I'm a relatively young, healthy person, and this match has me thinking maybe I should get my heart checked out.
Personal match viewing recap: Cautious confidence, followed by doubt, followed by a sinking feeling, followed by dismay, followed by (brief) joy and elation, followed by dismay again, and then a sort of numbness set in during extra time where I think all my neurotransmitter receptors were maxed out. Then I just sort of twitched and stared during the shootout.
The group of players on the field gave everything they could, put in a massive defensive performance, but fell asleep for a minute to give up a goal, and then gave up a bit of a fluke goal. In between, Chad Marshall chose a fine moment to find the back of the net to keep the Sounders alive. We won't mention the penalty shootout. Maybe ever.
Venue: Toyota Stadium
Referee: Baldomero Toledo
Assistants: Greg Barkey, Mike Rottersman
Fourth Official: Edvin Jurisevic
Weather: Clear and 59 degrees
DAL - Tesho Akindele (Je-Vaughn Watson) 84'
SEA - Chad Marshall (Marco Pappa) 90'
DAL - Walker Zimmerman (Blas Perez) 90'+1'
SHOOTOUT RESULTSSEA - Clint Dempsey - Scored
DAL - Mauro Diaz - Scored
SEA - Andreas Ivanschitz - Saved
DAL - Ryan Hollingshead - Scored
SEA - Chad Barrett - Saved
DAL - Tesho Akindele - Scored
SEA - Andy Rose - Scored
DAL - Walker Zimmerman - Scored
MISCONDUCT SUMMARYDAL - Mauro Diaz (caution) 46'
SEA - Erik Friberg (caution) 70'
DAL - Blas Perez (caution) 83'
SEA - Marco Pappa (caution) 95'
SEA - Andreas Ivanschitz (caution) 111'
LINEUPS & STATS
Seattle Sounders FC - Stefan Frei; Tyrone Mears, Chad Marshall, Zach Scott, Oniel Fisher (Marco Pappa 88'); Nelson Valdez (Cristian Roldan 76'), Erik Friberg (Chad Barrett 85'), Andy Rose, Andreas Ivanschitz; Clint Dempsey, Obafemi Martins
Substitutes not used: Troy Perkins, Jimmy Ockford, Micheal Azira, Gonzalo Pineda
Total shots: 10 (Marshall, 3)
Shots on goal: 4 (4 players tied at 1)
Fouls: 17 (3 players tied at 3)
Offside: 1 (Barrett, 1)
Corner-kicks: 4 (Ivanschitz, 3)
Saves: 8 (Frei, 8)
FC Dallas - Jesse Gonzalez; Ryan Hollingshead, Zach Loyd (Walker Zimmerman 84'), Matt Hedges, Je-Vaughn Watson; Victor Ulloa, Kellyn Acosta, Mauro Diaz, Fabian Castillo, Michael Barrios, Victor Ulloa (Tesho Akindele 83'); David Texeira (Blas Perez 63')
Substitutes not used: Chris Seitz, Ezequiel Cirigliano, Michel, Atiba Harris
Total shots: 25 (Barrios, 6)
Shots on goal: 10 (Castillo, 3)
Fouls: 14 (Hedges, 3)
Corner-kicks: 8 (Diaz, 8)
Saves: 3 (Gonzalez, 3)
SOUNDERS HEAD COACH SIGI SCHMID
On tonight's game...
I thought we did a good job in the first half. We created all sorts of good opportunities. I think we kept them at bay. Second half, I think they picked up a little bit more space, (Michael) Barrios came to life a little bit. For them, (Mauro) Diaz got a little too much space at times to playmake, but we were hanging in thee. I think they were the better team in the second half. They brought in their big guys. We don't have that many big guys to match them. When we equalized to make it 1-1, it was just a matter of getting through those last few minutes. We were trying to get the message out to the field for (Christian) Roldan to go to left back and (Andreas) Ivanschitz to come into the midfield, but we could never get that message out to our players. We couldn't make that switch until the overtime.
On goalkeeper Stefan Frei's performance...
Stefan, obviously, kept us in the game. Penalty kicks are penalty kicks, you can win or you lose.
On the last 10 minutes of regulation...
They were throwing a lot of people forward and they had a lot of big guys in the box. They were getting opportunities to hit crosses and we weren't putting enough pressure on the ball on the service so they were hitting crosses and they were all around the goal. When we went down 1-0 we made a very offensive sub with (Marco) Pappa coming on for (Oniel) Fisher and he ends up hitting the corner that gets us the equalizer, but ten we were a little out of shape after that.
SOUNDERS MIDFIELDER ANDY ROSE
On the last 10 minutes of regulation...
I don't think I've ever been a part of anything quite like that. That was incredible. 1-0 down, especially after we got a couple throw ins and the corner kick, something inside me knew were going to score and sure enough Chad (Marshall) had one of the best games I've ever seen for a center back. He was incredible tonight. You think we've done enough to get through there, and gutted to give up a second goal then.
