The Seattle Sounders secured three massive points on Wednesday night with a gutsy 1-0 road win over FC Dallas at Toyota Stadium on Wednesday night.
Fielding a heavily rotated side, the first half was a relatively cagey affair. Both sides traded possession and struggled to carve out many guilt-edge chances. Goalkeeper Spencer Richey produced a clutch save in the 20th minute on a shot from Jesus Ferreira, while the Sounders produced the best chance of the opening interval when Nicolas Benezet picked out Kelyn Rowe at the back post, but his header went over the bar.
The disappointment didn’t last long, as Raúl Ruidíaz made an instant impact off the bench, scoring mere seconds after entering the match in the 63rd minute. The Peruvian striker produced a moment of magic inside the box, collecting his own rebound off a blocked shot before shaping his second shot into the top corner.
FC Dallas then pushed numbers forward for the duration of the match in search of the equalizer, only for each attack to be repelled by some spirited defending from the Sounders.
The Seattle Sounders face a quick turnaround once again as they prepare for a rematch of the 2020 MLS Cup against Columbus Crew (2:30 p.m. PT; FOX, FOX Deportes, 950 KJR AM, El Rey 1360AM) on Saturday at Lower.com Field.
Strength in Depth
Much has been made of the veterans returning from injury and bolstering the side. But as Wednesday night’s perforamce in Texas showed, there is plenty of quality depth throughout the squad. Atencio and Danny Leyva were solid at the base of midfield, while Benezet and AB Cissoko put in very strong performances. Richey picked up another shutout and another road win in just his second appearance of the campaign.
Sounders Never Quit
Through a combination of fixture congestion, injuries and international absences, the Sounders dropped points during a brief stretch in which the team went 1-3-1. Since then, they’ve rattled off three consecutive victories. That stretch includes a comprehensive win over Liga MX side Tigres UANL, a historic demolition of the Portland Timbers, and now a result that saw the team break a 10-match winless streak at FC Dallas.
What else is there left to say about Ruidíaz? The Seattle Sounders striker is firmly in the lead for the MLS Golden Boot race with 14 tallies, but it’s the types of goals he’s scoring that makes the feat even more jaw-dropping. Known as a poacher, his latest batch of goals in all competitions includes a 40-yard golazo at Austin FC, a Panenka against Tigres, a rocket of a free kick at Portland, and an inch-perfect curler at Dallas. There is nothing this guy can’t do.