It was an incredible Saturday evening in Frisco, Texas, with the sun setting and the temperature at a perfect 75-80 degrees. Toyota Stadium was packed. Jam packed. Lines at the North side to enter took a while to get through and when I looked back to see the line behind me it had grown with even more people arriving to watch the game. Keep in mind I entered with about 25 minutes till match time.
The fans piled in with the East Stand, South End, and the Dallas Beer Garden all getting the majority of the 18.5k that showed up to the game. Many youth squads were in attendance as the Dallas Cup is starting soon. There were two large youth squads seated near the Seattle Sounders away fans and they even started joining in with their chants! Heart wrenching to witness.
Also, does anyone have any information on why Cuauhtemoc Blanco ditched the scarfing ceremony? They were advertising it all week and then Clark Hunt comes in and scarfs it. Definitely curious as to what happened. [Editor's note: Blanco was a total no show.]
Different Year, Same Mistake
There's no doubting that the foul warranted a red card. Even though boots were flying everywhere as Kellyn Acosta's high boot wasn't the only one that could have been spotted in the opening minutes of the match. It was also strange that the referee gave advantage to Seattle and went back to give the red. I've been told that it's possible but that's the first time I've personally seen that happen if my memory isn't just completely failing right now. Normally a red cardable offense stops plays dead, especially a kick to the stomach area like this one.
Now is not the time to start the trend we had last year of getting multiple red cards in successive games. This season has started off almost too perfectly and there's no sense in discipline getting out of hand like last season. Let's hope this is just an anomaly in a very disciplined season with no more red cards.
Parked Bus Meets Parked Bus
With Seattle missing five of their key starters for various reasons, and being the away team, Sigi seemed to have opted to play much more conservatively than the Sounders are generally used to. Unfortunately what ended up happening once FC Dallas went down a man, the tempo overall plummeted to a crawl.
With so much energy in the stadium, two big Western Conference powers colliding in front of 18,000 fans, both with key players missing and B teamers aiming to place their claim on starting positions, it was a travesty that a red card had to be pulled out so early in the game. It really did ruin the entire game for all spectators involved, and unfortunate that it came when the spectators were out in force. The pace dropped, the attack of both teams was almost not there save for a couple of very good heart pounding chances for the Sounders towards the end of the match. If we had kept 11 men on the field there is no doubt in me that we would've taken the three points from this game. But the fans recognized the effort, we all should, and battling the Sounders to a 0-0 draw after 70 minutes a man down is no easy order. The applause at the end of the game was heart warming and deserving, on to Portland boys.
My most exciting player to watch from the night was Victor Ulloa. There was a reason that Seattle had no shots on target, had no kind of rhythm in whatever attack they attempted to mount, and it was this defensive mid that held down the fort. He played the simple passes, kept possession well, and would do the hustling up and down the field wherever Seattle passed the ball to, giving them limited time on the ball.
Lastly, your fan quote of the night:
"Ryan, stop talking about how Chad Barrett has hair now."
Who was your most exciting player to watch on the evening? Did you notice that Chad Barrett has hair now? Does this feel more like a loss or a win to y'all? Could this be in contention for most boring game of the season even being so early in the season? Let me know in the comments below!