It was quite a journey, ups and downs, rants and praises. It all came down to a late night showdown in Seattle in front of almost 40k Sounder fans Monday night. FC Dallas came in needing at least a goal to stay in it, with Seattle needing a low scoring draw or a win in order to pass to the next level. We all had our doubts, don't lie, and the odds were stacked heavily against us in the run up to the game. Not many people I know expected much out of this game, it was almost expected that this would be a formality to get the Sounders to the next stage to face the LA Galaxy in what should have most MLS fans salivating at seeing a rematch between those 2 sides. We watched from Dallas though, hoping to see our team take the field and provide a twist in the plot, or go out swinging.
Incredibly Proud Performance
It goes without saying that we should be proud of what we saw on display from Oscar Pareja's men on Monday night. The fight they displayed, the forward thinking, the crisp passing and the overall performance had me feeling very optimistic during the game that we could be having one more home game here in Frisco.
Moises Hernandez and Je-Vaughn Watson were up and down the flanks, showing pace and an attack mindset from the outset. Although Mo made an early mistake of getting a yellow which made him be much more cautious for the rest of the game, he was solid the rest of the game. Matt Hedges and Zach Loyd kept Martins and Dempsey at bay with Chris Seitz being there to bail them out fantastically. Victor Ulloa and Michel complimented each other well, Michel distributed and switched the plays while Ulloa was an absolute workhorse in the middle of the field cutting off the supply to Obafemi Martins and Clint Dempsey whenever he could.
Fabian Castillo was making amazing runs, he put his heart out there on the field and anyone with eyes could see that. Just a couple of naive mistakes of wasting good opportunities blemished his performance. Blas Perez could not stop running, his pressure on the back 2 and the goalkeeper was constant and never-ending, the work rate was phenomenal. Tesho Akindele was a little nervous it seemed like, but there were times where he combined well and held the ball up well when Blas wasn't. Mauro Diaz was incredible on the ball, I wanted the team to pass to him every chance they got no matter if it was tactically sound or not.
There have been some questions regarding his substitution timings, but you have to realize for almost the entire game we were playing well. Honestly, it looked like the breakthrough was going to happen at any second and with every push forward from FC Dallas. The whole team was showing energy that really made it hard for Oscar to take any of them out of the game. The unit was working together, creating chances, but Seattle was just holding firm over and over again. It was finally decided that we'd make our subs late in the game trying to make some last minute impact, but the subs didn't have too much time and couldn't unlock the Seattle defense unfortunately. 0-0 loss that had me bummed, but not devastated.
Last most exciting player to watch award for the year goes to the big man between the sticks. Chris Seitz. The guy played one of his most important games with FC Dallas on Monday night and came up huge when we needed him. Absolutely clutch saves in a hostile environment with MVP candidates taking shots at you. Just an outstanding performance by our goalkeeper and sincerely hope he's with us next year as well.
Long journey, how did everyone feel about the final game? Anyone think Seitz was not the best FCD man on the field? Who even saw us getting this far during this offseason?! It's been a pleasure writing for y'all, thank you for reading through this season. Leave comments below!