The Sounders extended their club record unbeaten streak to 13, but a fourth consecutive draw now has them bunched together in a four-team pack atop the Western Conference standings
A fourth conseuctive draw for the Sounders on Saturday night is starting to cost the team in the Western Conference standings.
The Sounders extended their unbeaten streak to 13 with a 0-0 result at FC Dallas, but are now winless in four consecutive matches. Also, the team has slipped from top spot down to fourth in the Western Conference — in a three-way tie for second, but trailing on tiebreakers — with five games to play.
Playing without injured striker Jordan Morris or center back Chad Marshall on a muggy 96-degree night at Frisco, Tex., the Sounders struggled to generate offense until the very end. That’s when right back Kelvin Leerdam broke in on a 2-on-1 and sent a cross in to the box in the 89th minute that was awatted away by a Dallas defender.
“I wanted to put it back for the shot but the defender read the play,” Leerdam told reporters afterwards, in quotes supplied to the Seattle Times by MLS officials. “Sometimes, you think ‘I should have shot’ and if it’s the last shot, I should have shot. But you know, I tried to make the best decision. In the end, it didn’t work out.”
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The Sounders were outplayed early on but gradually gained control throughout the second half. Scoring chances for both teams were minimal in a sluggishly played contest.
“My thoughts are that we need to find a way to be a little more dangerous, but the fact of the matter is that this isn’t an easy place to play,” Sounders coach Brian Schmetzer said. “That’s a good team. We were able to get a point. You look at a calendar at the beginning of the year and you think you can get a poiunt from a really good team, you take it.”
Nonetheless, FC Dallas remains a struggling team — winless in a league high nine consecutive matches. This had been a game the Sounders hoped to garner a needed three points out of to regain control of first place, but instead are now 11-7-11 — the 11 draws tied for the most in MLS — and getting caught by others in an increasingly bunched-up conference there for the taking.
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