SOUNDERS GOALKEEPER STEFAN FREI
On the penalty shootout...
We know their tendencies and what they've done in the past, and you see if you feel like their going to stick to them. If they look like they're nervous, or look like they're comfortable then that might change your take on it, but they switched up all their shots today. They finished strong and we didn't.
On the game winning penalty kick...
I think they had two that were somewhat down the middle, and so on the last one I just decided to stay in the middle and see if they're were going to react. It wasn't one of their craftier strikers so maybe the pressure was a bit more on him to put that in and he puts a lot of pace behind ball and I tried to react, but too late.
FC Dallas head coach Oscar Pareja
Overall thoughts on the game...
It was a very emotional game. I thought our coaching staff did an excellent job during the week of preparing these guys for many moments we knew were coming in this game. We didn't want to rush too much in the first half. I thought the boys did an excellent job on that part. We waited for our moment. We scored our goal. Unfortunately, we wound up tied at the end (of regulation), and that was really a disappointment because we planned on being strong in that five minutes. We knew Seattle was going to be throwing bodies [forward]. We couldn't hold it, but the game gave a reward to the best team on the field. Tonight was a magical night in Frisco. We are very proud of our fans. They played a key part for us tonight and helped us, helped these guys to keep going when it looked like they had no power left in their legs. The fans helped push us up. We are very happy for the youngsters who stepped up today in a very difficult situation. Today was all about heart and our players did it. We are very proud of this club.
On the heart and fortitude from the team to get the second goal...
It has been all year with this group. We have bounced back from difficult moments during the season. We have wanted consistency and it is very difficult to get it. But tonight in the game is a very good example of what we have done during the year. That was magical and well-deserved. That's what these guys have. They have character and I never doubted for a moment they would work hard to get this game.
On the mood after Seattle scored...
It's character that this team has. They are a bunch of guys who want the same. They are committed. So, for me, things are easier. The motivation is not really needed from the bench. They do it. They never lost faith. This group is strong. It's getting stronger mentally. Today was fantastic in showing we can make things happen.
On Jesse Gonzalez...
This is a good example of the program that we have in the club. Our Academy guys are making us very proud. The veterans who have been here in the club, the people around them: Dan (Kennedy), (Chris) Seitz, Drew (Keeshan), who have surrounded Jesse with that experience and are pushing him and helping him, have been tremendous. I'm very proud of Jesse. But, I always like to talk about the unit and that's what we are. We are a unit, and tonight was a good example.
On seeing his young team grow up during the playoffs...
It's incredible how you can see these guys growing one game, and then another one, and you can see these guys growing and growing. We have a plan. We are ready and we took the risk (on young players) and they backed us up. They are committed to what we want, and they make us look good. But, they are the ones who push themselves and really make our job easier. We are very happy for them.
FC Dallas forward Tesho Akindele
On the dramatic end to regulation...
When I was subbing on, I was thinking there was no way we were going to overtime. Either we are going to score a goal right here or it's just going to end 0-0. When we scored, I thought we were going to win. They scored and I was like this is the worst thing in the world. Then we scored again and it's the best thing in the world. It was a huge roller coaster.
How do you stay focused at the end of that game?
Just believe. I knew we were going to get another chance or two. I was thinking ‘we have to be ready for that chance. We have to make it count.' Luckily, Walker [Zimmerman] made it count.
Is this a team of destiny...
Definitely. When something like that happens and luck is on our side. I don't mind that at all.
On Jesse's saves during the penalty kick shootout...
It's huge. When you look at him in the goal and he's touching the [crossbar] you can barely see the goal behind him. He's so big. We all had faith that he will save one or two we just had to do our part.
FC Dallas defender Walker Zimmerman
On the victory...
Especially after last year [losing to Seattle on the away-goal rule], it was still in our minds a little bit, knowing they were the ones that put us out. They kind of had our number in the playoffs. It's sweet, sweet, revenge. A lot of credit goes to our team, our coaching staff for the work that we've done the whole season because the difference was because of our good season. We put ourselves in a spot to be playing at home. That home field advantage was pretty huge tonight with the entire fan base going crazy.
What did Oscar [Pareja] tell you before you went into the match...
It's more of a situational thing. Like I said, we practiced scenarios all week. I knew the game was in the last few minutes and the subs would be Blas [Perez], Tesho [Akindele] and myself. We practiced it and in the 75th minute, Tesho and I knew our roles and we knew what was expected of us.
On almost being knocked out by Seattle again...
Just thinking back to last year, sitting in the Seattle locker room, it was tough because they beat us with the away goals rule and that just left a bitter taste in our mouth. Coming here, we talked about the importance of having home-field advantage and what that means for our club. Our record at home this season was extremely good so why not play with confidence and we sure did that and got the result.