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Seattle Sounders vs. FC Dallas: Highlights, stats and quotes

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“This franchise is committed to winning. And I think that shows in being now the only [active] club to make the playoffs nine years in a row.” -Brian Schmetzer

After having trouble finding the right rhythm out of the gate, the Seattle Sounders got in sync, putting four unanswered goals on the board against FC Dallas and snatching a secure playoff spot in the Western Conference. They now have the opportunity to finish second in the West based on next week’s results.

Seattle are now 13-9-11, +10 on GD. That gives them 50 points through 33 games, or 1.52 PPG, and they currently sit in third in the West, tied on points with the Portland Timbers but holding one fewer win on the season.


Match Recap

SUMMARY

Seattle Sounders FC 4 - FC Dallas 0

Sunday, October 15, 2017

Venue: Xbox Pitch at CenturyLink Field

Referee: Drew Fischer

Assistants: Joe Fletcher, Cameron Blanchard

Fourth Official: Alejandro Mariscal

VAR: Jon Freemon

Attendance: 48,478

Weather: 63 degrees, mostly sunny

SCORING SUMMARY

SEA - Victor Rodriguez (Clint Dempsey) 31'

SEA - Will Bruin 64'

SEA - Will Bruin 67'

SEA - Lamar Neagle (Nicolas Lodeiro, Harry Shipp) 90'+2'

MISCONDUCT SUMMARY

DAL - Javier Morales (caution) 8'

LINEUPS & STATS

Seattle Sounders FC - Stefan Frei; Kelvin Leerdam, Román Torres, Chad Marshall, Joevin Jones (Harry Shipp 81'); Cristian Roldan, Gustav Svensson (Nouhou 23'), Nicolás Lodeiro - captain, Cristian Roldan, Clint Dempsey, Victor Rodriguez (Lamar Neagle 76'); Will Bruin

Substitutes not used: Bryan Meredith, Tony Alfaro, Jordy Delem, Henry Wingo, Lamar Neagle

Total shots: 14 (Dempsey, 5)

Shots on goal: 7 (Three players, 2)

Fouls: 9 (Lodeiro, 3)

Offside: None

Corner-kicks: 2 (Lodeiro, 2)

Saves: 1 (Frei, 1)

FC Dallas - Jesse Gonzalez; Maynor Fiegueroa, Matt Hedges, Atiba Harris, Hernan Grana; Carlos Gruezo, Kellyn Acosta, Javier Morales (Maximiliano Urruti 57'), Michael Barrios, Mauro Diaz - captain (Roland Lamah 70'); Tesho Akindele (Victor Ulloa 78')

Substitutes not used: Chris Seitz, Cristian Colman, Ryan Hollingshead, Walker Zimmerman

Total shots: 14 (Five players, 2)

Shots on goal: 2 (Figueroa/Barrios, 1)

Fouls: 17 (Urruti, 4)

Offside: 1 (Urruti, 1)

Corner-kicks: 5 (Morales, 3)

Saves: 3 (Gonzalez, 3)


Post-Match Quotes

SOUNDERS FC HEAD COACH BRIAN SCHMETZER

On the club making the playoffs for the ninth year in a row:

“Let me start with the club history. I think it’s a great achievement. I think you’ve got to credit Adrian [Hanauer] for having the vision to bring MLS here and his commitment to the group. I think you’ve got to compliment Sigi [Schmid] on his tenure here. You know Garth [Lagerwey], Chris [Henderson], we all do the job. But coming back to this team now, and certainly, I’d be remiss not to mention all the players on the other eight playoff teams, this group – and I have a little running commentary with Adrian back-and-forth whether it’s goals scored or duels or whatever – this team is committed to winning. This franchise is committed to winning. And I think that shows in being now the only [active] club to make the playoffs nine years in a row. That is a fantastic achievement, and it stems from the culture of the club, the guys that put it in every game, every day at training, and from the support staff. The players have a big support staff. Gustav [Svensson] unfortunately went down with injuries. We’ve had some injuries; the medical team is there. You have everybody pulling in the right direction for this franchise, and I think we should all take a lot of pride in that. And again, coming back to this particular team, we didn’t start [the season] very well. We didn’t start off very well. And we got on a little bit of a roll – some people may say undefeated versus six wins and seven draws, but they overcame that. I think I said here in the press that it was a little bit of an anchor, that unbeaten streak. We had a couple of not-so-great results in tough places to play, away from home, and when we came back home tonight, the energy of the crowd lifted us. Once we got the second goal, I thought we were in control of the match, and all of the credit is due to the players in that room that really stepped up.”

