Bruin brace vaults Sounders FC into playoffs with 4-0 win over FC Dallas

The Seattle Sounders FC (13-9-11, 50 points) secured their ninth consecutive playoff appearance courtesy of a second-half offensive explosion that was aided by Wil Bruin’s brace. After a sluggish first twenty minutes in which the Sounders passing was spotty, discombobulated and downright awful, but the club was able to settle into a rhythm with short tight passes that led to the games the first goal in the 31st minute.

Clint Dempsey fed Victor Rodriguez with a pass to space the Spaniard was able to one touch and beat onrushing  FC Dalla goalkeeper  Jesse Gonzalez for the early lead as the Sounders never looked back in the 4-0 win over  FC Dallas.

With the score still 1-0 past the hour mark, Bruin scored a pair of back-to-back goals to bring his total to 10 on the season, good for second on the team. In the 64th minute, a Dempsey shot attempt was saved by Gonzalez, but Bruin pounced on the rebound and put a shot into the back of the net.
Three minutes later, Bruin again took advantage of a loose ball, this time burying an open shot after Rodríguez was dispossessed inside the area. Late game substitution Lamar Neagle made it 4-0 in second-half stoppage time with a snap header after receiving a  cross from Nicolas  Lodeiro .

 After the match Sounders head coach Brian Schmetzer acknowledged the clubs commitment to winning on and off the field.
“Let me start with the club history. I think it’s a great achievement. I think you’ve got to credit Adrian [Hanauer] for having the vision to bring MLS here and his commitment to the group. I think you’ve got to compliment Sigi [Schmid] on his tenure here. You know Garth [Lagerwey], Chris [Henderson], we all do the job.
But coming back to this team now, and certainly, I’d be remiss not to mention all the players on the other eight playoff teams, this group – and I have a little running commentary with Adrian back-and-forth whether it’s goals scored or duels or whatever – this team is committed to winning. This franchise is committed to winning.
And I think that shows in being now the only [active] club to make the playoffs nine years in a row. That is a fantastic achievement, and it stems from the culture of the club, the guys that put it in every game, every day at training, and from the support staff. The players have a big support staff”
GAME NOTES
  • With 50 points (13-9-11), Sounders FC is tied for second place in the Western Conference, level with Portland and two points behind Vancouver for the top spot. With the win, Sounders FC secured its ninth-consecutive berth in the Audi MLS Cup Playoffs, the longest active streak in MLS. Sounders FC concludes the 2017 regular-season campaign next Sunday, October 22 against the Colorado Rapids (1:00 p.m. PT / JOEtv, Univision-Seattle, 107.7 The End, El Rey 1360 AM).
  • Sunday’s win puts Seattle in control of its own destiny for a first-round bye in the postseason, as a Decision Day home win against Colorado next Sunday would secure second place in the Western Conference.
  • Seattle continued its home success against FC Dallas, with the club’s winning streak against the Hoops at CenturyLink seven games, with Seattle holding a 24-4 goal advantage in those games. Sounders FC has outscored FC Dallas 12-0 in the last three regular-season meetings at CenturyLink Field.
  • Víctor Rodríguez scored his second Sounders FC goal with the match’s first tally in the 31st minute. Sunday marked the Spaniard’s seventh MLS appearance since signing with Sounders FC on August 2.
  • With a brace on Sunday, Will Bruin has 10 goals on the season, two behind Clint Dempsey for the team lead. 2017 marks the fourth double-digit scoring campaign in Bruin’s career, and his first since 2015. In all, the University of Indiana product has 60 goals in 208 career appearances.
  • Lamar Neagle scored his third goal of 2017 – second with Sounders FC – and brought his career total to 28 tallies for the Rave Green, fourth in club history.
  • Stefan Frei recorded his league-leading 12th shutout of the season, eclipsing the previous club record set by Kasey Keller in 2010. Two shutouts ahead of the next-closest goalkeeper in MLS, Frei has clinched the league’s 2017 shutout crown.
  • With an assist on Neagle’s strike, Nicolás Lodeiro now has 12 assists on the season, first on the team and one shy of the club record held by Mauro Rosales (2011, 2012) and Obafemi Martins (2014).
  • Sunday marked Clint Dempsey’s 100th regular-season appearance for Sounders FC. The Nacogdoches native recorded his fourth assist of the season on Rodríguez’s opening strike.
MATCH SUMMARY
 
Seattle Sounders FC 4 – FC Dallas 0
Sunday, October 15, 2017
 
Venue: Xbox Pitch at CenturyLink Field
Referee: Drew Fischer
Assistants: Joe Fletcher, Cameron Blanchard
Fourth Official: Alejandro Mariscal
VAR: Jon Freemon
Attendance: 48,478
Weather: 63 degrees, mostly sunny
 
SCORING SUMMARY
SEA – Victor Rodriguez (Clint Dempsey) 31′
SEA – Will Bruin 64′
SEA – Will Bruin 67′
SEA – Lamar Neagle (Nicolas Lodeiro, Harry Shipp) 90’+2′
 
MISCONDUCT SUMMARY
 
DAL – Javier Morales (caution) 8′
 
LINEUPS & STATS
Seattle Sounders FC – Stefan Frei; Kelvin Leerdam, Román Torres, Chad Marshall, Joevin Jones (Harry Shipp 81′); Cristian Roldan, Gustav Svensson (Nouhou 23′), Nicolás Lodeiro – captain, Cristian Roldan, Clint Dempsey, Victor Rodriguez (Lamar Neagle 76′); Will Bruin
Substitutes not used: Bryan Meredith, Tony Alfaro, Jordy Delem, Henry Wingo, Lamar Neagle
Total shots: 14 (Dempsey, 5)
Shots on goal: 7 (Three players, 2)
Fouls: 9 (Lodeiro, 3)
Offside: None
Corner-kicks: 2 (Lodeiro, 2)
Saves: 1 (Frei, 1)
           
FC Dallas – Jesse Gonzalez; Maynor Fiegueroa, Matt Hedges, Atiba Harris, Hernan Grana; Carlos Gruezo, Kellyn Acosta, Javier Morales (Maximiliano Urruti 57′), Michael Barrios, Mauro Diaz – captain (Roland Lamah 70′); Tesho Akindele (Victor Ulloa 78′)

Substitutes not used: Chris Seitz, Cristian Colman, Ryan Hollingshead, Walker Zimmerman

Total shots: 14 (Five players, 2)
Shots on goal: 2 (Figueroa/Barrios, 1)
Fouls: 17 (Urruti, 4)
Offside: 1 (Urruti, 1)
Corner-kicks: 5 (Morales, 3)
Saves: 3 (Gonzalez, 3)

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