It was a blustery day in Frisco, Texas and each team was able to take advantage accordingly. In the first half, with FC Dallas playing with the wind at its back, they pushed forward and dominated possession, taking a 2-1 lead into halftime. The Sounders got the better of FC Dallas in the second half. Seattle came out attacking from the first minute in the second half and it finally paid off with an own-goal off of Stephen Keel in the 76th minute to even the score at 2-2.
Dempsey picked up his second goal in the game off a fluid and quick combination with Chad Barrett to net his fifth goal in the past two games. The final score seemed a lot more glorious than the play might have suggested. Both sides played with a chip on their shoulder that eventually graduated to straight up chippy. Enough yellow cards were doled out to boost the stock of Hallmark on Monday when the market opens.
All statistics contained after are unofficial.
DAL - David Texeira 10
SEA - Clint Dempsey 22
DAL - Michel (PK) 42
SEA - own goal (Stephen Keel) 76
SEA - Clint Dempsey (Chad Barrett) 85
Seattle Sounders FC -Stefan Frei, DeAndre Yedlin, Chad Marshall, Djimi Traore, Leo Gonzalez, Osvaldo Alonso, Gonzalo Pineda, Clint Dempsey, Kenny Cooper (Marco Pappa 68), Obafemi Martins, Lamar Neagle (Chad Barrett 72).
Substitutes Not Used: Marcus Hahnemann, Jalil Anibaba, Michael Azira, Sean Okoli, Dylan Remick.
Total Shots: 13 (Clint Dempsey 5, Lamar Neagle 3); Shots on Goal: 6 (Clint Dempsey 3, Lamar Neagle 2); Fouls: 19 (Lamar Neagle 5, Leonardo Gonzalez, DeAndre Yedlin, Gonzalo Pineda, Osvaldo Alonso, Clint Dempsey, Chad Barrett 2); Offsides: 4 (Clint Dempsey 2); Corners: 3 (Gonzalo Pineda 2, Clint Dempsey 1); Saves: 6 (Stefan Frei 6).
FC Dallas - Chris Seitz, Jair Benitez, Stephen Keel, Matt Hedges, Zach Loyd, Michel, Hendry Thomas (Tesho Akindele ), Fabian Castillo, Mauro Diaz, Je-Vaughn Watson (Peter Luccin 70, Adam Moffat 79), David Texeira.
Substitutes Not Used: Raul Fernandez, Danny Garcia, Kellyn Acosta, Moises Hernandez.
Total Shots: 16 (Fabian Castillo 5, Mauro Diaz, Michel, David Texeira 3); Shots on Goal: 8 (Fabian Castillo, Michel, David Texeira 2); Fouls: 19 (Fabian Castillo 6, David Texeira 4, Stephen Keel, Je-Vaughn Watson, Hendry Thomas 2); Offsides: 1 (Je-Vaughn Watson 1); Corners: 6 (Mauro Diaz, Michel 3); Saves: 4 (Chris Seitz 4).
SEA - Lamar Neagle (caution) 12
SEA - Osvaldo Alonso (caution) 18
DAL - Je-Vaughn Watson (caution) 19
SEA - DeAndre Yedlin (caution) 40
DAL - David Texeira (caution) 45+2
DAL - Hendry Thomas (caution) 46
DAL - Fabian Castillo (caution) 60
SEA - Chad Barrett (caution) 90+4
Referee: Juan Guzman
Referee's Assistants: Ian Anderson, Jonathan Johnson
Fourth Official: Alejandro Mariscal
Time of Game: 1:51
Weather: Windy, 81 degrees
Seattle Sounders Head Coach Sigi Schmid
On the result of the game...
I think the wind had an impact on the game, sort of made it a game of two halves. When they had the wind in the first half, it allowed them to keep some pressure on us. Second half, we had the wind behind us and it allowed us to keep pressure on them. Disappointed in the first goal we gave up, obviously, but I think Stephen (Frei) showed great character, and came up with a couple big saves in the second half. That's a tough thing to do when you make an error like that, and I thought our team's ability to come back in the second half was superb.
On Clint Dempsey's play...