On Clint Dempsey’s motivation for this game:

“He wanted to be laser sharp in his focus to help us repeat as champions. I’m summarizing because I didn’t record the conversation, but that’s what he said. I think, although he might have been held off the scoresheet tonight, I thought you saw a motivated Clint. I thought it was great to see. So, he’s all in.”

On Will Bruin:

“Well, the back story there is that I’ve been harping on him a little bit too much about his defending – he’s the first guy in the defense – and I didn’t talk about his defending in the last couple of weeks. I just let him go and let Will be Will. Tonight, before we went out on the field, Will had brought up, ‘Okay coach, what do you want me to do here defensively?’ I said, ‘Will, I don’t want to talk about your defending, just score some goals.' It was nice little banter back-and-forth. Will has been an opportunistic goal scorer throughout his career, and getting double digits again is just credit to what he does best. He’s an animal inside the box. He likes to pick up all the loose pieces [and] he’s good in the air. He’s good at defending for us as well, being that point man in our attack.”

On Roman Torres’ role in the clean sheet:

“I would probably group Román and Chad [Marshall] into the conversation, into your question. Only because – Román’s story is great, it’s absolutely fantastic and certainly a massive achievement for Panama, and for Román to score the goal. But Dallas came out with the tactic of putting [Michael] Barrios up front, and it was a good tactic. It was a smart play by Oscar [Pareja], and those two guys in the first half had to chase [Michael] Barrios into the corner a couple of times. I think Román and Chad did very, very well. Román is a leader on the field. He’s strong in character and strong physically, so we’re happy to have him. I think Chad makes a pretty nice pair right next to him.”

On the importance of a first-round playoff bye:

“That is important, although I think our club has been pretty successful in play-in games. It adds a little money into the coffers. But obviously not having a play-in game is something we haven’t achieved yet. So, there’s still one more game to go, so we have to make sure we’re laser-focused on our last game of the year. Would it be nice? Yes, it certainly would give us a little bit of rest in that week, that short week between the start of the playoffs, so that’s something we’re definitely going to go after.”

SOUNDERS FC GOALKEEPER STEFAN FREI

On the feeling of the win:

“Massive. Massive to clinch a playoff spot with one game to go in a season that was difficult. But that was one of our goals and we know historically it’s been difficult for reigning champs to get back into the playoffs. But we set that as one of our goals and you know we had enough quality on our locker room to achieve such a goal. And it’s difficult, you have a bit of a target on your back all year. But we fought through it and it’s a huge achievement for us.”

On the challenges that Barios gave Frei:

“He’s got pace, he’s skillful. We had to watch the space behind our back, especially because of [Javier] Morales or [Mauro] Diaz who are very crafty on the ball, so that is something that we had to be careful of.”

On the 12 shutouts this season:

“It’s a team effort. There’s nothing I can do by myself. Sometimes it gets put on the goalkeeper but if we need to be successful we need all 11 guys who are on the pitch at the time to defend. It really starts with strikers up top and of course today I had not much to do, we did really really well. And not only did we set that record but I think we are also out of reach of [Sporting Kansas City] in terms of shutouts for 2017 which is a massive achievement.”

SOUNDERS FC MIDFIELDER VÍCTOR RODRÍGUEZ (THROUGH TRANSLATOR)

On scoring and also having a child this week:

“I’m very happy for my first goal after coming back and I’m very happy to dedicate the goal for Astrid.”

On playing with Dempsey:

“It is a pleasure to play with a player like Clint. Our styles in soccer are very similar, but I am very proud of playing on a team with players like this, like Clint, like Nico, it’s good to spend time playing with them on the field.”

On how the crowd impacts that game:

“Thank you very much to all the fans. I am very happy, thank you so much fans. I didn’t know it was that big, but it is amazing to play with such great fans. It motivates you and makes you feel very very good.”

