Sounders begin quest for treble against FCD

Frisco, TX (SportsNetwork.com) – Seattle Sounders FC will begin their quest
for a treble on Sunday when the club travels to Toyota Stadium to face FC
Dallas in the first leg of the Western Conference semifinals.

Seattle’s quest for three trophies in one season began back in September when
the club claimed a 3-1 win over the Philadelphia Union in the U.S. Open Cup
final.

Last weekend, the Sounders capped their regular season in style with a 2-0
win over the Los Angeles Galaxy to claim the club’s first-ever Supporters’
Shield.

With two titles already in the bag, the only one left is the big one as Sigi
Schmid’s club aims for its first MLS Cup title.

Marco Pappa hit for a pair of goals late on to lift the Sounders to the
Shield-clinching victory. The opener came in the 85th minute as a quick free
kick saw Obafemi Martins split the defense for an unmarked Pappa to fire home
from close range.

Pappa made sure of the victory in the final minute of stoppage time, pouncing
on a defensive miscue from the Galaxy to chip home the insurance goal.

“At the end of the day, I think the Shield is another feather in the cap of
our organization,” Schmid said after the match. “I think people forget that
we’re still a very young organization. We’re only six years in, and now we’ve
won four Open Cups and a Supporters Shield. That’s five trophies in six
years. I think its a reflection of our consistency.”

Winning the Supporters’ Shield is certainly a testament to the club’s
remarkable consistency. Seattle became the first team to win 20 games since
1999.

“I’m really proud of our group,” Schmid said. “We’ll enjoy it today and
tomorrow. Then it’s back to work.

Back to work for Seattle means getting prepared to face an FC Dallas team that
comes in riding momentum following a dramatic 2-1 win over Vancouver Whitecaps
FC in the knockout round game on Wednesday.

FC Dallas opened the scoring just before the break as a defensive mistake
between Kendall Waston and Andy O’Brien allowed FCD’s Mauro Diaz to advance
the ball into the final third of the pitch. Diaz made the covering defender
commit before slipping a well-timed through ball into the path of Tesho
Akindele, who showed great aplomb in firing a right-footed shot past David
Ousted for the opener.

Dallas, though, did not adequately deal with a set piece in the 64th minute as
a couple of failed clearances resulted in a scramble in the box. The ball
eventually fell to the feet of Erik Hurtado, who fired a shot that took a
slight deflection on its way past Chris Seitz at the near post for the
equalizer.

The defining moment came in the 84th minute when Waston handled the ball in
the box inside the final 10 minutes.

Amid a great deal of protest from the visitors, referee Mark Geiger awarded
Dallas a penalty and Michel made no mistake with the ensuing attempt, firing
home an emphatic finish to clinch the victory for Oscar Pareja’s men.

The sides met three times during the regular season, with Seattle wining
twice. But FC Dallas did manage a 3-1 win over Seattle in the most recent
meeting on Sept 24.