SEATTLE SOUNDERS FC
Sounders halted 2-0 by FC Dallas
May 14, 2016, 8:23 PM
The Sounders headed to Dallas hoping to get their third win in a row, as their opponents hoped to build on their win against Portland on Wednesday. They weren’t able to make it happen, as an early Dallas penalty and late Michael Barrios goal gave the home side a 2-0 win.
The first half started chaotically, as Herculez Gomez was nearly through on goal immediately after a great ball from Erik Friberg. Gomez couldn’t cut the angle and fired wide, however. The real action happened immediately afterwards, when FC Dallas mounted an enormous attack that brought out an epic save from Stefan Frei. Immediately after that, Seattle’s Chad Marshall was judged to have pulled Dallas’ Zimmerman down in the box. Mauro Diaz converted the subsequent penalty, putting Dallas up 1-0 in under three minutes.
The rest of the half was quite open, with both teams getting some excellent chances that they couldn’t convert. Joevin Jones found himself in acres of space in the Dallas box, but his attempt was straight at the goalkeeper and squirted wide. Jordan Morris also put in a point-blank header from a great Friberg cross, but it went straight the goalkeeper. Neither side found a breakthrough despite the chances, and the half ended 1-0.
The second half started pretty evenly, albeit at a much slower pace. Seattle had some of the best chances early on, but the chances slowed until Andreas Ivanschitz came on for Seattle. He had a couple excellent chances that he couldn’t finish.
Seattle brought on Oalex Anderson later in the half, trying to get some attacking rhythm wherever they could. This focus on the attack led to holes on the other side of the pitch, and late in the half ex-Sounder Mauro Rosales put a through ball in over the top for Michael Barrios, whose first touch and finish left no doubt and put his team up 2-0.
Clint Dempsey started as a center forward in this match, rather than the attacking midfield role he’d been playing as of late. This meant that Aaron Kovar was bumped to the bench for Cristian Roldan, who started in central midfield. Nelson Valdez was ruled out and didn’t travel with the team after an apparent late calf strain sidelined him.
Man of the match: Stefan Frei. He couldn’t really do anything about the goals, and his saves and clearances outside the box kept the Sounders in the match.
Turning point: In a match that Seattle probably would have been happy to draw, going down in the third minute probably changed the entire game for them. They had to attack constantly for 87 minutes, and it eventually left them vulnerable to another goal.
One reason to worry: All the momentum that Seattle managed to build in its last two matches was halted when, yet again, it seemed like the Sounders simply forgot how to finish.
One reason to relax: Dallas’ home form has been impeccable for over two seasons, so it would have been a minor miracle for Seattle to come out with a win.