SOUNDERS FC MIDFIELDER CRISTIAN ROLDAN

On making the playoffs for the ninth straight season:

“It’s fantastic. This is what the Sounders organization is all about. We have expectations and we have to rise to the occasion each and every year. This is a big club and we want to remain as a big club going forward and I’m very happy for this to be my third consecutive playoff run and you know hopefully it just continues from here on out.”

On the importance of Rodriguez’s goal:

“Víctor is a fantastic player. I think he was one of the most fantastic players for us. The front four were incredible tonight I thought. But Víctor scored a goal, changed the game on a tight angle. That’s what he’s here for. He’s here to assist us in any way he can, he does that by helping the team and scoring goals, getting assists, or just running and getting into tackles.”

On the qualities of Stefan Frei:

“Yeah, he does more than just goalkeep, he dictates where he should be. He’s a perfectionist. You appreciate that. Coming from a defensive mid, he keeps me in check and for the team he keeps us organized. He’s extremely vocal, on the other end he makes incredible saves and keeps us in games that maybe we shouldn’t be in.”

SOUNDERS FC FORWARD WILL BRUIN

On his two goals:

“For me personally it’s been a while so it feels good to get back to the scoresheet. We clinched a playoff spot and we control our own destiny going into the final week and that’s what you want.”

On the overall feeling of coming to the Sounders:

“Yeah, you just get that feeling, that confidence in the locker room and that expectation of being in the playoffs. We were a little disappointed we didn’t clinch in Philedelphia so it was nice to do it at home in front of our home fans.”

On getting double-digit goals:

“Yeah, that’s always my initial goal at the beginning of the year is to get double digits and go from there. It took me till the 33rd game this year. I would of liked it to be sooner but you know we’ll take it and go from there, we got one game left.”

FC DALLAS HEAD COACH OSCAR PAREJA

On the match:

“I thought we played a very good first half and a terrible second half. We didn’t execute in the second half and there were many holes in the game that Seattle took advantage of then put the game away very early. In the first half I have to recognize what we did – I thought we had the control of the game. We had some options, but without finishing, and that’s been a common thing for the last period. Seattle overwhelmed us in the second half. They created the options, were very clinical and took advantage of any space we gave them in the second half and just put the game away.”

On the different look up front and what he liked and didn’t like there:

“We wanted to stretch the game with [Michael Barrios] in the first half…and I thought we did that very well. We created some spacing and we created some attack where we wanted, but again without finishing. It gave us more confidence towards the second half, but instead where we were building, Seattle got the first goal. The plan was to continue in the second half with our spacing…but Seattle started to get some sharpness up front and every time they had the option, they were clinical and that’s the result.”

On keeping spirits high going into the final game and a playoff push:

“We want to keep fighting, despite the frustration of this game. The league and the game give us the chance to go fight for [a playoff spot]. We will prepare this week with the same responsibility so we can clinch.”

FC DALLAS MIDFIELDER JAVIER MORALES

On building off the first half into the last game of the season:

“For sure, It is not the result that we wanted, but we are pretty sure that if we want to be in the playoffs we have to improve a little better. I think in the first half it was good. We dominated more during the first half. We couldn’t finish our chances. The second half was another game. Maybe we pushed too hard and created space in the back. Now we are still alive. I think we have one more chance. We will have to wait for a result. We have to improve our game.”

FC DALLAS DEFENDER HERNÁN GRANA (THROUGH TRANSLATOR)

On the match:

“Difficult game. First minute we had them controlled, we did things well, and then they found that goal. Suppressed, and then from moment to moment the game changed. Obviously, we came out to attack like we always do, but it didn’t came to be and then they mounted back after their second goal, and then things got more complicated. But overall, we tried to do things well, and they found themselves with two goals and I think the scoreboard says a little more than what had happened.”

On the mindset heading into the last match of the season:

“It’s going to be difficult, we need to be well prepared mentally. We have one game to go and we know that now it doesn’t depend on us but it does depend on us to win regardless because we play at home in our field, and beyond that we need to get the three points. Now, there is one game left, we need to forget this game and think about the last one. We know it is important but we also know that we need to fight for the same points and now it just doesn’t depend only on us.”