One step closer to history for Sounders, who overcome Dallas to advance

The dream season continues for the Sounders, who are now three matches away from achieving the first-ever American treble of a U.S. Open Cup title, Supporters’ Shield, and MLS Cup in one season.

That was about as intense of a Monday Night Football game as CenturyLink Field has ever seen. In the end, it was Sounders FC that got the result it needed to please its home fans and move on to the next round of the MLS Playoffs.

Seattle and FC Dallas played to a 0-0 draw on Monday in the second leg of the Western Conference Semifinals. Due to the away-goals rule, Osvaldo Alonso’s header to tie the first leg at 1-1 was the difference in the series.

The dream season continues for the Sounders, who are now three matches away from achieving the first-ever American treble of a U.S. Open Cup title, Supporters’ Shield, and MLS Cup in one season.

“Obviously we are very excited we advanced and moved on,” Sounders FC Head Coach Sigi Schmid said. “Being able to defend well is an important part of winning a championship. I know all through the season people have been saying, ‘Well do they have a good enough defense to win?’ And I think we have proven over the past three or four weeks that we can play good enough defense.”

Seattle gave up 50 goals in the regular season, which was tied for the most of any team that made the MLS Cup Playoffs. Yet in their first two playoff games against a speedy Dallas side, the only goal the Sounders gave up was a penalty kick.

On the offensive end, Seattle put lots of pressure on the Dallas back line for a second straight match. It didn’t result in any goals, but forwards Obafemi Martins and Clint Dempsey each had a few quality chances that they usually finish.

“I thought we had some good looks and we just missed a little bit on our shots, but that’ll come,” said Schmid of the attacking third. “If you’re creating chances, that’s what you’re happy about as a coach. If you’re not creating any chances, then you worry. But I was thinking we were creating chances so I was pleased that way.”

The back line was stout and the offense caused havoc all night. So despite the 1-1 aggregate score, the Sounders are happy with their performance and confident as they look forward to their series with the LA Galaxy.

“We are a team that believes in ourselves,” Dempsey said. “To win the Supporters’ Shield we had to play two games against (LA) and get the right result, so we’re a team that’s done well this season in terms of silverware, the U.S. Open Cup and winning the league. We have that confidence moving forward, so we feel good.”

The Sounders are off this weekend due to the FIFA break before playing the first leg of the Western Conference Finals at LA on November 23. A series victory over the LA Galaxy would clinch Seattle’s first trip to the MLS Cup Final.

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