FC Dallas was not given much of an opportunity against Seattle Sounders in the MLS cup semifinals, but the secured a credible 1-1 draw against one of the top teams in the country. Dallas played extremely well and head coach Oscar Pareja was disappointed not to have come away with a victory that would have given his team a major boost ahead of the second leg next week. Michel’s penalty in the 34th minute gave Dallas the lead and they looked like holding on for a famous win. However, Alonso scored the equaliser in the second half to give Seattle Sounders a fighting chance in the second leg.
Dallas’ biggest work in the match came in their efforts to curb the potent strikeforce that included Clint Dempsey and Obafemi Martins. They managed to do it to great extent, but Alonso’s equaliser was disappointing for the club.
Pareja told the PlainSailing website after the match that his team played so well that a victory should have been what they deserved on the night. As it is, they have to produce another spectacular performance away to Seattle Sounders in order to reach the finals. A gulf in class separated the teams going by the league standings. Seattle Sounders had a 10 point advantage over Dallas in the regular season.
“It’s frustrating not to come out with a victory. It’s frustrating to give up a goal. It’s frustrating to not create as many chances that give us the possibility to win it,” said the Dallas coach. Captain Matt Hedges also spoke about the disappointment of having conceded from a set piece despite having played so well in open play. “That’s the most frustrating thing. We keep their attack relatively quiet and Alonso gets a goal off a free kick,” said Hedges. The goal by Alonso was his first in this MLS season.