Overthinking, bad luck, and bad decision on the offensive half of the field saw the Sounders settle for a 1-1 draw with FC Dallas Saturday night at Lumen Field. FC Dallas scored both goals. Last Wednesday the Sounders suffered a lethargic 2-0 loss to the San Jose Earthquakes at Pay Pal Park. Making it two games with no goals
The last time the Sounders scored a goal in a game was a dramatic 3-2 win over the Vancouver Whitecap on July 8th. Since that dramatic win, the Sounders offense has sputtered.
When in possession of the ball the Sounders have profited by pushing the ball wide and allowing Leo Chu to use his speed to move past defenders. The issue with the attack is that when Chu gallops down the sideline and crosses the ball inside there is only one player running into the box. The return of Cristian Roldan on Saturday added a dynamic runner in the box and that is how the Sounders were credited with the first goal.
Roldan’s ability to run into the offensive pockets and then stretch defenders forced an own goal by FC Dallas defender Sam Junqua in the 32nd minute. Roldan had made two previous runs that almost paid dividends for the Sounders. On one run Roldan darted into the FC Dallas goal box and hit the post and was unable to track down a pass into space on the other sequence. The issue for the Sounders is that Roldan and Chu were the only active runners in the box. Albert Rusnack was placed in an advanced position but was very indecisive when opportunities arose that needed a quick decisive choice.
NO ONE INDIVIDUAL TO BLAME
A lethargic offense especially in soccer cannot be blamed on one or two individuals. Sounders are lacking fluidity from Rusnak, Chu, Raul Ruidiaz, and Joao Paulo. While the players are making individual runs into the final third, they are having no direct impact because they are not completing the play. What is needed is timely direct runs that open up space and give time and space to the ball carrier. None of that has been happening.
RUNNING OUT OF IDEAS
Compounding matters for the Sounders is that teams are sitting deep, allowing the Sounders the majority of possession making it difficult for the team to gain any type of rhythm. The result is a frustrated Sounders attack due to multiple players standing around thinking about what they should do rather than run at defenders and create space.
Head coach Brian Schmetzer must re-evaluate how he wants to attack the opponent when not counter-attacking teams. The Sounder’s counterattack is lethal and dangerous. The issue here is that when teams press the Sounders high, they are efficient is passing out of their own half. Once the teams stack the middle the Sounders struggle. It might be time for Schmetzer to employ two strikers up from and shift to a 4-4-2 for the entirety of the game.
Schmetzer employs a three-back defense when attacking and switches to four in the back when in defending. My accession is that players are having to think too much.
- Following tonight’s draw, Sounders FC drops to fourth in the MLS Western Conference with 36 points, one point behind third-place Real Salt Lake and second-place LAFC. St. Louis continues to lead the conference with 41 points.
- With 24 matches played in the 2023 MLS regular season, Seattle now focuses its attention on Leagues Cup, with the Rave Green opening Group Stage play in Leagues Cup at Real Salt Lake on July 22 and July 29 vs. Monterrey.
- Sounders FC remains unbeaten in 17 straight home contests vs. FC Dallas (MLS regular-season and MLS Cup Playoffs). This streak is the longest active run of home wins in MLS against a single opponent, beating Portland’s current run over San Jose (16). FC Dallas’ last and only win at Lumen Field came in 2011.
- In the all-time series against FC Dallas, Seattle moves to 14-8-9 in regular-season play.
- Léo Chú’s hot streak in 2023 continues, with the Brazilian winger creating havoc to force an own goal in the 32nd minute of play by firing a cross into the area that was deflected into the back of the net by FC Dallas defender Sam Junqua. Through 23 matches this season, Chú has three goals and eight assists.
- Both Jordan Morris and Cristian Roldan made their returns from Gold Cup duty with the U.S. Men’s national team, with Roldan starting the match on the right wing, and Morris entering the match as a substitute in the 71st minute of play.
- In addition to Roldan’s return to the starting lineup, Stefan Frei returned to goal for Stefan Cleveland, with the former missing in action for the past two MLS matches while being placed in the concussion protocol. Head Coach Brian Schmetzer also made two other changes to the first XI, inserting Raúl Ruidíaz and Alex Roldan into the starting line for Héber and Cody Baker, respectively.
Seattle Sounders FC 1 – FC Dallas 1
Saturday, July 15, 2023
Venue: Emerald Queen Casino Pitch at Lumen Field
Referee: Nima Saghafi
Assistants: Chris Elliott, Mike Rottersman
Fourth Official: Elton Garcia
VAR: Kevin Terry Jr.
Weather: 80 degrees and clear
SEA – Own Goal (Sam Junqua) 32’
DAL – Bernard Kamungo (Sebastian Lletget) 42’
DAL – Geovane de Jesus Rocha (caution) 44’
DAL – Sebastian Lletget (caution) 46’
DAL – Tsiki Ntsabeleng (caution) 82’
DAL – Facundo Quignon (caution) 86’
SEA – Albert Rusnák (caution) 87’
LINEUPS & STATS
Seattle Sounders FC – Stefan Frei; Alex Roldan, Yeimar, Jackson Ragen, Nouhou; João Paulo (Nico Lodeiro 66’), Obed Vargas, Cristian Roldan, Albert Rusnák, Léo Chú (Jordan Morris 71’); Raúl Ruidíaz
Substitutes not used: Stefan Cleveland, Fredy Montero, Abdoulaye Cissoko, Cody Baker, Reed Baker-Whiting, Josh Atencio, Héber
Total shots: 17
Shots on goal: 2
FC Dallas – Maarten Paes; Geovane de Jesus Rocha (Dante Sealy 46’), Nkosi Tafari, Sebastien Ibeagha, Sam Junqua; Facundo Quignon, Edwin Cerrillo, Sebastian Lletget; Jader Obrian (Herbert Endeley 88’), Alan Velasco (Tsiki Ntsabeleng 69’), Bernard Kamungo (Eugene Ansah 69’)
Substitutes not used: Jimmy Maurer, Jose Martinez, Paul Arriola, Jose Mulato, Nolan Norris
Total shots: 3
Shots on goal: 2
– SOUNDERS FC –
- Mariners have plenty to do to repair their reputation
- After a mini-break, the Seahawks set sights on a rematch with the 49ers.
- Mariners make the first move at Winter meetings, trade Marco Gonzales, Jarred Kelenic, and Evan Wither
- Seattle Storm to Host Draft Lottery Party Sunday at Rough & Tumble Pub
- BREAKING: No.2 Huskies to play No. 3 Texas in College Football Semi-Final Game at Sugar Bowl