Seattle Sounders FC paid a hefty price for sleepwalking the first twenty minutes of it’s playoff game with FC Dallas. Maybe it was having won the first game at home 2 nil with a collective team effort that lulled the players into playing individual soccer to start the game. FC Dallas was facing elimination if it lost the second game in the best of three first round playoff series .
The discombobulated started by the Sounders cost them dearly as FC Dallas scored six minutes into the game . A Paul Arriola header from a Bernard Kamungo cross gave the home side a 1-0 lead. Arriola found space between Sounder centerbacks Jackson Ragen and Yemeir who were oblivious to his presence between them and inside the box.
FC Dallas doubled it’s lead 12 minutes later when Nouhou l Nouhou conceded a penalty when he fouled Kamungo. Nouhou was the root cause the symptom was a lack of marking from the midfield. Joao Paulo and Josh Antecio were slow to pressure the FC Dallas forwards who overloaded the Sounders backline.
The Sounders regained their composure by staying compact in the three blocks on defense and using the width of the field on the counterattack. Cristian Roldan created space with his runs at the FC Dallas defense and the Sounders came close to scoring in the 33rd minute . After a run into the FC Dallas goal box with the ball Cristian Roldan spun and passed the ball to his brother Alex who crossed the ball to an oncoming Albert Rusnak who shot wide left. Minutes later Joao Paulo had a similar shot from the top of the Dallas goal box. His shot went into the stands . The Sounders went into halftime down 2-0 with momentum on their side
SECOND HALF TEAM
Three minutes into the second half the Sounders cut FC Dallas lead in half on a Jordan Morris break away goal. Sustained pressure by the Sounders put pressure on FC Dallas and it looked as if it was just a matter of time before the Sounders would find the equalizer. Seattle had good chances late in the game but the equalizer never came. FC Dallas took advantage of a stretched Sounders midfield and secured the win with a late goal to tie the series at 1-1
The deciding match will be played in Seattle on Friday, November 10 (7:00 p.m. PT / Apple TV, iHeartMedia Seattle, SiriusXM FC 157, El Rey 1360 AM). The winner of Friday’s match advances to the Western Conference Semifinals, facing the winner of the LAFC-Vancouver series.
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- With tonight’s result, Sounders FC and FC Dallas each hold one match in the Round One best-of-three series. The series-deciding third match is set to be played at Lumen Field on November 10. Seattle earned home-field advantage by finishing second in the Western Conference standings during the MLS regular season (FC Dallas finished seventh in the West).
- Following tonight’s match in Frisco, Sounders FC’s record in the MLS Cup Playoffs moves to 23-14-7 dating back to the club’s 2009 inaugural MLS season. Seattle’s 23 postseason wins are three more than the next closest team since the Rave Green joined the league (LA Galaxy, 20 MLS Cup Playoffs victories since 2009).
- Tonight’s match marked Seattle’s 10th all-time postseason contest against FC Dallas. The Rave Green are now 5-3-2 in those contests. Prior to this year’s opening postseason series, the two sides most recently played in the 2020 Western Conference Semifinals, with Seattle winning 1-0.
- Despite advancing past FC Dallas in four of five all-time postseason series, Sounders FC has never won at Toyota Stadium in the MLS Cup Playoffs. Seattle’s record in North Texas is 0-3-1 in those contests.
- With the starting nod tonight, Jordan Morris made his 200th all-competitions appearance for the Rave Green, becoming just the eighth Sounder in club history to reach that milestone.
- Morris’ goal in the 48th minute of play was his eighth strike in the MLS Cup Playoffs for Seattle. The Mercer Island native is now level with teammate Nico Lodeiro in scoring among active MLS players, with former Sounder Will Bruin and current Rave Green striker Raúl Ruidíaz both level with nine active postseason goals, leading MLS.
- Morris’ five all-time goals against FC Dallas in the MLS Cup Playoffs are tied for third-most by a player against a single opponent. Former MLS attacker Carlos Ruíz had eight postseason goals against Colorado, with Roy Lassiter leading this category following 11 playoff tallies against Columbus.
- Getting the starting nod tonight at right wing, Cristian Roldan takes sole possession of career appearances in the MLS Cup Playoffs by a Rave Green field player (26 postseason appearances), surpassing former teammate Osvaldo Alonso. Goalkeeper Stefan Frei leads all Sounders with 30 appearances in the postseason.
- Stefan Frei’s 30 appearances in the MLS Cup Playoffs are fourth all-time in league history. Former MLS stalwart Kevin Hartman leads this category with 49 all-time appearances.
- Head Coach Brian Schmetzer’s all-time record in the MLS Cup Playoffs moves to 16-5-3, keeping him in third place in MLS history. He trails former Sounders FC Head Coach Sigi Schmid (26-16-8) and Bruce Arena (35-14-6) in the all-time postseason ranks.
Seattle Sounders FC 1 – FC Dallas 3
Saturday, November 4, 2023
Venue: Toyota Stadium
Referee: Rosendo Mendoza
Assistants: Logan Brown, Brooke Mayo
Fourth Official: Jon Freemon
VAR: Kevin Stott
Weather: 70 degrees and clear
FCD – Paul Arriola (Bernard Kamungo) 6’
FCD – Jesus Ferreira (penalty) 18’
SEA – Jordan Morris 48’
FCD – Jader Obrian 89’
SEA – Nouhou (caution) 10
SEA – Yeimar (caution) 21’
FCD – Paul Arriola (caution) 30’
SEA – Josh Atencio (caution) 52’
FCD – Paxton Pomykal (caution) 60’
FCD – Asier Illarramendi (caution) 71’
LINEUPS & STATS
Seattle Sounders FC – Stefan Frei; Alex Roldan, Yeimar, Jackson Ragen, Nouhou (Kelyn Rowe 84’); João Paulo (Obed Vargas 69’), Josh Atencio (Raúl Ruidíaz 69’), Cristian Roldan, Albert Rusnák, Léo Chú (Nico Lodeiro 59’); Jordan Morris
Substitutes not used: Stefan Cleveland, Héber, Fredy Montero, Xavier Arreaga, Paul Rothrock
Total shots: 11
Shots on goal: 5
FC Dallas – Maarten Paes; Nkosi Tafari, Ema Twumasi, Sebastien Ibeagha, Sam Junqua; Asier Illarramendi, Liam Fraser, Paxton Pomykal (Jader Obrian 83’); Paul Arriola (Dante Sealy 90’+2’), Jesus Ferreira (Eugene Ansah 84’), Bernard Kamungo (Marco Farfan 73’)
Substitutes not used: Jimmy Maurer, Jesus Jimenez, Sebastian Lletget, Jose Martinez, Katlego Ntsabeleng
Total shots: 8
Shots on goal: 3