This game was a defensive test, just as the coaches, players and fans knew it would be. Dallas came out determined to get back in the match at home, and the Sounders rode a bit of luck and a lot of effort to only give up one goal in the first half. After coming out in round two and holding more attacking possession of their own, the Sounders started to look a bit more comfortable, and Nicolas Lodeiro’s goal was effectively the end for Dallas.
The Sounders attack is definitely roughed up by injuries, so the international break may be just what the team needs. Seattle host the Colorado Rapids in the Western Conference championship on Tuesday, November 22 at CenturyLink Field.
Seattle Sounders FC 1 (4) - FC Dallas 2 (2)
Sunday, November 6, 2016
Venue: Toyota Stadium
Referee: Hilario Grajeda
Assistants: Jonathan Johnson, Adam Garner
Fourth Official: Juan Guzman
Weather: Showers and 52 degrees
DAL - Tesho Akindele (Atiba Harris, Michael Barrios) 25'
SEA - Nicolás Lodeiro (Tyrone Mears) 54'
DAL - Maximiliano Urruti (Mauro Rosales, Atiba Harris) 56'
DAL - Atiba Harris (caution) 27'
SEA - Cristian Roldan (caution) 27'
SEA - Stefan Frei (caution) 67'
LINEUPS & STATS
Seattle Sounders FC - Stefan Frei; Tyrone Mears, Chad Marshall, Zach Scott, Joevin Jones; Osvaldo Alonso - captain, Nico Lodeiro, Erik Friberg (Brad Evans 77'), Jordan Morris (Oniel Fisher HT); Nelson Valdez (Herculez Gomez 58')
Substitutes not used: Tyler Miller, Aaron Kovar, Román Torres, Tony Alfaro
Total shots: 8 (3 players, 2)
Shots on goal: 2 (Friberg/Lodeiro, 1)
Fouls: 9 (3 players, 2)
Offside: 2 (Gomez, 2)
Corner-kicks: 5 (Lodeiro, 5)
Saves: 3 (Frei, 3)
FC Dallas - Chris Seitz; Atiba Harris, Walker Zimmerman (Carlos Ruiz 62'), Matt Hedges - captain, Maynor Figueroa; Kellyn Acosta, Mauro Rosales (Carlos Lizarazo 74'), Carlos Gruezo; Michael Barrios (Ryan Hollingshead 75'), Maximiliano Urruti, Tesho Akindele
Substitutes not used: Jesse Gonzalez, Norberto Paparatto, Victor Ulloa, Getterson
Total shots: 23 (Figueroa, 5)
Shots on goal: 6 (Urruti, 2)
Fouls: 18 (Harris, 4)
Offside: 3 (3 players, 1)
Corner-kicks: 5 (Rosales, 5)
Saves: 1 (Seitz, 1)
Seattle Sounders FC head coach Brian Schmetzer
On tonight's game...
There wasn't much ebb and flow. It was kind of one-way traffic there. We were under the gun. Give credit to Oscar for his game plan. He got burned by Jordie (Morris) up in Seattle, and he used the space Jordie was vacating and pumping balls into Atiba Harris, so credit to his for his game plan. I think we were able to withstand most of that. As I look at the stat sheet, obviously they had 22 shots to our 8, but the thing that stands out was the duels won. We won 60% of the duels. Although Dallas came strong, we were able to win the majority of the duels so I think that is what helped us persevere against a team that was really going all out and trying to press and get back in the series.
On why he substituted Jordan Morris off at halftime...
It's a hamstring strain, that's all I can say because we've got to get him evaluated, but he wasn't able to continue and it was a last-minute decision. Upon examination at halftime by our trainers, we just felt he couldn't go, Jordan felt he couldn't go, and so we had to scramble at the last minute to make a change.
On his message at halftime...
It was determined. It was succinct. The messaging was 'we need to play a little better in the attacking half of the field and connect more passes' because we weren't going to be able to withstand that onslaught for another 45 minutes.
Seattle Sounders FC defender Brad Evans
On tonight's game...
