Tension hung in the air last night as the Seattle Sounders moved past FC Dallas in the Western Conference semifinal match of the MLS Cup Playoffs at home. The score was zero-zero, with Seattle getting a pass-through to the finals on a new away-goal tiebreaker rule.
That doesn’t mean there wasn’t a lot of action, though. Seattle repeatedly created opportunities to score, with 14 attempts on the Dallas goal during the night. Two of the closest moments came from forward Clint Dempsey in the 41st and 84th minutes, both blocked by Dallas goalkeeper Chris Seitz.
But Dallas couldn’t put it away either as Seattle’s back line held its ground, buoyed by the efforts of All-Star defensive candidate and center back Chad Marshall. The performance, which repeatedly smothered an aggressive Dallas attack, allayed concerns that have dogged the team all season: that its defense wasn’t good enough.
The team moves on to face long-time conference rival L.A. Galaxy in the finals at the end of the month. The Galaxy destroyed Real Salt Lake 5-0 in the second leg of their own semifinal matchup.