FC Dallas Playoffs Hopes Hanging By a Thread After Draw with Seattle Sounders


Game Day, two words every soccer player loves to hear and loves to play on. Game Day, for true soccer fans is equivalent to the first day of school. Seriously though, most lay out their clothes and carefully select the right things to wear to support their team. Tonight’s game against the Seattle Sounders was the game of games for FC Dallas playoffs chances. With a win, FC Dallas comes within 2 points of the 5th place Vancouver Whitecaps. With only two home games left after this one, FC Dallas couldn’t afford anything other than a win if they wanted to make the playoffs. This game, this “first day of school”, went well, but not as well as it could have.

As the teams walk onto the field from the locker rooms, you felt the tension from the starting 22. Seattle was only 6 points behind Western Conference leaders San Jose Earthquakes coming into the match, so they were looking to take 3 points in their quest to get home field advantage for the playoffs. The game started off a bit sloppy with both teams giving away possession. Then, after the players settled their nerves, Seattle began to take control of the match. With Seattle players such as Freddy Montero and Mauro Rosales consistently making crossing runs along with the speedy Steve Zakuani, it was hard for the FC Dallas defenders to track players.

The 20th minute rolled around and Zakuani crossed in a ball into the 6 yard box to an oncoming Mo’ Rosales for the lead. Seattle seemed to control possession for most of the first half until FC Dallas had a quick counter attack where Jair Benitez sent in a cross to Blas Perez (first start since his injury on international duty). As Perez brought it down with his chest, a Seattle defender was nowhere to be found. Blas took a turn towards goal and unselfishly passed a smooth ball to an on-running Jackson in the box to tie the match at 1 apiece. All or nothing tonight, all the cards are on the table and FC Dallas was answering a lot of unanswered questions on the night… the most important question being, “Are they a serious playoff contender?”

The half came to an end and both teams finally had a chance for a breather. The stadium noise died down a bit as people made their way to the concessions and restrooms. You could still hear two areas filled with noise as the players walked off the field, the north end where The Beer Guardians and The DFE were sitting. These supporters groups keep the stands alive when everyone else saw no hope. As both teams made their way to the field for the 2nd half, the crowd cheered on their gladiators. Due to the fact that FC Dallas started to take control of the end of the 1st half, everyone expected FCD to keep on that track.

When the second half got underway, the crowd was louder than ever and FCD took control of the match. Seattle had a few opportunities on goal, but they were quickly shut down before they could make anything really dangerous happen.  Seattle’s stars, Montero, Rosales, and Zakuani, were almost like ghosts in the second half. Dallas defenders George John and Matt Hedges worked together beautifully to shut down the middle. The only hiccup FCD had in the second half was that Perez and Ferreira weren’t in sync with each other.  This was only Perez’ second match back from injury and playing in front of Ferreira. The two were getting in each other’s way, but that didn’t stop them from creating plays. Chance after chance created by Perez, Jackson, Benitez, Shea, and Ferreira was squandered by a lack of energy. The physical battle took a toll on the players who played the full 90. As the game wound down to the end, the referee blew his whistle to end the game. Simultaneously the Seattle defenders and a few FCD players fell to the ground in exhaustion. The 1-1 result wasn’t what either team wanted but it was probably a just result based on the action on the field.

FC Dallas’ chances of making the playoffs now are a bit slimmer. Only 4 points back from Vancouver, FC Dallas needs to man up and “Refuse to Lose” in their next league match against those same Whitecaps in a must-win game on September 15th @ 7:30pm in Frisco, TX.

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