FC Dallas hopeful of MLS Cup playoff recovery

FC Dallas' Walker Zimmerman (left) watches as Nicolas Lodeiro of the host Seattle Sounders scores his first goal in their MLS Cup playoff match on October 30, 2016, in Seattle, Washington. (Photo: Jane Gershovich/Seattle Sounders FC)

SEATTLE, Washington – FC Dallas head coach Oscar Pareja is hopeful that his team can rebound from Sunday’s 3-0 loss at the Seattle Sounders in the opener of the MLS Cup Western Conference semifinals.

All three goals were conceded during an eight-minute, second-half stretch, leaving the 2016/17 Scotiabank CONCACAF Champions League quarterfinalist postseason fate to hang in the balance.  Nelson Valdez made it 1-0 in the 50th minute, while Nicolas Lodeiro added a pair of insurance goals shortly afterwards.

In last year’s MLS Cup playoffs, at the same stage, visiting Dallas dropped a 2-1 decision to Seattle, only to bounce with a 2-1 home win and advance on penalty kicks, 4-2.

“We overcame a difficult result last year when we left this field and we will try to do the same,” said Pareja.  “This team has shown during the year that we can overcome difficult situations, so why not this one as well?”

Despite the setback, Pareja was quick to praise the Sounders, who are unbeaten in 16 of 21 all-time meetings with FCD.

“After [the first Seattle] goal I thought we could be more mature and composed on the field and not let them score the second one, so in that respect we should have been much better,” the 48-year-old commented.  “But you have to give credit to [Seattle].  They brought intensity in those moments and we take our hats off to them.”

Earlier in the month, Dallas rallied from a two-goal deficit to defeat Guatemala’s Suchitepequez and earn a place in the SCCL knockout phase. 

FCD knows that same spirit will be required when it meets the Sounders again on Sunday.

After all, as Pareja finished, “There is no tomorrow.