to the GMS Writing Academy here: http://gms.to/1a2u3KU
DISCLAIMER: This article has been written by a member of the GiveMeSport Writing Academy and does not represent the views of GiveMeSport.com or SportsNewMedia. The views and opinions expressed are solely that of the author credited at the top of this article. GiveMeSport.com and SportsNewMedia do not take any responsibility for the content of its contributors.
Do YOU want to write for GiveMeSport? Get started today by signing-up and submitting an article HERE: http://gms.to/writeforgms