Sounders FC Advances to MLS Western Conference Championship with 1-0 Win over FC Dallas
SEATTLE, WASH. - Seattle Sounders FC advanced to the Western Conference Championship with a 1-0 win over FC Dallas on Tuesday evening at Lumen Field. Shane O'Neill scored the game's lone goal, as the Rave Green advance to the Conference Championship for the fourth time in the last five seasons. Brian Schmetzer's side is set to face the winner of Thursday's match between Sporting Kansas City and Minnesota United FC on Monday, December 7, with kickoff at 6:30 p.m. PT at Lumen Field should Minnesota win, and 6:00 p.m. PT at Children's Mercy Park should SKC win.
Both teams had their fair share of chances at netting the opening goal in the first 45 minutes. Although the two sides combined for 11 first-half shots, neither squad was able to find the back of the net, and they headed into halftime scoreless.
It didn't take long for Sounders FC to get on the scoresheet in the second half, as Shane O'Neill guided a header into the back of the net via a NicolÃ¡s Lodeiro corner kick in the 49th minute, putting the Rave Green on top and into Western Conference Finals.
Due to 2020's unbalanced schedule because of COVID-19, tonight's Western Conference Semifinal was just the first meeting of the season between Seattle and FC Dallas.
Tuesday marked Seattle's eighth match against Dallas in the Audi MLS Cup Playoffs, surpassing the LA Galaxy for the most postseason meetings of any Sounders FC opponent. The Rave Green are 4-2-2 all-time against FC Dallas in the postseason and have advanced past the Hoops in four of the five seasons they have met in the playoffs.
Including postseason play, Seattle is now 16-9-9 all-time against FC Dallas, including a 13-1-3 mark at Lumen Field.
With tonight's win, Seattle extends its home postseason winning streak to 14 games. Last Tuesday's victory over LAFC broke the tie for the longest streak in MLS history with D.C. United, who won the first 12 home playoff games in the club's history at RFK Stadium, covering the entirety of the first four postseasons in league history (1996-1999).
Seattle has now won seven straight postseason games, the second-longest winning streak in playoff history, and the longest run since the end of the MLS Shootout era.
For the fourth time in the past five seasons, Seattle advances to the Western Conference Championship. Since 2016, Sounders FC has represented the West in MLS Cup in the three prior occasions (2016, 2017, 2019).
With the go-ahead goal in the 49th minute of play, Shane O'Neill recorded his first postseason goal in just his third playoff appearance. It was just his third goal in seven MLS seasons, and his first since 2014. In his first season with the Rave Green, O'Neill has played a major role in Seattle's central defense, playing in 18 of the club's 22 regular season matches.
With the assist on O'Neill's header, club captain NicolÃ¡s Lodeiro earned his ninth postseason assist. His is first in club history in playoff assists.
Lodeiro's nine career postseason assists are not only a club record, but also the most among active MLS players and tied for eighth in league history. With assists in six consecutive postseason matches, the Uruguayan also owns the league record for helpers in consecutive games in the MLS Cup Playoffs.
Per Opta, Lodeiro's assist was his first helper on a corner kick since last season's Western Conference Semifinal versus Real Salt Lake, also on a headed opening goal (Gustav Svensson).
Seattle remains unbeaten in 2020 in games where the club scores first (12-0-1).
Seattle Sounders FC 1 - FC Dallas 0
Tuesday, December 1, 2020
Venue: Lumen Field
Referee: Robert Sibiga
Assistants: Frank Anderson, Jeremy Kieso
Fourth Official: Fotis Bazakos
VAR: David Gantar
Attendance: Closed Door
Weather: 43 degrees and clear
SEA - Shane O'Neill (NicolÃ¡s Lodeiro) 49'
DAL - Bressan (caution) 58'
SEA - João Paulo (caution) 69'
DAL - Thiago Santos (caution) 74'
LINEUPS & STATS
Seattle Sounders FC - Stefan Frei; Alex Roldan, Yeimar GÃ³mez Andrade, Shane O'Neill, Nouhou; Cristian Roldan, João Paulo (RomÃ¡n Torres 87'), Joevin Jones (Kelvin Leerdam 68'), NicolÃ¡s Lodeiro, Jordan Morris (Brad Smith 90'+1'); RaÃºl RuidÃaz
Substitutes not used: Stefan Cleveland, Xavier Arreaga, Miguel Ibarra, Jordy Delem, Will Bruin, Jimmy Medranda
Total shots: 14 (Jones, 4)
Shots on goal: 2 (O'Neill/Jones, 1)
Fouls: 11 (João Paulo, 4)
Offside: 1 (Lodeiro, 1)
Corner-kicks: 8 (Lodeiro, 8)
FC Dallas - Jimmy Mauer; Bryan Reynolds, Matt Hedges, Bressan, John Nelson (Michael Barrios 58'); Andres Ricaurte, Thiago Santos (Jesus Ferreira 87'), Fabrice-Jean Picault (Ricardo Pepi 80'), Tanner Tessmann (Santiago Mosquera 81'), Ryan Hollingshead; Franco Jara
Substitutes not used: Phelipe, Reto Ziegler, Callum Montgomery, Brandon Servania, Ema Twumasi
Total shots: 10 (Picault/Tessmann, 2)
Shots on goal: 0
Fouls: 14 (Ricaurte/Santos, 3)
Offside: 2 (Jara/Barrios, 1)
Corner-kicks: 4 (Ricaurte, 3)
Saves: 1 (Maurer, 1)
Images from this story
Seattle Sounders FC go high for a header against FC Dallas
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Major League Soccer Stories from December 2, 2020
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- Orlando City SC Forward Dom Dwyer to Enter Free Agency - Orlando City SC
- Nashville SC Proud and Determined After 2020 Season Ends in Columbus - Nashville SC
- Preview: Sporting to Host Minnesota on Thursday in Conference Semifinals - Sporting Kansas City
- Columbus Crew SC to Host the New England Revolution in the Audi 2020 MLS Cup Playoffs Eastern Conference Final this Sunday - Columbus Crew SC
- Minnesota United FC vs. Sporting Kansas City Preview - Minnesota United FC
- FC Cincinnati Re-Sign Four Players - FC Cincinnati
- Columbus Crew SC Provides COVID-19 Testing Update - Columbus Crew SC
- Philadelphia Union Exercise 2021 Options on Seven Players - Philadelphia Union
- Philadelphia Union Sign Forward Cory Burke to New Contract - Philadelphia Union
- Sounders FC Advances to MLS Western Conference Championship with 1-0 Win over FC Dallas - Seattle Sounders FC
- FC Dallas Falls 1-0 to Seattle Sounders in Western Conference Semifinals - FC Dallas
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