Sounders fall to FC Dallas, 2-0, on Saturday night, continuing a winless stretch on the road that dates to last season. Seattle has gone 0-4-3 since beating Vancouver on the road on Sept. 19.
FRISCO, Texas – Two scoring chances in the first three minutes – one the Seattle Sounders didn’t convert and one FC Dallas did – changed everything Saturday night at Toyota Stadium.
Seattle striker Herculez Gomez missed a wide-open scoring chance a mere 41 seconds into the game while Dallas’ Mauro Diaz put away his opportunity from the penalty spot two minutes later to put the Sounders in a hole they couldn’t dig out of.
The result was a frustrating 2-0 loss that left the Sounders (4-5-1) winless in four matches on the road this season. In fact, they haven’t won on the road since a victory over Vancouver last Sept. 19 – they are 0-4-3 since.
“What is the difference in playing on the road?” Seattle captain Brad Evans said. “We can make all the excuses in the world, but at the end of the day we’ve just got to put in the work on the field and finish our chances.”
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That didn’t happen in the first minute, when midfielder Erik Friberg sprung Gomez for a one-on-on with Dallas goalkeeper Chris Seitz.
Gomez’s shot sailed wide of the far post, and Dallas (7-4-2) struck back after Seattle’s Chad Marshall was whistled for undercutting Walker Zimmerman in the box in the third minute. Diaz put the resulting penalty kick past Sounders keeper Stefan Frei with a shot just under the crossbar for a 1-0 Dallas lead.
“If I put that one away in the first minute it’s a different game,” Gomez said. “That’s just the reality of things. … Any time you’re chasing the game, as we were from minute 3 – and that’s what they’re good at doing, sitting back and countering – you’re playing right into their game plan.”
The Sounders wound up dominating possession, holding the ball almost 58 percent of the time, but struggled to turn that advantage into shots and scoring opportunities as Dallas center backs Zach Loyd and Zimmerman repeatedly cleared away Seattle’s attempted crosses.
Dallas added the final cushion in the 80th minute when Michael Barrios beat Seattle’s Brad Evans to Mauro Rosales’ through ball and Barrios flicked it past Frei to the far post to seal another road defeat for the Sounders.
That trend is especially problematic now, since the Sounders will be spending much of their time on the road in the coming weeks. After a home match against Colorado next week, Seattle faces three consecutive road games – the beginning of a stretch that includes six road games among nine played.
“We’ve got a home game but then we’ve got two on the road in five days, so it’s going to be a tough test for us,” Evans said. “But at some point, we’ve got to turn the table and get on the right side of a result away from home.”