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Feeling flat in Frisco

The Sounders attack slid back into their slump on the road against Dallas in a 0-0 draw.

Last Updated
4 min read
Chris Jones-USA TODAY Sports

Coming off of their 5-0 win over CF Montreal, the Seattle Sounders went down to Frisco, Texas to see if they could get a run going against FC Dallas. The game ended 0-0, with Seattle surely ruing another missed opportunity to grab three points against a bad team.

The Sounders created a few good chances in the first half after an early look from Dallas’s Eugene Ansah in the 6th minute forced a good save from Stefan Frei. Jordan Morris looked particularly dangerous with a hand in two of Seattle’s best first half looks. First in the 30th minute he nearly had the opening goal, but Dallas goalkeeper Maarten Paes was able to block the shot on the goal line and fortunately for Dallas the rebound bounced along the line but ultimately rolled away from danger. Then in the 41st minute Morris turned provider, playing an excellent cross from the right side for Cristian Roldan at the back post but Roldan’s attempted redirect didn’t make enough contact to put it back towards goal.

Dallas were much more the aggressors in the second half, with forward Petar Musa forcing Frei into another diving save just minutes after kickoff. Sebastian Lletget nearly had a goal for Dallas in the 53rd - and certainly would have with a better finish - as he had a virtually open header with Nouhou trailing and struggling to impede his progress to goal, but the header went just wide of the post.

Morris went similarly close in the 59th minute, again via a connection with Cristian Roldan. This time it was Roldan serving in a cross from the right side with both Morris and Raúl Ruidíaz for targets. The ball found Morris for a header at the back post, but his header went into the ground and bounced just outside the post. The Sounders did not register another shot in the final half-hour plus stoppage time.

FC Dallas will be glad to have gone into this game severely shorthanded due to injuries and come out with a point, while the Sounders will have to pick themselves up quickly as they host the white hot Vancouver Whitecaps next Saturday.

Key moments

6 - A shot for Dallas from the top of the box takes a deflection on its way in, forcing Frei to make a diving save to palm the ball away from the corner.

27 - Albert Rusnák misses by about a foot with a shot from just inside the area after some good work to create the shot by Cristian Roldan and Raúl Ruidíaz.

30 - Morris nearly finds the opener after sitting down Paul Arriola, but Maarten Paes gets enough on his block to force the rebound down the goal line.

41 - Morris finds Cristian Roldan for a great look with a cross from the right side, but Roldan’s first-time effort can’t redirect the ball towards goal.

49 - Peter Musa rips a low shot from distance that’s headed for goal, but Frei dives to his right and puts it out for a corner.

53 - Nouhou gets bailed out by a poor finish from Sebastian Lletget as the Dallas player gets a practically free header that goes wide with Nouhou trailing him.

59 - Cristian Roldan hits a left-footed cross to the back post with both Ruidíaz and Morris waiting. Morris gets his head to it, but it goes outside the post.

Quick thoughts

What good is depth that goes unused: I get it, Brian Schmetzer has often espoused the idea that his starters tend to be the players he feels are most likely to score/win a game for the team, and that often times those players have earned the opportunity to prove that. But I wrote about the strength of the team’s depth before the season kicked off for a reason, and especially in a game where the team looked tired almost from the first whistle against a team missing many of their top players, why not give that depth a genuine chance to impact the game. Last week it was the pair of substitutes Danny Musovski and Dylan Teves who provided the cherry on top with the fifth goal. This week they both appeared, but until the 86th minute João Paulo – who came on in the 65th minute for Josh Atencio – was the only substitute on the field for Seattle. Despite JP’s inclusion, the team didn’t generate a single shot in the last 34 minutes of play (counting the three minutes of stoppage time); surely an early substitute or two wouldn’t have made the attack less impactful.

Sweet Stefan Frei: I don’t think anyone was campaigning for Stefan Frei to lose his starting spot, even after the loss to the LA Galaxy, despite Andrew Thomas’s strong performances in his place to start the season. Still, any time the team’s stalwart GK is out and another player does well in his absence it can be easy to forget just how good Frei really is. The 0-0 draw and point that come with it won’t do much to allay anyone’s fears about the team’s start, but the clean sheet was well earned by Frei and moves him one tally closer to the 2nd place spot in the league’s all-time shutout records.

Slowly seeing more João Paulo: João Paulo made his second appearance of the season, more than doubling the number of minutes he played last week - against Montreal he entered in the 78th minute, tonight he came on in the 65th. We may still have more waiting to do before we see him return to the starting lineup as the team wisely work him back in slowly, but him being able to play a bigger role should help to improve the team’s quality and diversity of approaches in possession and attack.

Notable quote

Man of the match

Stefan Frei – Frei only had to make two saves, but they were both vintage Stefan Frei saves. Those two plays meant the Sounders kept a clean sheet and don’t come home empty-handed.