FRISCO - For the first time in 2014, FC Dallas walked away from a match without a point after falling to Seattle Sounders FC 3-2 in front of over 17,000 at Toyota Stadium on Saturday night.
Things were going perfectly to script for Dallas after a scintillating first half that saw FCD outshoot Seattle 11-2 en route to a 2-1 lead, but a combination of Clint Dempsey, some bad luck and a little bit of wind doomed FCD to their first defeat of 2014.
"I thought in the first half, we could have led by three goals and the team that the people saw in the first half makes us look into the future and be very optimistic," said head coach Oscar Pareja after the match. "In the second half, Seattle did a good job and they put us on our heels and had some options that were very effective. We had a couple too and we couldn’t put it in the back of the net."
It's tough to put your finger on exactly what changed the momentum after the halftime interval, but FCD was unable to match the intensity of Seattle in that second half, a lesson they'll learn for next week's clash against Toronto FC.
"We knew they were going to press us in the second half and fight to get back in the game," said goalkeeper Chris Seitz after the match. "It was one of those things that we kind of lost what we were doing in the first half and what was working for us and switched up a little bit. Give them credit. They came out, put us to the gun, and definitely got some goals."
Despite the loss, head coach Oscar Pareja spoke highly of his group, crediting the strong first half performance while noting that his team is focused on improving every game early in the season, regardless of the result.
"I don’t want to come up here and be jumping about losing, that’s not going to happen and the boys are upset in the locker room," said Pareja. "But the boys were upset in the locker room when they beat Montreal, so that’s the mentality that we have. Now it’s a great time to keep growing and I’m saying that we have a very strong group and the core in our group is fantastic and I’m behind these guys 300%. I’m very proud of this team."
Indeed, it's straight back to work for FCD and the focus has already turned to Saturday's match against Toronto FC.
"We have to just move forward from now on," said Tesho Akindele. "All we can do is focus on the next game, Toronto. That is what everybody is worried about now, Toronto. You can’t control things in the past."