Parking was a headache, and that was a good thing. FC Dallas fans came out in force, and brought their voices with them. Seattle Sounders away fans were also in force, scattered throughout the stadium but also focused in the usual visitors section. It was a chilly night in Frisco, Texas, I regret not wearing warmer clothing as the night wore on but the match had me distracted from the cold and focused on the heated battle down on the pitch. In what is most likely not their last playoff home game in this post-season run, but could be if we get unlucky, the fans voiced their support to a team that had gone way above pre-season expectations.
Energized First Half
FC Dallas came out applying pressure immediately, hoping to get a quick start to the game and get off on the right foot. Unfortunately this was a different Seattle team than the one we beat a few weeks ago, with Scott pairing up with Marshall they controlled the air and no crosses were getting to our forwards. The crowd around me started to become frustrated during the game as it seemed like the whole team was playing well except in the final 3rd. There was no middle of the field attack, all of it came from the wings and Seattle seemed to be expecting it.
Every corner kick the mini-scarves were swinging, the crowd got up on their feet and got loud for their team. The breakthrough finally came with a fun run from Escobar and a very silly tackle coming from Marco Pappa inside the box. Easiest penalty the ref for the game would ever have to call, and Mr. 100% put it into the back of the net for the lead and also did another...unique and interesting celebration.
Defense Did It's Job
Despite the goal, the defense really did its' job. Seattle is one of the most potent attacks in the league with Obafemi Martins and Clint Dempsey pairing up top, and neither of them got on the board thanks to the back 5 of FC Dallas. Raul deserves special praise here with a couple of clutch saves that kept FCD in the game. Zach Loyd got me to forget Dempsey was there, and got incredible air on some of the corners and jump balls floating around. Moises Hernandez was up and down the field and really shut down Lamar Neagle. Neagle was one of Seattle's worst performers during the game, and Hernandez was a huge part of it by putting pressure and not letting him have any kind of time. Matt Hedges was just as amazing this whole game as he has been all year, capping it off with a timely goal-line clearance that had the crowd cheering as if it was a goal scored by the home side.
My most exciting player to watch was without a doubt Raul Fernandez. The Peruvian kept FC Dallas in the game with clutch saves, and did not give any rebounds to the normally opportunistic Seattle forwards. We'll need another outstanding performance from Raul on our trip to Seattle next week though, as we seek another game at home before this offseason.
Who was your most exciting player of the match? Did the defense do its' job, or should've pitched a shutout? Will ?Mauro fix all our offensive woes and lead us to the promised land? Leave some comments!