One game in 100 words: The Sounders opened up the match with Clint Dempsey and Obafemi Martins clearly attacking the goal in hopes of gaining an early lead that would pressure FC Dallas by creating a two-goal hole. The Toros battled and came away with a few chances of their own, but the Sounders back line held firm. In the middle of the second half, Dallas couldn’t muster any very legitimate opportunities: Fabian Castillo’s runs were effective and Blas Perez wasn’t able to find open space that he could utilize. Past the 70-minute mark, the away squad began to enter desperation mode, scrambling more than is customary to maintain possession of the ball on the Seattle’s side. Unfortunately, a breakthrough didn’t occur for FC Dallas, the Sounders managing to advance on their one away goal.
FC Dallas: None
Moments that mattered
61’ — Castillo just wide — Fabian Castillo flew forward, taking it on the wing to muster somet offensive attack for FC Dallas, but Seattle defenders surrounded him to force a giveaway that, fortunately, skipped to Mauro Diaz, who now had the Colombian speedster breaking forward and delivered a deft lobbed ball toward frame. Castillo zipped into the penalty area, facing goalkeeper Stefan Frei 1-on-1 before lofting a chip wide left. It was arguably the best sequence the Toros could’ve utilized for the goal.
82’ — Escobar goes down, no call — Dallas had enjoyed the fruits of a penalty kick in the first leg. But when midfielder Andres Escobar collapsed in the box, although it seemed like typical foul in the box, referees decided to forgo the call, assuming they didn’t want a PK to dictate the already physical atmosphere. Surely, if Escobar was given the foul, then the game’s momentum would’ve flipped in an instant. However, that possibility didn’t occur, and from this point forward, Seattle remained in a great position to seal the victory.
84’ — Seitz stonewalls Dempsey — Just when you were about to finally count FC Dallas out of the game, goalie Chris Seitz made a wonderful point-blank stop on Clint Dempsey. Defender Matt Hedges didn’t deal with back pressure from Brad Evans well, misfiring a clear right into the feet of the ex-Fulham man directly outside of the penalty area. Seitz quickly rushed out and dramatically sprawled to the ground, and the hard toe poke from Dempsey rapidly deflected to the sideline. Although it was late in the competition, Dallas was rescued from almost instant defeat.
Stefan Frei; DeAndre Yedlin, Chad Marshall, Zach Scott, Leonardo Gonzalez; Brad Evans, Osvaldo Alonso (Micheal Azira 56’), Gonzalo Pineda, Marco Pappa (Lamar Neagle 59’); Clint Dempsey (Djimi Traore 90’+ 3’) , Obafemi Martins
Chris Seitz; Je-Vaughn Watson, Zach Loyd, Matt Hedges, Moises Hernandez (Walker Zimmerman 85’); Victor Ulloa, Michel (David Texeira 86’), Fabian Castillo, Mauro Diaz, Tesho Akindele; Blas Perez (Andres Escobar 80’)