Major League Soccer’s new road-goals tiebreaker worked out just fine for Seattle Sounders FC, who advanced to the Western Conference final despite not outscoring FC Dallas in either match of the two-leg series.
Seattle and Dallas played to a scoreless draw Monday before a crowd of 38, 912 at CenturyLink Field. That was enough to put the Sounders through because of the road goal in their 1-1 draw at Dallas in the first leg last week.
That opening draw meant either team would advance with a win in the second leg, while Seattle would advance with a scoreless draw and Dallas would have advanced with a multigoal draw.
Despite the conflicting scenarios, both teams played aggressively from the opening whistle. Play went quickly from end to end, and both teams had chances through the scoreless first half. The best of the chances may have belonged to the Sounders — Clint Dempsey put two shots on goal that were saved by Dallas goalkeeper Chris Seitz, and Chad Marshall put a header on goal that was cleared off the line by Michel.
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Seattle took stronger hold on the match through the second half, with Dempsey and Obafemi Martins taking advantage of Dallas increasingly pushing forward for the goal needed to stave off elimination.
That goal never came, and so it is the Sounders who move on to the Western Conference final against the Los Angeles Galaxy. That aggregate-score series will begin Nov. 23 at StubHub Center in Carson, California, and resolve Nov. 30 at CenturyLink Field.
This is the second time the Sounders have advanced to the Western Conference finals. They have never made it to MLS Cup.
They also become the first Supporters’ Shield winner to advance beyond the conference semifinals since 2011.
Earlier in the day, the United States national team announced that Sounders defender DeAndre Yedlin has been called in for a pair of friendlies: Nov. 14 vs. Colombia in London and Nov. 18 vs. Ireland in Dublin.
The call-up comes during an international break in the MLS playoffs, and should not affect his availability for the Los Angeles series.