Jordan Morris’ hat trick leads Sounders past Dallas FC 4-3, to semis
By MARK MOSCHETTI
SEATTLE (AP) – Jordan Morris was coming close to watching extra time from the sideline.
Instead, he watched his last shot of the day go into the net to win the game.
Sounders 4, Dallas FC 3: Stats
Morris scored in the 113th minute to complete a hat trick in the Settle Sounders’ 4-3 victory over FC Dallas on Saturday in the first round of the MLS playoffs. The Sounders advanced to the West semifinals against Real Salt Lake or Portland.
Raul Ruidiaz, who had scored Seattle’s opening goal, took a shot from 8 yards in front that was blocked. The ball deflected into the air, and came down toward Morris, who was positioned at the top left corner of the 6-yard box.
Morris’ header ricocheted off the turf and into the left side of the net. It was his 13th goal of the season.
Take a deep breath.
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“The ball bounced around in the box, and I remember going for the first ball, and it got deflected back to Raul,” Morris said. “He had a chance, and the defender made a really good play, to be fair. It just popped to me, and I tried my best to put it on frame and just put it in the right spot.
“My first thought was that we have to finish this game out,” Morris added. “We didn’t want to go to PKs.
Morris played all 90 minutes for the U.S. National Team in Tuesday’s 2-0 CONCACAF Nations League loss to Canada in Toronto. With that in mind, Sounders coach Brian Schmetzer thought about subbing him out before the 30 minutes of extra time began, with the teams tied at 3-3.
“I was going to pull Jordan earlier, and I didn’t pull him. So what does he do? He scores the winner,” Schmetzer said. “It’s a little bit of balance of when do you take off your best players and bring fresh players on.
Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn’t,” Schmetzer said. “We were concerned that he had played with the national team, and his hamstring (issue) and all that. But we had a good couple days of preparation.”
Twice on Saturday, the Sounders had the lead, only to see Dallas come back and tie.
Ruidiaz scored in the 18th minute and Morris in the 22nd to put Seattle in front, 2-0. Ruidiaz’s goal was his 12th and ended a six-game scoring drought. He had not scored since tallying twice in a 4-3 victory against the Los Angeles Galaxy on Sept. 1.
Reggie Cannon cut Dallas’ deficit in half in the 39th minute with his second of the season. Then, a header by Matt Hedges off a Michael Barrios corner kick tied it at 2-2 in the 64th. That also was his second goal. Those marked the 15th and 16th goals by Dallas defenders this season – the most in MLS.
Morris scored his second of the day to put the Sounders up 3-2 in the 74th. But just eight minutes later, Dallas got level again, this time off a header by Bryan Acosta, his third goal of the season.
“We had a lot of guys on the squad who went out on international duty. They flew a long distance and gutted one out there, and it wasn’t easy,” Schmetzer said. “Dallas was a little fresher and put us under pressure in the second half. But our guys were again able to do everything and give everything to come back and win this game.”
Dallas coach Luchi Gonzalez said Cannon’s goal helped spark the second-half surge.
“We had faith and belief we were going to score,” he said. “Yes, that was an important goal just before the half just to reaffirm that, `Hey, we’re playing a good game here. We’re competing well, let’s just take it up a notch.'”
Dallas did, with nine shots through the second 45 minutes and another 11 through the 30 minutes of extra time.
“We’re not going to feel sorry,” Gonzales said. “We have to adapt and play the next moment and live the next moment – no excuses.”