SEATTLE, WASH. – Sounders FC defeated FC Dallas 1-0 in the third match of its best-of-three, Round One match Friday night on the Emerald Queen Casino Pitch at Lumen Field. Albert Rusnák scored the game’s lone goal, with Stefan Frei recording his 16th shutout in MLS play as Seattle secured its spot in the Western Conference Semifinals.
Seattle got on the board first courtesy of Rusnák. After a Dallas turnover just outside its own area, João Paulo jumped on the loose ball, slotting a pass to Rusnák, who finished past Dallas’ Maarten Paes for the goal. The strike marked the Slovakian international’s second playoff goal in the last three matches, and seventh goal in MLS play this year. All of Rusnák’s tallies this year have been match-winners.
Seattle’s defense remained stout throughout the entirety of the match, holding Dallas without a shot until the 89th minute of play.
The Rave Green now face LAFC in the semifinal fixture, with the date and time of the match to be announced at a later date. The two sides faced off twice during the regular season, with the clubs drawing 0-0 in Seattle on March 18 before LAFC won 1-0 in Southern California on June 21.
Single-match tickets for Sounders FC’s Western Conference Semifinals match go on sale to the general public tomorrow, November 11, at 10:00 a.m. PT. Tickets can be purchased at SoundersFC.com/Tickets or by calling 877-657-4625. Tickets are not available at the box office. Group tickets and premium experiences are also available. Fans should call 877-657-4625 for more information.
- After beating FC Dallas two matches to one the opening series of the MLS Cup Playoffs, Sounders FC advances to the 2023 Western Conference Semifinals. Seattle now faces rival LAFC at Lumen Field on November 25-26 (final date to be determined by MLS). Seattle earned home-field advantage by finishing second in the Western Conference standings during the MLS regular season (LAFC finished third in the West).
- Sounders FC advances to the Semifinal stage of the MLS Cup Playoffs for the 12th time in club history, the most Conference Semifinal appearances since the Rave Green entered the league in 2009. Real Salt Lake, LA Galaxy and New York Red Bulls are each tied with nine semifinal appearances.
- Seattle and LAFC have met twice in the MLS Cup Playoffs previously. Sounders FC first defeated the Supporters’ Shield-winning Black and Gold in the 2019 Western Conference Final, sending Seattle on its way to claim its second MLS Cup title weeks later. In 2020, the clubs met again – this time in the first round of postseason action – and Sounders FC again secured a victory.
- Following tonight’s match at Lumen Field, Sounders FC’s record in the MLS Cup Playoffs moves to 24-14-7 dating back to the club’s 2009 inaugural MLS season. Seattle’s 24 postseason wins are four more than the next closest team since the Rave Green joined the league (LA Galaxy, 20 MLS Cup Playoffs victories since 2009).
- Tonight’s match marked Seattle’s 11th all-time postseason contest against FC Dallas. The Rave Green are now 6-3-2 in those contests, advancing on five of six separate occasions. Prior to this year’s opening postseason series, the two sides most recently played in the 2020 Western Conference Semifinals, with Seattle winning 1-0.
- Lumen Field continues to be a fortress for the Rave Green in the MLS Cup Playoffs. Sounders FC is currently riding a 19-match unbeaten streak in the postseason dating back to 2014. This run ties the MLS record for an active unbeaten streak in the postseason (New England Revolution).
- Recording the opening goal in the 36th minute of play, midfielder Albert Rusnák recorded his second strike in the 2023 MLS Cup Playoffs and his second tally in three matches. The Slovakian international scored the opening goal in Match One of the FC Dallas series on October 30 (a 2-0 win for Seattle).
- Rusnák’s goal marked his seventh strike for the Rave Green in 2023 in the regular-season and MLS Cup Playoffs. All of those goals have been match-winners.
- Fellow midfielder João Paulo recorded his first postseason assist on Rusnák’s goal, his sixth overall helper between MLS regular-season and postseason play this year.
- Cristian Roldan achieved a major career milestone on Friday evening, becoming just the third Sounders FC player in the club’s MLS era to hit 300 appearances for the club in all competitions. The University of Washington product joins current teammate Stefan Frei (352 appearances) and former midfield counterpart Osvaldo Alonso (339 appearances) in this rare club.
- Goalkeeper Stefan Frei continues building upon his single-season best in shutouts. Tonight was Frei’s second clean-sheet in three MLS Cup Playoffs matches, adding to his 14 shutouts in the regular season (a Sounders FC single-season record). Frei’s combined 16 shutouts lead MLS.
- Head Coach Brian Schmetzer’s all-time record in the MLS Cup Playoffs moves to 17-5-3, keeping him in third place in MLS history. He trails former Sounders FC Head Coach Sigi Schmid (26-16-8) and Bruce Arena (35-14-6) in the all-time postseason ranks.
Seattle Sounders FC 1 – FC Dallas 0
Friday, November 10, 2023
Venue: Emerald Queen Casino Pitch at Lumen Field
Referee: Fotis Bazakos
Assistants: Micheal Barwegen, Nick Uranga
Fourth Official: Pierre-Luc Lauziere
VAR: Younes Marrakchi
Weather: 49 degrees and cloudy
SEA – Albert Rusnák (João Paulo) 36’
FCD – Jáder Obrian (caution) 35’
FCD – Ema Twumasi (caution) 71’
FCD – Paul Arriola (caution) 85’
LINEUPS & STATS
Sounders FC – Stefan Frei – captain; Alex Roldan, Yeimar Gómez Andrade, Jackson Ragen, Nouhou; João Paulo (Obed Vargas 87’), Josh Atencio; Cristian Roldan, Albert Rusnák, Léo Chú (Nicolás Lodeiro 70’); Jordan Morris
Substitutes not used: Stefan Cleveland, Xavier Arreaga, Cody Baker, Kelyn Rowe, Raúl Ruidíaz, Héber, Fredy Montero
Total shots: 16
Shots on goal: 4
FC Dallas – Maarten Paes; Sam Junqua, Nkosi Tafari, Sebastien Ibeagha, Ema Twumasi (Tsiki Ntsabeleng 80’); Asier Illarramendi, Liam Fraser (Jesús Jiménez 69’); Paul Arriola, Paxton Pomykal (Sebastian Lletget 80’), Bernard Kamungo (Eugene Ansah 59’); Jáder Obrian (Dante Sealy 69’)
Substitutes not used: Jimmy Maurer, Facundo Quignon, José Martínez, Amet Korça
Total shots: 1
Shots on goal: 1
- SOUNDERS FC -