The Seattle Sounders Audi 2015 MLS Cup Playoffs came to a dramatic end Sunday Night after a 4-2 penalty shoot out loss to FC Dallas in Frisco Texas. Seattle went into the game with a 2-1 aggregate lead. A win or tie would have sent the Rave Green to the Western Conference for the second consecutive year. The mission was never going to be easy for Seattle. FC Dallas was undefeated at home this season with 13 wins and finished as the top team in the Western Conference.
It was to no ones surprise that Sundays tightly contested game between the two Western Conference powerhouses was goal-less for the first 84 minutes.The surprise was that the two teams abruptly decide to throw caution to the wind and exchanged three goals within seven minutes and the frantic goal spree sent the game to an a extra period and eventually the penalty shoot out.
It looked like FC Dallas was on its way to the Conference Finals when Tesho Akindele broke through in the 84th, and headed home Je-Vaughn Watson’s cross to give the home side a 1-0 lead in the game and a 2-2 aggregate with an away goal advantage. Chad Marshall played spoiler when his 90th minute header leveled the game at 1-1 and gave the advantage back to Seattle. Just two minutes later, Walker Zimmerman converted a redirected Blas Perez shot attempt to make the score-line 2-1 in the dying moments of the match, pushing the aggregate score of the series to 3-3 and into extra time.
After two scoreless 15 minute periods the two sides went to penalty kicks,Walker Zimmerman sent FC Dallas to the Western Conference Finals when he converted his penalty kick to give the home side the 4-2 penalty shoot out win. For Sounders Coach Sigi Schmid it was yet another heart breaking loss in which his side gave a gallant effort but fell short once again.
“I thought the team did well considering all the obstacles and all the difficulties we had this season, with all the injuries and people being out,” Sounders Head Coach Sigi Schmid said after the game. “Obviously they got Kellyn Acosta back tonight. We were still short three starters. But at the end of the day I thought they showed a lot of character, a lot of desire, the three games in a week, winning all three of those games, and pulling back today when we went down 1-0. I think there’s a lot of character that’s been brought out by this team. But at the end of the day it wasn’t enough.”
Seattle is now 10-4-7 against FC Dallas in regular season and postseason action. With the loss to FC Dallas, the Sounders FC ended its unbeaten streak at 11 consecutive matches across all competitions (7-0-4). Previously, the club’s most recent loss came against CD Olimpia in Scotiabank CONCACAF Champions League play on August 26, 2015.