At a desperate juncture in their season, the Seattle Sounders could not have been set up better for a much-needed Major League Soccer victory Wednesday night.
With FC Dallas resting many of its key regular goal-scorers, the sure-footed Sounders manhandled the Toros 5-0 in front of 40,101 at CenturyLink Field.
It was the most goals the Sounders scored in an MLS match since 2011, when they defeated Columbus 6-2 in Seattle.
Last-place Seattle also snapped its four-match league skid to pick up three points before heading out for a rival showdown Sunday at Portland.
The Sounders tallied three goals in the first 22 minutes against the Western Conference leaders.
And the last time Seattle saw that kind of goal-scoring output was last October in a 3-1 victory over Real Salt Lake. The Sounders scored three times in the first 20 minutes of that victory.
Wednesday’s rout was marred by star Clint Dempsey receiving a red card. Because of it, he will miss the Cascade Cup match Sunday against the Portland Timbers at Providence Park.
In the 33rd minute, with Dempsey camped out near the left sideline, some 40 yards away from the goal, Toros midfielder Juan Esteban Ortiz lightly charged into the Seattle forward. Taking exception to it, Dempsey delivered a deliberate glancing slap off Ortiz’s face, which caught the FC Dallas player in the eye. He went down to the ground immediately.
Referee Ricardo Salazar gave Dempsey the boot with a hotly contested and loudly booed red card. Ortiz was issued a yellow card, too.