FC Dallas had a mountainous task ahead of them on Sunday evening after losing 3-0 in Seattle seven days prior in the first leg and they ultimately weren’t able to overcome the deficit, which brought about an end to a memorable 2016 season for the club despite the anti-climactic finish that it got. Goals from Tesho Akindele and Maximiliano Urruti were enough for a 2-1 win on the night, but nowhere near enough for advancement as Seattle progressed with a 4-2 aggregate triumph.
Even though Dallas knew before the start of the game that they needed to score at least three times and five by the end which they didn’t get close to, the offensive performance was a good one as the team managed to generate a lot of chances even in the absence of the influential Mauro Diaz. A total of twenty-three chances were created, two of which were scored and four of which forced Stefan Frei into making saves which was a decent output from the team in response to last week’s catastrophe but of course it wasn’t enough in the end.
We also saw an attacking side of the team we haven’t often seen this year which is probably not too surprising given the fact that they were chasing a 3-0 deficit to begin with. Dallas have had the lowest crossing average in the league in 2016 prior to last night’s game with just 13.8, but put in that many crosses within the first twenty-five minutes and twenty-four in total. The crosses led to the two goals that were scored and posed plenty of problems for Seattle’s defense with fullbacks Atiba Harris and Maynor Figueroa pushing up high to offer regular offensive support and stretching the Seattle back line well for much of the game.
The team left itself wide open at the back and ripe for pickings in transition with their crowned pursuit of looking for goals to etch their way back into the tie, which Seattle punished unsurprisingly. Even at 1-0 up and with plenty of time to find two more goals to find a route back in the tie, Dallas played far too open and were impatient in their search for scoring the necessary goals to level the aggregate score and this allowed plenty of room for Seattle to play with and the only surprising thing after all of that is that the Sounders didn’t score more than once to profit from it.
With all that said, their equalizer didn’t come from one of several good counter-attacks that they created, but from a Dallas creation with a giveaway at the back from Walker Zimmerman who lost the ball in a terrible spot. Nicolas Lodeiro’s ensuing goal compounded the misery for Dallas and in particular both Matt Hedges and Zimmerman, who have had a two-legged tie to forget after what was a formidable year for the central defensive pairing at the heart of FCD’s defense.
So ends a great year for the club that resulted in two trophies with the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup and the Supporters’ Shield as well as a first ever advancement into the CONCACAF Champions League knockout stages, but unfortunately, success in the MLS Cup playoffs was a step too far for this team. So long 2016 and bring on 2017.