FRISCO, TEXAS – Despite a first-half goal from Nico Lodeiro, Seattle Sounders FC (13-14-6, 45 points) fell 2-1 on the road to FC Dallas (17-8-8, 59 points) Sunday evening at Toyota Stadium. Maximiliano Urruti and Carlos Ruiz each found the net late for FC Dallas as Seattle saw its six-match unbeaten streak snapped. Currently Sounders FC sits in fifth place in the Western Conference ahead a pivotal Decision Day clash for with Real Salt Lake on Sunday, October 23 at CenturyLink Field, where the Rave Green need a win in their season finale to control their own destiny for a berth in the 2016 Audi MLS Cup Playoffs. Sounders FC can also clinch a spot in the postseason if the Portland Timbers or Sporting Kansas City lose or draw to Vancouver and San Jose, respectively, on Decision Day, as the Rave Green would hold the total-wins tiebreaker over both sides.
A spirited opening salvo between the two sides resulted in numerous chances being exchanged, with Seattle seeming to break through the deadlock in the 33rd minute of play, when Herculez Gomez headed home an Alvaro Fernandez flick at the far post during a Sounders FC corner-kick. However, referee Mark Geiger waived the goal off, citing interference from the Seattle attack on Dallas goalkeeper Chris Seitz.
Undeterred, the Rave Green secured a 1-0 lead just before the stroke of halftime, when Lodeiro snuck a free-kick past Seitz at his near post. The Uruguayan’s signature left-footed strike was his fourth goal since joining the Rave Green during the summer transfer window from Argentine powerhouse Boca Juniors. Loderio also has eight assists for the Rave Green in just 12 MLS games, propelling Seattle to a 6-2-4 record since making his debut against LA on July 31.
Maximiliano Urruti secured the equalizer for Dallas in the 79th minute, picking up a loose ball in the six-yard-box following a free-kick from the left side. Ryan Hollingshead’s initial header was saved, but Urruti collected the rebound from close range for an easy tap-in.
FC Dallas found the winner in the 89th minute on an impressive one-touch goal by veteran forward Carlos Ruiz. Carlos Greuzo fed Mauro Diaz for a one-touch lofted through ball that found Ruiz deep in the area for a soft volley that sailed over the out-stretched hands of Stefan Frei.
Following this evening’s contest in North Texas, the Rave Green conclude the 2016 regular season campaign with a full-stadium matchup at CenturyLink Field against Real Salt Lake on Sunday, October 23. All Western Conference kickoff times are scheduled for 1:00 p.m. PT on October 23 as part of Major League Soccer’s Decision Day. Television information as part of Decision Day is being announced shortly, with both 107.7 The End and El Rey 1360 AM beginning their radio broadcast coverage at 12:30 p.m. PT on Sunday.
Seattle Sounders FC 1 – FC Dallas 2
Sunday, October 16, 2016
Venue: Toyota Stadium
Referee: Mark Geiger
Assistants: CJ Morgante, Logan Brown
Fourth Official: Ted Unkel
Weather: Sunny and 88 degrees
SEA – Nico Lodeiro 41’
DAL – Maximiliano Urruti 79’
DAL – Carlos Ruiz (Mauro Diaz, Carlos Gruezo) 89’
DAL – Carlos Gruezo (caution) 40’
DAL – Maximiliano Urruti (caution) 45’+1’
SEA – Tyrone Mears (caution) 57’
DAL – Michael Barrios (caution) 90’+7’
LINEUPS & STATS
Seattle Sounders FC – Stefan Frei; Tyrone Mears, Román Torres – captain, Chad Marshall (Zach Scott 63’), Joevin Jones; Cristian Roldan, Erik Friberg, Alvaro Fernandez (Aaron Kovar 74’), Herculez Gomez (Oniel Fisher 88’), Nico Lodeiro; Jordan Morris
Substitutes not used: Tyler Miller, Tony Alfaro, Michael Farfan, Darwin Jones
Total shots: 7 (Lodeiro/Fernandez, 2)
Shots on goal: 3 (Lodeiro, 1)
Fouls: 14 (Fernandez, 3)
Offside: 2 (Gomez/Morris, 1)
Corner-kicks: 2 (Lodeiro, 2)
Saves: 3 (Frei, 3)
FC Dallas – Chris Seitz; Atiba Harris, Walker Zimerman, Matt Hedges, Ryan Hollingshead; Carlos Gruezo, Kellyn Acosta (Victor Ulloa 36’) (Carlos Ruiz 77’), Mauro Diaz, Tesho Akindele (Mauro Rosales 67’), Michael Barrios; Maximiliano Urruti
Substitutes not used: Jesse Gonzalez, Aubrey David, Norberto Paparatto, Getterson
Total shots: 14 (Urruti, 4)
Shots on goal: 6 (Urruti, 2)
Fouls: 15 (Gruezo, 3)
Offside: 3 (3 players, 1)
Corner-kicks: 2 (Diaz, 2)
Saves: 3 (Seitz, 1)
- With a record of 13-14-6, Sounders FC now sits in fifth place in the Western Conference with 45 points. One point ahead of the Rave Green, Real Salt Lake visits Seattle on Sunday, October 23 for the final match of the season, in which Sounders FC can clinch a spot in the 2016 Audi MLS Cup Playoffs with a victory. If Seattle fails to capture three points against RSL, the club can also clinch a spot in the postseason if Portland or Sporting KC lose or draw on Decision Day. Seattle holds the total-wins tiebreaker over both clubs.
- Sounders FC is 10-5-5 against FC Dallas in league play, including a 3-4-4 record at Toyota Stadium. The sides met three times in MLS action this season, with the Rave Green posting a 1-2-0 mark against the Hoops.
- Midfielder Nico Lodeiro scored his fourth goal of the season in the first half. Lodeiro has recorded either a goal or an assist in nine of his 12 appearances in 2016.
- Midfielder Aaron Kovar returned to action for the first time since fracturing his clavicle in a Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup match against the LA Galaxy on July 20.
- Interim Head Coach Brian Schmetzer has posted a 7-2-4 record since taking over managerial duties on July 26.