Clint is an important player for us, and we needed to find him in the first half and didn't find him enough with the ball. Didn't find Oba(femi Martins) enough with the ball. So, as a result, our offense stagnated. In the second half, once we started finding Oba, and the subs, I thought Marco Pappa had a good impact on the game. I thought Chad Barrett had a good impact on the game. At that point it was better. The other thing we did wrong in the first half, our midfielders sometimes pushed too high to press, we got ourselves stretched by pushing up too high trying to pressure Keel and some of their midfielders that dropped deep and that opened us up in the midfield. We did a better job in the second half not getting stretched out.
On the chippy play throughout the match...
We didn't want somebody to pick up a second yellow or anything like that. There was one, I think, were (the referee) gave a yellow to (Hendry) Thomas for a foul on (Gonzalo) Pineda, but he let play continue so they end up with a free kick deep in our end of the field. I would rather have (the referee) called the foul right away and given the yellow at that point. It would have been our ball. Those are things, overall, I thought the referee tried to manage the game in the first half, and he did it through the cards. That was his way of managing it, and we told our guys to make sure we're careful with it. One of the reasons we probably took out Lamar (Neagle), as well, is because he was sitting on a yellow, and wanted to make sure he didn't pick up a second.
Thoughts on the midfield pairing of Pineda and Alonso after the first half...
I thought it was better in the second half because they sat more together. That was the thing, they got stretched apart in the first half where one of them was pushing really high to pressure, and we talked about it at halftime. So the second half was better.
On having this back four combination together for the first time...
It was ok. Obviously, Dallas did a couple of good things. (Mauro) Diaz did some good things, and he had some good splitting passes in behind our defense. (Fabian) Castillo got a lot of good looks. I thought (DeAndre) Yedlin did much better in the second half getting control of Castillo. That was important for our team, as well. The goals we gave up the one was goalkeeper error, the other was a penalty kick, that was a penalty. I'm not going to dispute that, but we bent a lot and really didn't give up anything off the run of play.
Did he feel fortunate going into the half down one goal...
We were hoping to go into the half tied. We were really sort of pissed off that we gave away that penalty right at the end of the first half. We felt if we can get in at halftime 1-1 we improve and do a much better job with the second half.
How he feels after five goals in two games...
I'm feeling good. More importantly, we got the win today. It wasn't pretty. I thought Dallas played really well. We've got to work on some things, but I thought we showed a lot of character coming back twice in the game, and ultimately getting the win so that's a good thing to build upon. We'll sharpen up and get better.
On playing in his home state of Texas...
It's always good to perform well in Texas because that's where I developed my game in Nacogdoches and driving to Dallas playing my club ball. A lot of friends and family were here and it's nice to perform well, but like I said, the most important thing is we got the win for the team and we need to keep getting points like that, and I think you'll see us start to put in better performances and we'll tighten up and we'll get it right.
On what he saw on the free kick goal...
Well, I'm always trying to take free kicks (laughs).I'm a little bit selfish. We work on them in training, and we've got a lot of guys that are good at taking them. I felt confident to take it and I hit a good one, and lucky for me, the linesman was there to see the ball go behind the line. I was glad he was able to see it because sometimes maybe they don't call that because it's so close, but if you look at the replay it did go behind the line and I'm happy to score on a free kick.
On Seattle's knack for getting out of tough situations...
We're not making it easy on ourselves. We need to fix those issues a little bit because you can't give up three to four goals every game, but I think the games are really important for us as a show of character when you can keep your heads up and keep plugging away and trying to step up and help one of your teammates out, it shows a lot of character and I'm very proud of the guys.
On Seattle being unbeaten on the road...
We know it doesn't really matter where we play, we want to go and compete and have an opportunity at every game to get points, so we'll try to do the same thing next week at Chivas.
On the difference between the first half and the second half...
Not to put blame on anything, ut the wind played a bit of a factor there. You saw when they were trying to kick out of the back in the second half, that strong wind against you doesn't really help you to alieve pressure. We just came in at half and had a good go at each other, and knew that we needed to step it up in the second half, and that's what we did. We came out good in the second half, put a lot of pressure on them, and got quality chances out of it to take care of our team.
FC Dallas Head coach Oscar Pareja
Overall thoughts on the game...
