The result was awful but there were plenty chances created. Brad Evans missed the best two and Clint Dempsey couldn’t find the target with the technology of the US military at the moment. That will come in time but probably only after his injury heels.
There were some acceptable performances this afternoon but for the second week running, the indiscipline of one player cost the team. Leo Gonzalez had been lucky to escape conceding a penalty kick in the first half for wrestling Kenny Cooper to the ground. He then conceded a dangerous free kick minutes after Michel, a player who hits them with the precision of a Rory McIlroy chip shot, entered the game.
Sigi Schmid has his problems but his embrace of Schellas Hyndman at full time was classy, putting his own woes to one side to pay tribute to a departing colleague.
Sounders at Dallas Player Ratings
Marcus Hahnemann 5.0: His first shot to handle came as late as the 43rd minute and once again, as he has all season, he palmed it straight out into the danger area, where Ianni bailed him out.
He has only been punished for it once, in a pre-season game with Salt Lake but it remains a possibility every time the ball id fired at him. That sequence ended with Castillo missing Dallas’ best chance after the ball rebounded into play. A good long throw out to Dempsey started an attack. Brave to come out at Castillo’s feet in 80. A great late save kept the score respectable.
Leo Gonzalez 4.0: He pulled Cooper to the ground at a 30th minute corner and was lucky to avoid conceding a penalty as the AR could have easily flagged it. Dallas main threat was on the other wing so his involvement was limited defensively.
However he was called for a similar offence in 64 in a less harmful area against a team that is known to excel from free kicks, especially when set piece wizard Michel is there. The Brazilian had just entered the field as a substitute. Gonzalez’s error led to disaster as Michel’s sublime curler threw the Sounders defence into panic and gave Matt Hedges a headed chance which he gratefully accepted.
Pat Ianni 7.0: Ianni was as alert as ever on his defensive duties. He fared well in his personal battle with Kenny Cooper. On 70, made a great sliding chance to cut out a through ball. He put the pressure on Perez that forced him to pull a 83rd minute clear shot wide.
Ianni was at the right place at the right time on many occasions, making the art of playing centre half look as easy as Jhon Hurtado and Djimi Traore have spent most of the year making it look difficult. The ball deflected off his head at the second goal but little blame can be attached. No other defender was hampering Dallas at all.
He just pips Moffat and Hurtado for MVP because he kept his standard going all 90. Many feel Sounders need a quality CB over the off season. Ianni has done enough to suggest he won’t be the man sacrificed.
Jhon Hurtado 6.5: He made some good early defensive headers and a clean tackle to dispossess Castillo. A much better game was exemplified with two fine interceptions in the 29th minute. He displayed his best positional sense for some months. A welcome and belated return to form but like many other CBs, Michel’s free kicks are just too good.
DeAndre Yedlin 6.0: The defender took Sounders’ second shot of the match inside 270 seconds in a fine start for Seattle. H was given a torrid time by Castillo whom he fouled in the first half, and was booked to end another iffy first half. He delivered a great cross in 51 which Evans blasted over. He dealt well with the second free kick Michel delivered but that was after the first had done the damage.
With better finishing he could have had an assist, but no-one should convince themselves he is the finished product as a defender.
Alex Caskey: 4.0 (off in 69′) Caskey made a couple of early fouls, a barge and a high boot but struggled offensively in the first half. His selection over Marc Burch continues to puzzle.
Adam Moffat 6.5: (Off in 79′) Moffat was thrust into the DM role of Osvaldo Alonso but still made occasional forward runs. His sweeping pass from left mid to Rosales on right wing was majestic and he is beginning to display why Schmid wanted to add him to a weakish depth in defensive midfield. He displayed good tracking back in the second despite now being forward of Brad Evans.
Moffat also found the right pass to Yedlin who was foiled by a great tackle by Ferreira. Made a great block to Jacobson’s drive in 70. All that is missing is some long range shooting which might give Sounders another outlet after 180 minutes without a goal. His defensive efforts freed Brad Evans up to be a threat up front.
Brad Evans 6.0: Evans showed intent by taking an early shot but didn’t quite have the ball under control. He broke up Dallas’ first dangerous moment, a 1-2 involving Ferreira. His running was smart and energetic. He blasted over from close in though with the side’s best chance of the game.
Evans displayed some very cool moments on the ball when in heavy traffic. Put the next best chance wide after Dempsey superbly set him up. History repeats itself for Seattle as Evans turns out to be the most consistently intelligent running forward with the finishing skills of a goalkeeper. Sadly, points come off for missing sitters. They don’t necessarily get added on for making the run initially.
Mauro Rosales 5.0: (Off in 79′) He helped out his defence with a hacked clearance but found trouble getting involved offensively early. A great cross from the right just before half time found Dempsey’s head. He needed more possession but much of Seattle’s creativity headed leftward. A much better start to the second half but as he faded away, so did Seattle.
Clint Dempsey 6.5: By his actions, you could tell his left shoulder had not recovered. Some neat early touches showed his class. His hack at Jackson after being fouled was unnecessary, having already won the free kick. Sounders players were angry at the original foul, and Dallas at his retaliation. He fired over in 37 with a ball that laid up nicely for him after his won good control.
He’s clearly struggling with form as well as injury. Headed over just before half time but it was a difficult opportunity. One hopes his first goal will settle this period of apparent angst down. His pass to Evans deserved better than the midfielder’s ‘pass” wide of the goal. He did well to slide a free kick through a disintegrating wall but it went wide. One wonders what playing him through the pain barrier is achieving compared to the harm it may be doing.
Lamar Neagle 5.5: His first shot was Seattle’s third and happened inside five minutes. At his half time tv interval piece, Sigi Schmid blamed him for too many turnovers in the first half rightly, as Seattle were not possessing the ball too well in the final third.
Neagle improved after the interval. Made a great attempt at an overhead kick which he could not get on frame. He went down holding his head in 59 in a worrying turn for the club after Benitez’s arm was too wayward in an aerial tackle. Neagle did well to fool Acosta in 78 to set up a great chance for Estrada which the substitute headed well but saw cleared by Hedges. Neagle needs to go and refind his confidence in the reserves but Sounders’ injury status deprives his coach of that luxury.
David Estrada 6.0: (on in 69′) Replaced Caskey after the side went behind. He played the ball out of play when Evans made a good run on the left. He was well positioned to deal with a Neagle cross which Hedges headed out from under the Dallas bar. Either side and Estrada might have scored. Was very involved as Seattle pressed for the equaliser.
Eriq Zavaleta 6.0: (On in 79′) Entered to centre forward where he was offside with his first chance. Set up Dempsey well towards the end. The little we say looked good.
Andy Rose N/A (On in 79′) Cannot recall his name being mentioned. The changes might have been made earlier.