Seattle and Dallas played out one of the Western Conference’s most memorable Play Off first rounds ever witnessed, with the Sounders sealing their place in round two thanks to a last-gasp hattrick from Jordan Morris. Arriving with a second place finish in the Western Conference and a subsequent homefield advantage at CenturyLink Field, Seattle were heavy favourites in soccer betting markets at -125, though we did predict in our preview that FC Dallas could have caused more problems than their +333 outsider tag would indicate.
Whilst Dallas had outscored and conceded fewer than Seattle in the Western Conference this year, it looked as though it would be a case of everything falling into place when the Sounders burst into a 2-0 lead after just 22 minutes thanks to Raul Ruidiaz and Morris’ first of the game. Reggie Cannon and Matt Hedges equalised for Dallas in minutes 39 and 64 as the game sparked into life and both sides’ defence coaches slumped deeper into their chairs.
Morris’ deft finish in the 74th minute looked like it might have been the winner for a time, however Dallas’ Bryan Acosta’s unchecked passage at the back post wasn’t picked up, presenting an easy chance and pushing the game into extra-time. Facing what looked like an increasingly tired Seattle side, Dallas actually looked the better side for most of extra-time, though their defensive weakness would come back to haunt them again in the 113th minute.
Morris’ header might have been his final action of the game, but it sealed his hattrick and proved to be a fitting finale for what should be remembered as an absolute classic. Seattle move onto a tough fixture against an energetic Real Salt Lake side on October 23rd and remain +900 outsiders to lift this year’s MLS Cup.