Cookie Consent by Free Privacy Policy Generator Skip to content

The Review: Seattle Sounders at FC Dallas

Do the Sounders have a finishing problem?

Last Updated
3 min read
Dustin Safranek-USA TODAY Sports

A week after the Seattle Sounders scored their most goals in a match in three years, they returned to their scoreless ways against FC Dallas in a 0-0 draw. It wasn’t necessarily a bad performance, and they were the better team on the road, but the early season malaise is lasting a little too long and fans are getting antsy.

I find this match to be one of the more difficult ones to analyze this season. Over the course of the match I thought Seattle looked like the team more likely to score and go on to win the game, but they never really got into a groove. The context is they were on the road in Frisco, Texas, a place at which they don’t historically do well at. On the other hand, it’s another boring game for us to watch.

Let’s get into it.

Dissecting the Narrative

Don’t Bore Us, Get To The Chorus!

The Sounders showed us last week what their realized potential can look like, albeit against a good Montreal team that was at the end of grueling road trip. It wasn’t necessarily the five goals that gave us hope, but the patterns of play. There was urgency on the ball, dangerous attacking ideas from the front 4, and a pep in their step that had been missing all year.

Those things weren’t present against Dallas. Going on the road in MLS and expecting to dominate isn’t realistic, but Seattle were given an opportunity to gain some ground on another Western Conference foe and squandered their chance. They were the better team on Saturday night and created the better chances to win the game, but that’s not putting 3 points on the board. That’s now at least three times this season they’ve drawn with a Western Conference team they should be finishing above in the standings.

The schedule is only getting harder and the margins are getting thinner. The Sounders have to start putting wins on the board.

Do the Sounders have a finishing problem?

Probably everyone’s favorite thing to talk about this season: finishing! In weeks past I’ve argued that the main issue plaguing the Sounders has been a chance creation problem. Simply put, Seattle hasn’t been creating chances in a repeatable fashion. I still think this is true, but I want to talk about two chances from the Dallas match in particular.

In the 41st minute Cristian Roldan missed a “sitter” that was actually much more difficult than both the expect goals value and the eye test credit it. Jordan Morris crosses it in from a wide area and Omar Gonzalez inexplicably allows it to bounce in the area, thus throwing off Roldan’s timing. In the 59th minute, the roles were reversed as Roldan is crossing it to the back post, with the ball floating over Raul Ruidíaz and Paul Arriola. Morris is not expecting it to fall to him, but it does, and he puts it wide.

I think it’s totally acceptable to want Morris and Roldan to do better with these chances given the circumstances, but if your two best chances in a match are crosses from wide areas, your attack is not firing on all cylinders.

What happens next?

The Sounders have dug themselves into a hole early in the season. They’ve thrown away a bunch of points against teams they should be beating comfortably, and now their schedule is about to get a whole lot harder. They can’t really afford to keep being boring and not picking up results. Seven of their next nine matches are against Western Conference teams ahead of them in the standings. The other two matches are against DC United and a continuation of the postponed Philadelphia Union match. They simply have to start putting points on the board in this run of games.