Nicolas Lodeiro scored a highlight-reel goal in the 41st minute but the Seattle Sounders conceded a second-half equalizer to Maximiliano Urruti and an 89th-minute game-winner to Carlos Ruiz in a 2-1 defeat to Western Conference-leading FC Dallas at Toyota Stadium.
The result denied the Sounders a chance to clinch a spot in the Audi 2016 MLS Cup Playoffs, which they would have done with a victory or a loss by the Portland Timbers to the Colorado Rapids. But the loss snapped Seattle’s six-game unbeaten streak and the Timbers won their home finale, leaving both teams’ playoff fate in limbo until the final week of the season.
Lodeiro scored his fourth goal of the season off a gorgeous, bending free kick from distance that he slipped past Dallas goalkeeper Chris Seitz to give Seattle the 1-0 advantage into halftime.
Neither team managed to crack the scoresheet in the second half until a foul on Sounders winger Herculez Gomez set FCD up with a dangerous free kick from outside the right side of Seattle’s penalty box in the 79th minute. The ensuing cross was initially cleared off the line but Urruti cashed in on the rebound to give FCD the equalizer.
Ruiz then bagged the game-sealing tally in the 89th minute, smashing a volley past Frei off a chip over the top from midfielder Mauro Diaz to seal FCD’s 2-1 win.
The final result stung sharply for the Sounders, who had a goal taken off the board in controversial fashion midway through the first half. Gomez found himself with a wide-open volley on a loose ball following a Lodeiro corner kick, but Sounders center back Roman Torres was whistled for a foul on Seitz by referee Marc Geiger and Gomez’s tally was disallowed.
With the result, the Sounders fell to 13-14-6 on the season and into fifth place in the Western Conference ahead of their regular season-finale against Real Salt Lake at CenturyLink Field on Oct, 23. The Sounders can clinch a berth in the postseason for the eighth straight year with a win in that match, or they can qualify depending on results for Sporting Kansas City and Portland.