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Sounders vs FC Dallas, recap: Like sand through an hour glass

Nicolas Lodeiro made his return to the pitch after an early season injury. | Max Aquino / Sounder at Heart

The Sounders saw two points slip through their fingers late against FC Dallas.

It looked like the Seattle Sounders had done enough to change their recent fortunes and get a win over the visiting FC Dallas side, but ultimately settled for a 1-1 draw on Wednesday.

You can stop me if you’ve heard this one before, but the Sounders had numerous chances, striking the post and forcing five saves in the first half, as well as a couple of pretty reasonable penalty shouts, but still the two sides went into halftime tied 0-0. The return of Cristian Roldan clearly energized the squad, particularly as he and Alex Roldan created havoc with pressure, passing and great runs all up and down the right side of the field.

The Sounders took the lead courtesy of a 72nd minute goal from Fredy Montero. Nico Lodeiro subbed into the game in what seemed like almost celebratory fashion, and Seattle continued to push, but a defense that had been steady throughout the night finally broke as the game ran into stoppage time. Dallas grabbed control as the game wore on and got their reward through Franco Jara.

A draw is better than a loss, but at home against a struggling team it’s not good enough. The Sounders host Tigres UANL on Tuesday in Leagues Cup competition, then travel to face Portland on Aug. 15.

Key moments

13’ — The first big chance of the game comes as João Paulo takes a shot that’s headed for goal, but the goalkeeper puts it over the bar.

15’ — João Paulo has another look, this one coming off of the post after a great run and ball to the top of the box from Cristian Roldan.

38’ — Fredy Montero nearly opens the scoring after a nice turn to give himself space inside the box, but his shot is right at the ‘keeper.

62’ — Kelyn Rowe puts in a nice cross that bounces around in the box before falling back to him. His ensuing shot beats the ‘keeper but goes just wide of the far post.

69’ — FC Dallas gets a shot from a corner after a scramble, but Stefan Cleveland is able to reach back and palm the ball away before a defender clears away the danger to preserve the clean sheet.

72’ — João Paulo sends in a free kick that Fredy Montero jumps and meets at the top of the 6-yard box to send beyond the GK and into the back of the net to open the scoring. 1-0

87’ — Nico Lodeiro enters the game, subbing in for Kelyn Rowe, making his first appearance since May 2.

90’+1 — A bit of sloppy defending results in a tying goal for Dallas, with Franco Jara putting away the finish. 1-1

Quick thoughts

Returns welcome: Coming into this one we all knew that Cristian Roldan would be making his return to the lineup after missing five games with for the Gold Cup. We got so much more than that, though. Much of what has been a lengthy injury list up to this point was moved from “OUT” to “QUESTIONABLE” with no name looming larger in that shift than Nico Lodeiro. Not only did Lodeiro make it onto the game day roster, but he even made a substitute appearance for the final minutes. It wasn’t the result the team wanted, but if Lodeiro’s finally over his injury woes that’s a much bigger result.

Tempering disappointment: I’m not going to try to convince anyone that somehow tying at home to a team that, coming into the game, had half as many points is actually a good result. It’s not. It’s a bad result. It’s not as bad as losing, which happened in the previous two home games, but it’s still bad. That doesn’t mean that the Sounders played poorly — we can quibble about what they could and should have done better — but sometimes things just don’t work out. The Sounders are still one of the three best teams in the league, and they’ve been able to weather a remarkable series of injuries and absences. There’s plenty of reason to believe that this team is capable of fully turning things around and doing it soon.

Fredy Montero’s still good: Fredy Montero’s goal tonight was his fourth of the season. He’s also had one assist, and shown plenty of creativity in his passing to have more than just that. For a second or third option, that’s pretty impressive stuff. Especially in a time when the ability to scout and recruit players is heavily limited, being able to bring in a known quantity like Montero and have him legitimately contribute to the team’s success is an incredibly important addition. Bringing Montero back for a final lap with the club he started his MLS career at would have been lovely regardless of the outcome, but if he keeps these performances up and the Sounders can make some noise down the stretch, this could be truly magical.

Did you see that?!?

At least the goal was a good one.

He said what?!?

One stat to tell the tale

47.6% — In spite of attempting to play out of the back and hold the ball, the Sounders only managed to finish the game with 47.6% of possession, largely due to Dallas dominating the ball as they pushed for a goal through much of the second half.

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