Sounders strong second half earns 1-1 draw with FC Dallas

The Seattle Sounders started the first of their three road games in zombie mode and came back to life in the second half to salvage 1-1 draw with FC Dallas in Frisco Texas Saturday Night.  Head coach Brian Schmetzer had to tweek his starting line up  due to unexpected travel complications to left back Nouhou. And Leo Chu serving a one game suspension for his ejection in the Portland Timbers game.    After representing the Cameroon international team Nouhou’s connecting flights forced him to meet the team in Dallas.


Schmetzer started  Reed Baker-Whiting in the left-back role and Obed Vargas next to Joao Paulo Saturday was the second meeting this season between the two side. The first match was July 15 and it ended in a 1-1 draw. The zombie effect in Saturday’s match was surprising given Schmetzer’s week-long mantra of, “  It’s about us, if we play well the results will come”.

 The Sounders struggled might  on the left side of  the line up . Albert Rusnak , Obed Vargas  and left back Reed Baker-Whiting were not on the same planet little alone the same pitch.   When Baker – Whiting pushed up on the left flank he was  trapped by  Dallas midfielders Vargas was caught in the same  trap .  FC Dallas was defending in blocks from  backline to midfield and front line  stymied the Sounders lacklustre  attack. Rusnak was unable to draw defenders  down  the left fank.


With the left side struggling  Joao Paulo was left chasing ghost helping out on the left side. This left space in the middle of the pitch which pushed  Yeimar high up the pitch leaving  Jackson Ragen on an island.  With the Sounder’s backline and midfield scattered FC  Dallas flooded the middle of the pitch to gain possession swing the ball out wide and attack the Sounder’s flanks.


Sensing  hopelessness and despair  Schmetzer switched   Jordan Morris with  Rusnak.  Morris speed was able to drag  Dallas defenders down the left flank and create room for Vargas and  Baker- Whiting. Moving Rusnak to the right side gave Alex Roldan another passing  option in  the center of the pitch. The issue was for the Sounders was a lack of runners towards towards the FC Dallas goal mouth. For all of his running Nicolas Lodeiro  was unable to create space for  Roldan and  Raul Ruidiaz who was left on  island for the majority of the first half. 

The tactical changes slowed the Dallas attack for the most part. FC Dallas nearly doubled their lead just before the break. A Jesus Ferreira corner found a wide open Facundo  Quignon wide open in front of the Sounders goal. Fortunately for the Sounders, the Argentinian’s header hit the cross bar and the half ended.  


A spirited half time message by Schmetzer brought determination, resolve and courage to the Rave Green players.  The Sounders stayed more compacted in the middle with

Joao Paulo, Albert Rusnak, and Obed Vargas tucked inside to hold the Dallas defenders and midfield.  With room to roam Baker- Whiting and Roldan profited from being in the advanced position.  Seven minutes into the second half Baker-Withing found himself open on the left corner of the  Dallas goal and lofted the ball across the goal mouth to a wide-open Alex  Roldan who hit a wonder strike that leveled the game at 1-1.


 Six minutes after the Sounders  leveled the game  Schmetzer  threw caution into the wind and  brought in  Nouhou for  Rusnak and  Cristian Roldan for Ruidiaz. The added speed was a gamble but  fortune favors the brave  the old saying.  The added speed  had FC Dallas on it’s heels an reeling.  In the 77th minute Morris  header from the center of box was blocked, two minutes later  Cristian Roldan’s   right footed shot just missed on the left side during a goal mouth scramble. Sounders  had a last gasp effort for the smash and grab but Morris pass to a wide open Nouhou on the counter was  blocked  and both side split the  spoils.

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