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FC Dallas vs Seattle Sounders 9/24/2014: Match Recap

Coming into this match both FC Dallas and the Seattle Sounders were on one-match losing skids. In their last matches, Seattle lost a shocking 4-1 to the New York Red Bulls, and Dallas lost 2-1 in a painful match vs the L.A. Galaxy. Dallas were in need of win if they wanted to keep their playoff hopes alive. A win would keep the Hoops in fourth with the possibility of being just one point behind Real Salt Lake for third and a staggering nine points ahead of the Portland Timbers in fifth. For the Seattle Sounders, a win would give them a three point cushion at the top ahead of the second-place L.A. Galaxy; a loss would keep them in first place based solely on goal differential.

FC Dallas started off the first half with all guns blazing. They were attacking left, right, and center. The attacking paid off for Oscar Pareja’s side after eight minutes when David Texeira slotted home for the home side after a Seattle defender misjudged the ball and it bounced over his head. The Sounders controlled most of the game after that, save for a few counters from Dallas. Most of the attacks from the home side were from the wings where both Andres Escobar and Jair Benitez would attempt to feed the ball into Blas Perez or Texeira. While Dallas had to settle for shots from outside of the eighteen-yard box, Seattle was flooding Raul Fernandez’s box every chance they got. Clint Dempsey and Obafemi Martins had some excellent build up play but just could not finish off the play with a goal. The first half ended 1-0 in favor of Dallas with Seattle having 54.2% possession and nine shots compared to Dallas’ five shots and 45.8% possession.

The second half started off with Dallas more laid back and Seattle doing everything they could to get level. Seattle’s relentless attack wore out the Dallas defense until Lamar Neagle scored a screamer from about 25 yards out that Fernandez could only dive helplessly towards and watch go in. After the goal from Seattle, FC Dallas started to attack a bit more; mainly through Escobar since his matchup with the left side midfielder and defender was almost a gift sent from heaven for Dallas. Seattle’s goal in the 58th minute was amazing, but Dallas are one of the best attacking teams in MLS this season and it showed on this evening. A run into the box from Escobar broke the ankles of three Seattle defenders. Having passed them, he squared the ball back to Big Tex for the brace. Dallas 2, Seattle 1. That goal was not enough for Dallas though. 11 minutes later poor marking on a corner kick basically gifted Perez the diving header that Seattle goalkeeper Stefan Frei fumbled and subsequently watched go into the goal. The match ended, Dallas 3-1 Seattle.

With the win Dallas remain in 4th place and are currently one point behind third. If the team from Texas can keep up this performance they will not only get a playoff spot but also a third place finish. Perez has now scored 4 goals in his last 3 matches and will be looking  to continue with this form for Dallas’ next game vs the Vancouver Whitecaps. The top two in the Western Conference  ( the L.Aa Galaxy and Seattle Sounders) will face each other in the last two games which gives FC Dallas a chance to fly under the radar and win the Supporters Shield.

After the match Coach Oscar Pareja spoke to the press about the game and Big Tex:

“First half great competitive boys, I think we controlled them. We had a plan today were it was decided to not compete too much in the middle. We put two targets up front with Tex and Blas, we wanted to get all those second balls with Andres and Jair. I want to get those rebounds there and get some service into the box, whether it comes from Andres and Jair or Blas coming up. And I’ll tell you it worked pretty well; that way we scored our first goal, not from a cross but from a rebound and a scrap ball that we stole in back”

“David has had a three great weeks, has been participating in the model of the game. The way we want to do things much more, has been growing with the group; his intensity and the rhythm that we want with him is there and tonight we decided to bring him and join Blas. But the way he executed was all him.”

Pareja’s decision to play Teixeira paid off and after that big win Big Tex can now go have fun at the state fair this weekend. Andres Escobar also had a superb game by providing two assists and basically destroying Seattle down the left side. DeAndre Yedlin was nullified by Benitez for most of the game and FC Dallas also avoided his side when they attacked. The only problem Dallas had this game was the middle. Michel and Victor Ulloa left the middle wide open and pressured very little when they were under siege from Dempsey and Co. That was a problem which lead to Neagle’s goal, an impressive goal, but he had all the time in the world to take the shot. FC Dallas’ next home game is vs the L.A. Galaxy. With a win there, they might get a good chance to win the Supporters Shield. If they can win the Shield, anything is possible come playoff time.

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