SEATTLE – It was a disappointing end to the MLS season for FC Dallas, which fell 4-3 to the Seattle Sounders in their Western Conference Round One matchup in the Audi 2019 MLS Cup Playoffs at CenturyLink Field on Saturday after a game-winning goal by Seattle’s Jordan Morris in extra time.
Following the match, however, FCD head coach Luchi Gonzalez said he sees his team’s performance as a sign of the bright future that lies ahead for one of the youngest clubs in MLS – one that gave the Sounders everything they could handle on the road, coming back from deficits of 2-0 and 3-2 to force extra time.
“These are winners,” Gonzalez said after Saturday’s match. “These are winners and the result didn’t bounce our way. In terms of the way they live, their human qualities, their fight – they’re winners. I’m so proud and humbled to work with them and the staff.
“I’m proud of our boys, our family and our fans supporting us in the ups and the downs,” he added. “We made a dogfight out of this. I also liked our football. I thought we played, we expressed ourselves, we lived. We’re going to hurt in the short term, but in the long term I see growth and I see amazing potential in our human beings, in our locker room and I’m looking forward to the future of working with this group and the staff.”
Dallas certainly showed plenty of moxie on Saturday.
Playing in the historically hostile confines of CenturyLink, FCD looked very much on the ropes after Morris put Seattle up 2-0 just 22 minutes into the match. Instead of folding, however, the visitors punched back.
Reggie Cannon cut the deficit to 2-1 with his 39th-minute tally, before Matt Hedges equalized with a thundering header in the 64th. After Morris struck again 10 minutes later, FCD struck back to make it 3-3 with an 82nd-minute goal from Bryan Acosta.
Morris’ extra time game-winner would prove to be the difference in the wild contest, but Cannon echoed his coach’s sentiment that the performance nonetheless shows the fight that exists within his team.
“Warriors, we don’t care about the environment. We don’t care, 30,000 fans. Whatever,” Cannon said. “It doesn’t matter to us, we are going to play our football. That showed today because this team of capable of so much and you saw a little bit of that today. There was no fear from us there was no hesitation. We just went out there and played football and had each other’s back and unfortunately it just didn’t bounce our way.”
They are the type of growing pains that a young team sometimes has to go through. While the short-term disappointment is palpable, Cannon also agreed with Gonzalez in saying that experience will make the team stronger in the long run.
“Youngest MLS roster,” Cannon said. “That is three words that just kind of make you wonder how a team like that got this far – lack of experience, a lack of veteran leadership. It is something that these guys have in them. In a couple of years it is going to show."