They obviously came out and pressed, and we know the situation. You can prepare yourself mentally as much as you want, when you come into a place and you know you're 3-0 ahead, we knew that there was going to be a challenge, and they threw their best at us and they showed why they've won two trophies this year. They're a very good team. We were lucky enough to weather the storm until around the 25th minute when they scored the goal. Going into halftime 1-0 was the best case scenario for us at the time. We have two chances to score in the first half, as well. We come into halftime, make a few adjustments, and from there, we knew they were going to throw numbers forward, and we just had to keep the ball. Once we connected 1, 2, 3 passes, we broke pressure and that was advantageous for us, especially with them throwing numbers forward. Catch them on the counterattack, get our away goal and from there, it's a massive hill for them to climb.
Seattle Sounders FC forward Herculez Gomez
On tonight's game...
Complete team effort. It took everybody that came this trip, and everybody that stayed behind to prepare us for tonight. It wasn't easy. (FC Dallas) is a very good team, and you could tell they took it to us at times, and applied pressure. Our resolve came through in the end, but it's not an easy team deal to with, by any means.
On the intensity of the match...
It's win or go home so every ball, whether 50/50, 60/40, loose ball, whatever, you're going to fight for it like it's your last. It's that simple. We have enough guys on this team that understand that, and when you have that kind of mentality, that kind of belief and awareness goes the right way.
FC Dallas head coach Oscar Pareja
Thoughts on the match…
Today we played a good team and, obviously, for me it’s a feeling of great admiration and respect for my players for the effort they put into the field to get that result. Still, it was a hill that was very high to climb today. We have to humbly accept it and recognize what we have done during this year.
What's happened is that at this moment, with a group like ours that is very competitive, we know we could have gotten more. It is a difficult time, but we have to keep our heads up and just look back to see how this journey has been. I think this group of players, and the people involved in the development of this group should feel proud.
We are not going to remember that we won it, but we did win the game. We couldn't have the luxury to allow one goal today because that would put us away. After that goal, we had the opportunity not just to win the game but to score the two goals that we needed.
On the execution of the game plan and the way the team started the match…
The way they played and the way they executed the plan was great. The effort, the willingness to do it, the energy, the intensity and the volume of soccer on that side, especially on the right, was remarkable for the players. It was working - we could have scored maybe three goals in the first half.
On the success of the team this season…
They have been fighting for three tournaments. For the last three and a half months, every game has been a must-win game. If you wanted the U.S. Open Cup, if you wanted to lead the Supporter’s Shield until the end, if you wanted to advance with CONCACAF, all these games were in this type of mode. For me to see the effort and the energy that this group of players has had, especially in the first half, was exemplary for the generation that is growing here on our fields.
SPANISH: Yo creo que podemos irnos con la cabeza arriba y pensar que hemos hecho una temporada inolvidable porque hemos ganado dos trofeos, y porque le hemos dado al equipo y le hemos dado la oportunidad a la ciudad y al club la oportunidad de seguir creyendo que tenemos un modelo diferente pero podemos ganar.
TRANSLATION: I think that we can leave with our head held high. We have had an unforgettable season in which we have won two trophies, and because we have given this team, this city and this club an opportunity to continue believing that we may have a different way of doing things, but that we can win.
FC Dallas winger Tesho Akindele
On his goal…
I honestly don’t even remember too much... Atiba [Harris] got the ball. I tried to get in front of my guy. He played it, and I tried to get the header on target. It worked out, as soon as it went in, I was just thinking on to the next one, just trying to score another goal.
On the game plan in the first half…
The game plan went perfectly. If you look at the first half, we scored the goal and then we had three chances that I think if you put those same guys in the same position again – they’re going to score. It was one of those unlucky days, you know the ball didn’t bounce our way.
Looking back on the best season in franchise history…
Today, it kind of seems like a failure, but I’m sure tomorrow we’ll be like “you know what? It was a good season overall.” If you told us we were going to get two trophies in the season, you know, we would have taken that in the beginning.
FC Dallas midfielder Mauro Rosales
On the game plan working in the first half…
It was exactly what we worked on all week. We tried to be energetic and to find the goals we needed. We tried to manage the game as well as possible. We had a positive result but not enough to advance. I’m proud of the group for the energy they brought tonight, for the concentration they had, for everything we left out on the field.
Looking back at the 2016 season…
It was a great season and we don’t have to look at the end of this semifinal. We can look back at everything we were able to accomplish. it was great. Actually, winning the Supporters Shield… I believe being the best team of the entire season… That is something important. What we were able to do, playing in three tournaments at one time, all the traveling, all the guys pouring all their energy into the game. It’s something to be proud of.