It was a different night obviously with that result but the effort was great for the players and we're very proud of them. We enjoyed a fantastic game full of talent and full of great players. There was a lot of energy. In the first half, for us and in the second half for Seattle. During the second half Seattle did a good job. They put us on our heels, and they had some options. They were very effective with those options. But overall, our players did a very good job and I couldn't be more proud of them.
What was the difference in the second half?
There were a couple of factors. First, we dropped our line too much. It may have been instinct because they saw Seattle coming up fast. We started dropping the lines. We could do better on resolving that problem, by playing with different personalities. Those type of things make it difficult.
On Clint Dempsey...
We all know that he is a good player who has a lot of talent. Sometimes when he gets in between the lines and finds those pockets, he's very effective. We have players who were outstanding. I could mention Mauro Diaz and the way that he controlled the game, especially in the first half or David Texeira with his effort and attitude, too.
On David Texeira...
It was great for David to score. Great for us to have him involved in the goals and have him contribute with his effort, his tactical discipline, the way he fights for the concepts and his teammates. He had a great game.
Could this loss affect your team?
No, no, no. No, of course not. This team is very strong. We're building. We won against Portland and Houston, Montreal, tied with Kansas City. The first half today we were up 2-1. So, no, this team isn't going to fall. Now is a great time to keep learning. We have a very strong group, and I'm behind these guys 300 percent. I'm very proud of this team.
On picking up the momentum...
I'm going to be quite honest. I could have helped them more in the second half. My boys did a great job on trying to get out of those difficult spots. Really, it comes down to me. I didn't (perform) as well as they did, and that's the bottom line.
FC Dallas goalkeeper Chris Seitz
On the wind...
This time of year, we deal with it in training every day. There are no excuses about that. For us, we used it to our advantage in the first half. In the second half, you saw them press us high and force us into playing long. They were also winning a lot of the second balls and locking us in our half.
Did you expect to be a lot busier in the second half than you were in the first?
Yes, of course. We knew that they were going to press us in the second half and fight to get back into the game. We lost what we were doing in the first half that was working for us. Give them credit. They came out and really put us under the gun and got some goals out of it.
On Clint Dempsey...
He created all three, right? He had a good game last week. We knew he was going to come in here hot. Look... It was a good free kick. The second one was really unlucky for Stephen [Keel]. He just tried to make simple contact and sometimes that happens. And the third one, he ran right at us and really dictated the goal. At the same time, we need to find ways to keep those type of players out of those positions... Limit his options. We'll go back and watch the video. We have some pretty good guys to play against next week. We can work on it next week and get out the kinks.
On losing the first game of the season...
We use this as a learning experience. We've taken it one week at a time. We've scouted our opponents each week and focused on that game. That is how it is going to continue to go. We're not going to look ahead to different games. We have a big test at home next week against a very good team.
FC Dallas midfielder Fabian Castillo
On the windy conditions...
The wind was a factor in the second half. We had some trouble clearing the ball out of the back. That gave Seattle a little bit of an advantage because the ball was hanging up in the air, especially when Chris [Seitz] was trying to knock a long ball out of the back. But at the same time, we did not hold the ball as well as we should have done in the second half. If we had been able to control the ball better on the ground, the wind would not have been as big a factor. We should have been better in taking advantage of our ability to control the ball on the ground.
On the missed chances in the first half...
When you're playing, you always need to look forward. There will always be opportunities that you finish and ones that you do not. You have to look at what is coming, not at what you were not able to convert. That's how the game is, we tried to push forward, we did create some opportunities in the second half, but Seattle was better at finishing their chances tonight.
FC Dallas defender Stephen Keel
On Clint Dempsey...
He's a talented player, obviously. He floats in those holes. He has great movement. He is technically and tactically very good. He can cause problems for any team.
What changed for you in the second half?
That's a good question. It's not just one thing. We were definitely put on our heels a little bit. We probably should have dealt with it better. That's a lesson we need to learn. In difficult circumstances, when you're under pressure, we need to learn how to deal with that. We need to learn how to absorb that pressure and move forward.
On the wind...
It was windy. You can see in the first half, we put them under pressure and in the second half, vice versa. It's no excuse. We play in wind when we train every day... It was windy.