The Seattle Sounders are unbeaten in their last 13 matches, yet they find themselves slipping down the table as other Western Conference contenders pick up more points. The Sounders shut down the offense of FC Dallas over the course of the match, but once again weren’t able to get the final ball or final shot right to get on the board themselves.
Seattle are now 11-7-11, +7 GD. They have 44 points through 29 games, or 1.52 PPG, which is good for fourth in the Western Conference. They have five matches remaining in the 2017 regular season.
Saturday, September 16, 2017
Venue: Toyota Stadium
Referee: Hilario Grajeda
Assistants: Nick Uranga, Andrew Bigelow
Fourth Official: Daniel Radford
VAR: Guido Gonzalez Jr.
DAL - Matt Hedges (caution) 53'
SEA - Clint Dempsey (caution) 60'
SEA - Kelvin Leerdam (caution) 67'
SEA - Nicolás Lodeiro (caution) 89'
SEA - Lamar Neagle (caution) 90'+4'
LINEUPS & STATS
Seattle Sounders FC - Stefan Frei; Kelvin Leerdam, Román Torres, Gustav Svensson, Nouhou; Osvaldo Alonso - captain, Cristian Roldan, Nicolás Lodeiro, Clint Dempsey, Joevin Jones (Victor Rodriguez 64'); Will Bruin (Lamar Neagle 82')
Substitutes not used: Bryan Meredith, Oniel Fisher, Tony Alfaro, Aaron Kovar, Jordy Delem
Total shots: 10 (Dempsey, 3)
Shots on goal: 2 (Dempsey/Jones, 1)
Fouls: 15 (Alonso, 4)
Offside: 2 (Bruin/Rodriguez, 1)
Corner-kicks: 4 (Lodeiro, 3)
Saves: 3 (Frei, 3)
FC Dallas - Jesse Gonzalez; Hernan Grana, Walker Zimmerman, Matt Hedges, Maynor Figueroa; Kellyn Acosta, Carlos Gruezo (Victor Ulloa 74'), Michael Barrios, Mauro Diaz, Roland Lamah (Javier Morales 67'); Maximiliano Urruti (Cristian Colman 82')
Substitutes not used: Chris Seitz, Ryan Hollingshead, Tesho Akindele, Atiba Harris
Total shots: 13 (Diaz, 3)
Shots on goal: 3 (Three players, 1)
Fouls: 15 (Three players, 3)
Corner-kicks: 4 (Diaz, 4)
Saves: 2 (Gonzalez, 2)
Seattle head coach Brian Schmetzer
Thoughts on the match?
Nothing concrete developed for us until maybe the 89thminute, when Kelvin [Leerdam] gets himself inside the penalty box. We can't manufacture a goal there but overall I’m pleased. I’m looking at the stats, so OK our shot total was a little low, shots inside the box a little low, but again we won 52% of our duels, which showed the effort in the group.
We caught up to them because they possessed the ball for long stretches in the first half but we caught up to them. That was only 51 to 49 so I was pleased about that. That showed that in the second half, we came back. My thoughts are that we need to find a way to be a little more dangerous but the fact of the matter is this isn't an easy place to play. That’s a good team. We were able to get a point. You look at a calendar at the beginning of the year and you think you can get a point from a really good team, you take it.
On Michal Barrios speed against Nouhou Tolo…
That was only when he was cramping. In a footrace, if Nouhou [Tolo] wasn't cramping, I'd still put my money on Nouhou. But he shut him down, he got a couple of chances, got in there when it was towards the end because the game was stretched but Nouhou did a good job.
On looking ahead…
Well RSL is obviously in the hunt for a playoff spot so they’re going to come out the same way FC Dallas did here in the first half. They’re going to try to push the tempo and get out on us early. We need to withstand that but again, I'm happy with the fight in my team. They gutted it out tonight and again it was a deserved point.
On Osvaldo Alonso's performance…
It’s like fine wine. Don't you get better as you get older? Like a fine wine. He still has that ability to kick it up a notch when he feels he might have been a little disrespected. [Mauro] Diaz put his foot on the ball there and that gets Ozzy going. So it's good to see.
On the final stretch of games to end the regular season…
At some point we need to start winning some games. That's number one but you know soccer is pretty good right now in the Pacific Northwest so credit to Carl [Robinson], credit to Caleb [Porter], we've done well.
Do you miss Jordan Morris?
Of course we do, a couple of those balls that Nico tried to play into [Will] Bruin, you know maybe a faster guy gets in between [Walker] Zimmerman or [Matt] Hedges, but yeah we miss him.
Seattle midfielder Osvaldo Alonso
Thoughts on the game?
If you come here to Dallas, tough place to play, and walk away with a point… We are very happy with that. We know we have a lot more games to play but happy with the point.
On offensive struggles…
It was a tough game. We come here, they have a good defense. We didn't get a lot of chances today but we played well in the back. We walk away with one point and you know we are very happy with that.
On looking ahead…
We have to have the same mentality. We've gone 13 games without losing. We have to find a way to get the point, but you know our goal is to focus, train for Real Salt Lake and win that game.
Seattle defender Kelvin Leerdam
Have you played in heat before?
Preseason sometimes, depends on where you are in Spain. I've been to Abu Dhabi. It's hot over there. I've been in these conditions before.
Does it drag some energy out of the game?
You have to play smart for sure. If you don't have the ball you are going to run a lot. You’re going to lose a lot of energy. You need to be smart, especially on your own half with the ball and try to let them lose more energy. I felt like this game, especially the first twenty minutes, [FC Dallas] tried to put pressure on and we didn't find a way to play good football. We just waited until they were tired because you can't do that for 90 minutes. Then we got a little control of the game. In the second half, I think it could have gone both ways, but we had enough control in the game.
On last chance of the game...
Yeah I think it was a one-two with Nico, I'm not sure but I got by the center back. If it was a little bit to the side, maybe I could have shot, but I saw Victor [Rodriguez] coming from the left side to the box. I wanted to put it back for the shot but the defender read the play. Sometimes you think, I should have shot and if it's the last shot, I should have shot, but you know, I tried to make the best decision but in the end it didn't work.
On the unbeaten streak...
I’m happy with the way we performed. You don't lose, teams are going to recognize you. That's a good team. They have a good base of fundamentals. Of course, we wanted the three points, but if you can't win just don't lose the game. We are on a good run and [we need] to just keep going this way and try not to draw anymore.
FC Dallas Head Coach Oscar Pareja