For the second straight year, Sounders FC and FC Dallas will meet with a spot in the Western Conference Championship on the line. Just as the Sounders took down the LA Galaxy team that eliminated them last year, Dallas will be looking for revenge against the Rave Green.
The two sides have played some hotly contested, defensive battles in the last two seasons. In fact, the Hoops haven’t scored a goal from the run of play in their last four matchups with Seattle. Ahead of Sunday’s first leg at CenturyLink Field, let’s take a look back at those four games.
2014 Conference Semifinals Leg One: Sounders FC 1, FC Dallas 1
In the first-ever playoff match between the Sounders and FC Dallas, Seattle came from behind to earn a 1-1 draw at Toyota Stadium on Osvaldo Alonso’s second-half header. The Hoops took the lead in the 32nd minute, when Marco Pappa was called for a foul inside the box and Michel buried the ensuing penalty kick. Pappa would make up for the mistake, however, delivering the cross that found Alonso for the all-important equalizer shortly after halftime. It was Alonso’s third career postseason goal, which tied Eddie Johnson for the most in club history.
FC Dallas had won eight of its last nine home games heading into the match, but the Hoops were forced to play without midfielder Mauro Diaz due to a one-game suspension. The 1-1 result meant Sounders FC could advance with a victory or scoreless draw in leg two.
2014 Conference Semifinals Leg Two: Sounders FC 0, FC Dallas 0
Although the final score would suggest otherwise, the second leg was chock-full of scoring chances and kept the 38,912 fans at CenturyLink Field on the edge of their seats all night. In the end, Seattle goalkeeper Stefan Frei recorded the first shutout of his playoff career, and that was all the Rave Green needed to advance to their second Conference Championship in three years. The Sounders became the first Supporters’ Shield winner since 2011 to advance out of the Semifinal round.
2015 MLS Regular Season: Sounders FC 0, FC Dallas 0
Even without the likes of Clint Dempsey, Obafemi Martins, Chad Marshall, Alonso or Pappa, Sounders FC managed to secure a road point and end FC Dallas’ three-game winning streak. It was a bit of a disappointment, however, considering the Hoops played with 10 men for most of the match after Kellyn Acosta received a red card in the 17th minute for a rash challenge on Andy Rose.
The Sounders owned 63 percent of possession in the match but were unable to generate many scoring chances. For the first time in club history, both Seattle and its opponent failed to record a shot on target.
2015 MLS Regular Season: Sounders FC 3, FC Dallas 0
This matchup appeared to be heading for another low-scoring result, but the Sounders would explode for three second-half goals to jump atop the Supporters’ Shield standings. Lamar Neagle found the back of the net on a long-distance strike in the 55th minute, ending a streak of 271 consecutive scoreless minutes between the two sides. Martins added a second goal for Seattle 18 minutes later and Leo Gonzalez made it 3-0 in stoppage time on an assist by Neagle.
It was just the second MLS goal for Gonzalez, and his first since 2010. Frei, meanwhile, recorded his eighth shutout in just the 15th game of the season.