As much as I like the playoffs better (and with how much more I’d like with the Portland Timbers still in it now officially noted), they don’t provide much space for analysis. A bunch of things happen over each 90-minute stretch (plus stoppage time), generally/interchangeably the same kinds of things that happen over 90-minute stretches (plus stoppage time) throughout the regular season, but there’s not a hell of a lot to say about coughing up three goals in 20 minutes than, “well, guess they’ll have to score four goals next Sunday.”
That’s FC Dallas’ situation, of course, after having a team-wide episode of “The Vapors” against the Seattle Sounders to start the second half. Sure, you can explore what went wrong on each of the goals (rough night for Maynor Figueroa, but the central defense wasn’t central on Seattle’s first two), but even if Dallas can fix those glitches on the return leg, it’s likely to have the same effect as pouring a glass of water on the ashes of your house after it burned down. I’m not a Dallas fan, so I’m left imagining how slowly time passed for them as Nicolas Lodeiro’s long run outside their defense reached its inevitable, agonizing climax. Personally, I had enough time for a sip of beer on either side of thinking “he’s not gonna miss that.”
That’s a huge win for Seattle, obviously, and a huge hole for Dallas. The only question left is, can Dallas make up the scorched ground? Not based on what they gave last night. Seattle held the edge all night, for one, but the blunter reality came with how much trouble Dallas had going forward. To borrow a term from MLSSoccer.com’s Matt Doyle, Dallas is missing their unicorn, Mauro Diaz. Things didn’t look great when Mauro Diaz went down or anything, but his absence didn’t kill them all on its own. Now, however, when they need to find a way forward and a minimum of three times, too? No better time for magical beasts.