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Alonso’s equalizer leaves Sounders in prime position

Seattle Sounders tie FC Dallas (USA TODAY Sports)

 Photo by USA TODAY Sports


FC Dallas went into Sunday’s Western Conference semifinal against the Seattle Sounders having to worry about containing Obafemi Martins and Clint Dempsey.

Little could FCD know that Osvaldo Alonso would be the player who would punish the home team with a vital away goal.

Alonso headed home a Marco Pappa free kick in the 54th minute to help negate a Michel penalty kick, and force FC Dallas to settle for a 1-1 draw on Sunday night.  The result sends the Sounders back home knowing a victory pushes them through to the Western Conference final.

Martins nearly opened the scoring in the 18th minute, only to have FC Dallas goalkeeper Raul Fernandez deny him with a quick reaction save.

FC Dallas broke through in the 32nd minute when Andres Escobar drew a penalty after being hauled down in the penalty area by Pappa. Michel converted the penalty to give FC Dallas control, if only temporarily.

Martins came close to an equalizer just before halftime, only to be denied by a strong Fernandez save yet again, with Matt Hedges clearing away the rebound before Clint Dempsey could convert it.

Pappa atoned for his penalty foul in the 54th minute when he floated a perfect free kick toward the front of goal, where an unmarked Alonso headed it past Fernandez.

FC Dallas nearly took the lead again in the 90th minute, but Frei kept the score at 1-1 when he made a stunning reaction save to deny a Fabian Castillo blast.

With the score 1-1 heading into Saturday’s second leg in Seattle, the Sounders can advance with a victory or a 0-0 tie. FC Dallas needs a win or multi-goal draw, but can force extra time with a 1-1 draw.

Here are the match highlights:



  1. I really like the away goals rule! It provides more incentive for the visitors to attack and more incentive for the home team to keep them from doing so. As with CONCACAF champions league I like having more on the line than just the aggregate score…always felt that was a bit of a snoozer!

  2. Saw a lot of uncalled fouls for both sides…also saw a lot of needless giveaways from Dallas. Escobar and Castillo weren’t their normal selves, the interchanging of Watson and Loyd as RCB and RB was bold and interesting, but at times looked a little “fresh off the drawing board”, Seattle just turned up the pressure and we weren’t playing well enough to cope. Seemed like a lot of luck went their way as well, but what can you do about that? All to play for in the next leg, I hope that we play 3 at the back and throw everything else forward…I’d rather lose 3-2 than be eliminated by a 0-0 draw.

    • Ya, some people act like its over. It’s not. Dallas is better on the counter and will get better chances to counter in Seattle. Not that it will be easy…

  3. It’s going to be a good game in Seattle and LA but sounders has it more difficult, fc Dallas is strong and rsl won’t beat galaxy

      • “If Dallas scores one…”

        It depends a bit on when they score:

        SCENARIO 1:
        Game tied at 0-0 after 90 min = Sounders advance.

        SCENARIO 2:
        Dallas scores 1 during regular time; Sounders score 2 to win outright.

        SCENARIO 3:
        Regular time ends 1-1; overtime ends 5-5; the overtime away goals do not count in Dallas’ favor and the match ends in kicks from the penalty mark.

        SCENARIO 4:
        Regular time ends 2-2; Dallas advances.

      • For RSL v LAG:

        SCENARIO 1:
        Game tied at 0-0 after 90 min = 2×15-min overtime.

        SCENARIO 2:
        Regular time ends 1-1 = RSL advances.

        SCENARIO 3:
        Regular time ends 0-0; overtime ends 5-5; the overtime away goals do not count in RSL’s favor and the match ends in kicks from the penalty mark.

      • Limey, it took me a second to understand what you meant: “RSL can go through with a tie”

        You meant, “any tie other than a 0-0 tie.” If it ends scoreless, then it goes to overtime/penalties.

  4. Seattle needs Pineda back. Putting out Cooper in the midfield worked in some regular season games…it didnt last night.

    The result was….Pappa was tired, I wouldnt start him and Evans is not offensive minded, so the Sounders couldn’t hold the ball to save their lives.

    • Agreed, but I will add that Martins’ touch was uncharacteristically sloppy. He and Dempsey both seemed to give up the ball more than usual—as though they were already playing tired. Evans though…smh…did not turn in a “captain’s performance.”

      I’m also scared for Leo. He is so solid at LB, but “solid” is not what you need against a speedy forward like Castillo. I wonder if Sigi starts Azira at LB just to cope with that threat.

      • With the exception of that late chance, I thought Leo was excellent. He battled all night, and was only turned inside twice that I remember. The rest of the night was mostly hopeful crosses. Castillo is one of the best players in the league running at defenders. I don’t think there’s anyone in the league who is not going to be vulnerable 1 v 1 with him in space.

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