While the scoreline hasn’t changed in three games between FC Dallas and Seattle this season, Tuesday’s 1-0 loss away to the Sounders in the semifinals of the US Open Cup will certainly leave a more sour taste in FCD’s mouth.
“We’re a team that really has ambitions and wants to win championships, but unfortunately tonight we weren’t able to get a result,” goalkeeper Kevin Hartman told reporters after the 1-0 loss in Tukwila, Wash.
The difference-maker was a left-footed curling effort by Fredy Montero from 18 yards that Hartman couldn’t do anything to keep out. Seattle then halted each FC Dallas assault in the second half to ride Montero's goal to victory.
“It was a great goal by Montero,” said FCD head coach Schellas Hyndman. “They created quite a few chances in the first half and we were, I think, a little intimidated with the whole event and a lot of things weren’t just going our way.”
The young Colombian’s goal came just five minutes before halftime and followed two failed attempts by Sounders veteran midfielder Mauro Rosales, forcing Hyndman to make some changes at the break.
First-half central defender Andrew Jacobson moved up to his usual central midfield spot in place of Daniel Cruz, who was holding a yellow card, and George John played the last 45 minutes alongside Ugo Ihemelu.
“What we wanted to do was get Marvin Chávez more into the attack,” said Hyndman, “and I thought he really livened up and created a lot of problems.”
The result was a more stable FC Dallas attack that nearly generated a goal when Chávez clanged one off the post early after the restart and later in stoppage time saw the Honduran launch an open opportunity high over crossbar when a broken chance fell at his feet in the box.
“We made adjustments at halftime and going with two up front and trying to get the ball wide a little more,” said Brek Shea of the tactical changes. “It definitely opened up [the field] and we created a lot more chances in the second half.”
But similar to their 1-0 home loss to the Sounders in league play less than two weeks ago, FC Dallas just couldn’t do enough during the 90 minutes.
“I talked to the team and my thing was sometimes the ball doesn’t bounce right for you,” said Hyndman. “I think we had some scoring chances that we didn’t convert on.”
Hartman gave credit where it was due after seeing scoring chances fall through their fingers late in the match.
“Marvin had that follow-up and I think when we didn’t see any one of those go in, we felt like it might not be our night,” Hartman speculated. “You got to give credit to Seattle. They play really well on the turf and they compete.”
Robert Casner covers FC Dallas for MLSsoccer.com. He can be reached on Twitter: @robertmcasner