FC Dallas goalkeeper Chris Seitz (pictured) makes a save against the host Seattle Sounders in a MLS game on July 13, 2016. (Photo: via Sounders FC Communications Jane Gershovich)
SEATTLE, Washington – With its 2016-17 Scotiabank CONCACAF Champions League opener against Real Esteli just three weeks away, FC Dallas is arguably one of the most unpredictable sides in the 24-team field.
It tops Western Conference table with an MLS-best record of 11W-4D-6L and is level with three other teams for the second-most goals scored at 31. Oddly, however, Dallas has lost three matches by at least four goals -- an irregularity for such a successful squad.
Highlighting the unusual nature of the season, after winning three straight games by shutout, it dropped a 5-0 road decision to the Seattle Sounders on Wednesday.
"That is the league. Today will humble us a little," head coach Oscar Pareja conceded after the match. "They have fought hard throughout this season and despite [the] terrible result, I’m backing them up 100 percent. They had a difficult week of traveling, but we’re not going to use that as an excuse. Instead we are going to look at what we have done."
Dallas was forced to play the final 86 minutes of the match with 10 men after Honduras international defender Maynor Figueroa was sent off for handling the ball in the penalty area. Clint Dempsey converted the subsequent penalty kick, ending the team's shutout streak at 321 minutes. The U.S. international was dismissed in the 33rd minute, leveling the playing field and handing the visitor a lifeline. By that point, though, Seattle had increased its advantage to 3-0.
“We have to walk out of here today accepting that our rival was much better,” concluded Pareja. "We’re going to turn the page.”
FC Dallas will return to action on Saturday against the Chicago Fire, looking to extend its club-record 15-game unbeaten home streak at Toyota Stadium.