Sounders extend win streak with scrappy, tough victory over FC Dallas

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Nicolás Lodeiro celebrates his game-winning goal against FC Dallas with teammates Osvaldo Alonso and Cristian Roldan. Photo courtesy of Lindsey Wasson/Seattle Sounders FC.

SEATTLE, WASHINGTON (August 12, 2018) – It’s clear to see: FC Dallas and the Seattle Sounders FC do not like each other.

The display of a new MLS rivalry was put on display last night. In the ending minutes of the match, teams hurried to each other for a scuffle. According to Sounder at Heart, an FC Dallas coach went after Osvaldo Alonso, starting a fight after the final whistle.

Sounders extend win streak with scrappy, tough victory over FC Dallas

Before the “bench clearing” fight,  Reto Ziegler of FC Dallas was given a red card for violent conduct. Ziegler was shown to be involved in a scuffle with Sounders forward Raúl Ruidíaz.

After the match, FC Dallas Head Coach Oscar Pareja said the match was “a very competitive game.”

“I know it was violent contact against Reto,” Pareja said, in regards to the red card. “That’s what I saw… It’s frustrating, but we need to manage those moments better. That’s part of this beautiful game.”

Pareja had his own encounter with Alonso but insisted there is nothing but respect between the player and coach.

“Ozzie is a player that I admire and respect,” Pareja explained. “I know about his passion and I know he knows me as well. We just talked about the play, with respect… This is sometimes difficult to control them. You don’t want them to do something they would regret.”

Pareja went on to say that he was proud of his players for playing “in a difficult environment.”

“It was a beautiful MLS game with a lot of passion and intensity.”

Meanwhile, Brian Schmetzer, head coach of the Seattle Sounders, noted that he knew the intensity would be fierce between the two sides.

“[Pareja] always has his teams prepared,” Schmetzer said. “He wanted to get his team prepared to come to Seattle and get points. They weren’t here to sit back and try to earn a draw. I felt they came out to try and win the game. In that sense, credit to him. But, credit to our team.”

“Even through all the chaos, tackles and other stuff, our guys kept composure.”

Brad Smith makes his debut

Despite Chad Marshall and Nicolás Lodeiro picking up the goals, Brad Smith was the player to watch for Seattle.

Recently acquired on loan from AFC Bournemouth, Smith was placed in the starting lineup over Nouhou. Smith created plenty of chances, showing his speed on the left flank. He sent a handful of crosses in, including the opening cross to Cristian Roldan.

However, Marquinhos Pedroso, FC Dallas defender, made a goal-saving block.

After the match, Schmetzer said that Smith was “pretty good.”

“He’s got good speed, good crossing ability and he’s an attack-minded player,” Schmetzer said. “Overall, he was enthusiastic to play. He hasn’t played a lot of games in the last few years, so you could see he was happy to be on the pitch. We were overall very pleased. We will watch the film to see how he can get acclimated to the players he’s playing with and we’ll educate him about MLS, the standards there.”

Smith left the match in the 73rd minute with tightness in his left thigh. Waylon Francis entered the match as his replacement.

“He’s a tough kid,” Schmetzer said about Smith.

What About Nouhou?

Before the match began, there were reports about why Nouhou was placed on the bench. Outlets reported that he was benched due to poor handling of criticism from the Minnesota United FC match.

However, Schmetzer silenced those rumors, denying the report.

“He’s a great kid,” Schmetzer said. “He’s got a really, really bright future. That was a coach’s decision tonight. He’s not for sale either, I’ll add that to it.”

Meanwhile, on defense, Smith sufficed in his position. At center back, Kim Kee-Hee and Chad Marshall kept Maximiliano Urruti, Roland Lamah, and Victor Ulloa silent. At right back, Kelvin Leerdam earned the start.

In goal, Stefan Frei made one save on Urruti.

The Standings and What’s Next?

Seattle’s three points give the team a major boost in the Western Conference. Still, in the No. 8 spot, Seattle is only three points away from tying Real Salt Lake, who currently sit in sixth place.

Sixth place is the cut-off for teams to make the playoffs.

Right now, Seattle currently owns 32 points.

The Sounders do not have a mid-week match but will return to action on Saturday against the LA Galaxy. The match will be held at CenturyLink Field, with a kick off time of 1 p.m. PT/4 p.m. ET.

Currently, the Galaxy sit in fourth place with 36 points.

PHOTO: Nicolás Lodeiro celebrates his game-winning goal against FC Dallas with teammates Osvaldo Alonso and Cristian Roldan. Photo courtesy of Lindsey Wasson/Seattle Sounders FC.

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