The Seattle Sounders were extremely undermanned Saturday night as they took the field against FC Dallas. Regulars Clint Dempsey, Chad Marshall, Obafemi Martins, Marco Pappa and Osvaldo Alonso were missing through injury or international duty. It was going to be a tall order to ask against a very talented FC Dallas squad on their home field. FCD were missing three starters as well with playmaker Mauro Diaz, starting defender Moises Hernandez and leading scorer Blas Perez both away with national teams.
It was all FC Dallas from the opening whistle as their dynamic attack streamed forward. Fabian Castillo was once again racing up and down the flanks. Seattle held out for twenty minutes and then Sounders got the gift they needed to survive as young Kellyn Acosta made a rash challenge in the midfield. (Acosta was filling in for Hernandez and getting his first minutes of 2015) As Andy Rose raced for a loose ball Acosta extended with leg raised trying to win the ball himself. Instead he hit Rose square in the midsection with his cleats exposed earning a straight red card from referee Kevin Stott. Definitely an accident, but definitely a red.
You would think the extra man would put Seattle on the front foot. Not really so as FC Dallas continued to be the more dangerous side for most of the night despite playing with only ten men. Michel had the best chance of the opening half after Fabian Castillo earned a free kick 23 yards from the Sounders net. He curled his shot over the wall and off the crossbar.
The second half saw both sides go close on several occasions, but not a single attempt was on frame. Fabian Castillo had the best shot of the half as he ripped a right footed drive inches wide after dribbling several Sounders players. I think it is safe to say Fabian Castillo is the most dynamic player in MLS right now.
In the end Seattle were unable to take advantage of their man advantage and left with a scoreless draw. Both teams seemed satisfied afterwards as the home side earned a result despite playing shorthanded for 70 minutes. The Soudners also felt fine about their road point.
Seattle coach Sigi Schmid summed it up “A lot of people think with a man advantage, maybe you should get more out of the game,” Schmid said. “But the way Dallas plays, playing a man down really doesn’t impact their game because they play for free kicks and they play a lot of long passes through to [forward Fabian] Castillo and try and run. So having one less man doesn’t really affect how they play.”
FC Dallas coach Oscar Pareja was also satisfied with the hard earned points “After the red card, the boys just showed one more time what we’re made of and what we believe here,” Pareja said. “So that’s what I want to recognize.”
FC Dallas stays unbeaten on the season with the draw moving to 3-0-1. They'll face the difficult trip up north next weekend as they hit the road to face the Portland Timbers. Seattle returns home to face the offensively challneged Houston Dynamo.