An early red card to Maynor Figueroa sent FC Dallas into a tailspin that they could not recover from on Wednesday night in Seattle, as Dallas lost 5-0 to the host Seattle Sounders.
Goals from Clint Dempsey, Andreas Ivanschitz, Jordan Morris, Joevin Jones and Cristian Roldan did the damage for Seattle, who collected a much needed three points that lifts the Sounders out of the cellar of the Western Conference.
The loss ends Dallas’ three-match winning streak in MLS play, and the five goal margin of defeat ties an early season loss at Houston as their heaviest defeat of the 2016 season.
The starting lineup named by Oscar Pareja was a rotational one to be sure, with forward Colin Bonner and defender Aubrey David receiving their FC Dallas debuts. Midfielders Carlos Lizarazo and Juan Ortiz each got a rare start as well for Dallas, with Kellyn Acosta, Fabian Castillo, Michael Barrios and Maxi Urruti each left on the bench for the match.
Defender Matt Hedges and mifielder Mauro Diaz were each not named to the game day roster by Pareja, as the FC Dallas manager opted not to risk the two players on Seattle’s artificial turf playing surface at CenturyLink Field.
FC Dallas were down both a man and a goal within the opening five minutes of the match, in what was a less than ideal start for the visitors.
A defensive lapse from defender Atiba Harris allowed Jones to drive in on the goal of Chris Seitz and get himself in a scoring opportunity. Jones’ effort struck the hand of Figueroa and deflected away from goal, leaving match official Ricardo Salazar with no choice but to show Figueroa a straight red card and award Seattle a penalty kick.
Dempsey casually dispatched the penalty to put the Sounders into the lead, placing his effort in the top right corner of the net. The penalty conversion ensured that Seitz would not enjoy a fourth straight shutout in goal for FC Dallas.
Harris was also at fault for Seattle’s second goal in the 18th minute, which came courtesy of Ivanschitz. Osvaldo Alonso’s long through-ball found the Austrian after he easily lost the mark of Harris, before Ivanschitz lobbed an oncoming Seitz to double the lead for the hosts.
The young American Morris made it 3-0 just four minutes later, finishing from a Dempsey pass after an FC Dallas turnover in midfield.
Given the three-goal deficit and the man disadvantage, Pareja decided to cut short Bonner’s debut in the 27th minute when Acosta was substituted on in his place.
However, the match soon became a 10 on 10 affair in the 33rd minute when Dempsey was shown a straight red card for a flailing arm that caught the face of Ortiz, after the FC Dallas man made a late challenge on the United States international. Ortiz received a yellow card for his challenge and potential embellishment of the contact with Dempsey, but given the strict MLS rules about contact with an opponent’s head, the sending-off of Dempsey was understandable.
Despite the halftime addition of Barrios, on in place of Lizarazo, Seattle stretched their lead to 4-0 in the 61st minute through Jones.
Jones’ strike from outside the penalty box took a big deflection off of Harris, and left Seitz with no hope of getting to the shot as it bounced into the net.
The final FC Dallas substitution of the night came just past the 60th minute mark when Castillo replaced Ortiz, although it did little to help the Dallas attack, as the visitors finished the match without a shot on target.
The fifth Seattle goal arrived in the 73rd minute via Roldan, who was left unmarked by David in the Dallas penalty box to head home a cross from Ivanschitz to cap the scoring. Despite the mistake by the new-signing David, it was a positive debut for the defender on-loan from Saprissa, as he held down the left side of the defense quite well.
With Colorado inactive on Wednesday, FC Dallas remain top of the Western Conference despite the defeat. Their record of 11-4-6 (W-D-L) now features a goal differential of just +2 to accompany their 37 points, with Dallas having played three more games than Colorado (34 points) in second place.
Seattle climb to 9th in the Western Conference with the win, surpassing Houston with the Sounders now on 20 points after 18 matches.
FC Dallas will be in action next on Saturday night at Toyota Stadium in Frisco, where they will face the Chicago Fire of the Eastern Conference at 8 p.m.