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Sounders use bracket coverage to control Fabian Castillo

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FC Dallas thought they'd have the upper hand against Leo Gonzalez. It didn't workout that way.

Steven Bisig-USA TODAY Sports

Fabian Castillo is one of Major League Soccer's best players. He uses his speed and impressive technical skills to open space to score 10 goals and notch 4 assists on the season. With Leo Gonzalez getting a bit older, there was a potential weakness for the Seattle Sounders defense on that left side.

Sounders v Dallas Tactics

Instead Seattle limited Castillo through bracketing him in-between three 2009 Sounders. Fabian is strong dribbler. On the year he completes four a game (that's as many as the 3rd and 4th best in the league combined). In the draw he also completed four dribbles, but he failed seven more times.

Sigi's plan to limit Castillo worked.

"He's one of the best players for Dallas," Leo told Sounder at Heart this week. "We talked before the game about him and we'd have to be sharp, compact and try to double him at times. We have good coverage by Zach and Ozzie. We did a great job with him I think."

They did. Castillo had just two shots and one key pass. His dribbling was limited. Seattle move on to face a dynamic winger in Landon Donovan. He, Keane and Zardes all spend time on the wings, but mainly on the right. When Seattle last faced LA it was Yedlin and Evans that contained Landon. It was a similar case of bracket coverage, so the lesson could be applied again.

"They are different. I think because Castillo is more a dribbler, a quick guy where Zardes is more direct without the dribbling, we just have to use good communication and stay together," Gonzalez explained. "If we stay together it is difficult for anyone - Donovan, Keane, Zardes, Castillo. We can do like yesterday, that would be good."

It takes a level of communication and some intuition. The bracket that contained Castillo was a set of Sounders who were all with the team in 2009.

"This is an important thing to know who is next to you. Many guys have played for the Sounders for a long time Evans, me, Ozzie, Zach Scott. We're happy with that, but we have to do a great job in the next couple games."