The game in 100 words (or less): FC Dallas’ dream of completing the first-ever treble in MLS history is hanging by a thread after running into the Seattle Sounders buzzsaw Sunday night in the first leg of the Western Conference semifinals first leg at CenturyLink Field. After an opening 45 minutes that saw the sides enter the intermission scoreless, an unexpected blitzkrieg saw the Sounders, one of the hottest teams to finish the regular season (8W-4D-2L since naming Brian Schmetzer the interim head coach on July 26), hit the U.S. Open Cup and Supporters’ Shield winners
once twice three times in a span of eight minutes, from 50-58, to put themselves 90 (seemingly) straightforward minutes from the conference finals. Nelson Valdez, the Sounders’ hero in the knockout round on Thursday, bagged the first on 50 minutes before Nicolas Lodeiro, whose arrival perfectly coincided with Schmetzer’s appointment, scored his fifth and sixth goals since coming to MLS five and eight minutes later.
Three moments that mattered
50′ — Valdez heads home at the back post for 1-0 — Just as they did on Thursday, Joevin Jones lofted the cross for Valdez, who went up and headed home to put the Sounders into the lead.
55′ — Lodeiro taps home from Morris’s cross — Jordan Morris absolutely abused Maynor Figueroa and Matt Hedges en route to setting up Lodeiro for the Sounders’ second.
58′ — Lodeiro finishes a lightning-quick counter for 3-0 — 13 seconds from the fingertips of Stefan Frei, to the back of the net on the other end of the field. Chugga chugga choo choo, the Sounders hype train pulls out of the station.
Men of the match: Nicolas Lodeiro
Goalscorers: Valdez (50′), Lodeiro (55′, 58′)