The Breakdown – FC Dallas at Seattle Sounders, June 2024

For 70 minutes, FC Dallas was playing as well as you can on the road in MLS. Heath Pearce was raving about it on the MLS broadcast. Peter Luccin was looking like a coaching wizard… then the wheels came off.

“The message was that they played a very beautiful game, in a stadium where it’s not so easy, for 70 minutes. Then we threw away that game in the last 20-25 minutes. We weren’t smart enough, not taking care of the ball enough. We can’t spend 20 minutes just defending and kicking the ball away. The courage we had in the first half to play, this is the courage that we needed in the second half as well”

Interim Coach Peter Luccin

Let’s break it down.

Lineups and Tactics

Interim Coach Peter Luccin chose to overcome the missing Asier Illarramendi (yellow card suspension) with a 4-2-3-1. Sebastian Lletget and Liam Fraser were in the double pivot. The posted XI by FCD didn’t match the shape, neither does the one on MLS, So here’s one I made.

FC Dallas XI at Seattle on June 22, 2024.
FC Dallas XI at Seattle on June 22, 2024.

There wasn’t as much rotation as I expected beyond Delgado coming back in.

60th-minute mark, Longan Farrington came on for Jesus Ferreira who appeared to have a physical issue.

Taking a 2-goal lead at the 70th-minute mark, Coach Peter Luccin brought on Dante Sealy for Tsiki Ntsabeleng… much more on this down below.

Finally, trying to hold on, Omar Gonzalez was brought on for Patrickson Delgado as FCD shifted into 3-4-3. It often compressed into a 4-5-1.

FC Dallas late game 3-4-3 at Seattle on June 22, 2024.
FC Dallas late game 3-4-3 at Seattle on June 22, 2024.

“Going with the back five was because we saw them with a lot of volume on the inside with a lot of crosses so putting another extra man inside was to control the box more.”

Interim Coach Peter Luccin

Seattle stuck with their normal 4-2-3-1.

The Seattle Sounders XI vs FC Dallas on June 22, 2024. (Courtesy Seattle Sounders)
The Seattle Sounders XI vs FC Dallas on June 22, 2024. (Courtesy Seattle Sounders)

Seattle brought on Raúl Ruidíaz for Danny Musovski in the 60th minute. Then down a goal, Paul Rothrock came on for Leo Chu at 67′ but Chu took so long Rothrock was forced to wait two minutes before entering the game.

Down 2-0, Reed Baker-Whiting came on for Nouhou in the 73rd.


1-0 FC Dallas Goal. 66th minute. Logan Farrington fires in a cross for the right and Patrickson Delgado makes a nice finish to take the lead.

2-0 FC Dallas Goal. 70th minute. Another goal triggered by Logan Farrington who makes a pass into the feet of Patrickson Delgado. Delgado makes a quick 2-touch pass to the breaking Petar Musa who scores back post. Fantastic team goal.

2-1 Seattle Sounders goal. 78th minute. Dante Sealy doesn’t close him down and Albert Rusnák is allowed tons of space to line up a cross he fires into the box. Raúl Ruidíaz – who overloaded the center channel and was untracked – gets to the ball first for the header.

2-2 Seattle Sounders goal. 88th minute. The first Seattle goal this season off a corner. Dante Sealy is marking Jordan Morris, Sealy has him hugged in fact, and then just lets Morris drift away for the open header. Great finish my Morris.

2-3 Seattle Sounders goal. 90’+4 minute. Nkosi Tafari, a bit upfield, turns the ball over and Seattle breaks right through the gap between Sebastien Ibeagha and Omar Gonzalez. Morris is too quick to get caught and scores. There is what looks like a handball upfield on the Tafari turnover but VAR doesn’t see it.

Lo Bueno

My Man of the Match was Logan Farrington. He brought a lot of energy and confidence to the game. His movement, positioning, and runs were all excellent. Overall standout play by him for 30 minutes. 13 touches resulted in 3 shot-creating actions and 3 goal-creating actions. 2 of his 9 passes were progressive.

“We had a good first half and a good start to the second half. We had a lot of space going forward and I was able to capitalize on that by getting an assist and starting the second goal. I thought I was able to just bring a little energy to the game.”

Logan Farrington

Jesus Ferreira was having a terrific game before he pulled up lame. 46 touched in 59 minutes, 5 progressive passes, 2 progressive carries, and 3 shot-creating actions all three led FCD. 3 key passes, 5 into the final third, and 1 into the penalty area.

He’s no Illarramendi, but Sebastian Lletget did most of the heavy lifting in linking through the midfield. He was strong all night long. 75 touches led FCD. 92% passing with 2 shot-creating actions. 5 recoveries, 1 key pass, 3 passes into the final third, 2 passes into the penalty area, 2 crosses into the penalty area, and 2 progressive passes.

Camino del Medio

Patrickson Delgado but most measures had a poor’ish game… except one. The one metric that truly matters: goals. He scored a great goal when his chance came and he played an amazing combo with Musa for the 2nd. Outside of that though… he struggled to find the game. 79 minutes with just 31 touches. Clean passing at 94%, but poor receiving with 3 miscontrols, and 2 dispossessions. His defense was a bit meh, 0 for 2 on tackles, 1 for 3 on challenges,

FCD scoring above xG is a common occurrence of late. This game is more of the same. Dallas withstood the early pressure, found more of the game, and then got some chances they converted.


We all know the Dallas shooting efficiency is a thing and yes, 2 goals in 5 shots on target from 8 total shots is how this team plays. 71% of shots in the box. I like good shooting efficiency, but that’s very hard to be sustainable. Last three games Dallas has been outshot 21 to 9, 20 to 9, and 26 to 9. On the season, FCD is averaging 11 shots a game.

Muy Feo

As I said in my Instant Reaction – 3 Things (see below) the Dante Sealy sub cost FCD this game. Coach Luccin took off a possession-type player who can relieve pressure for a player who only sits wide, collects balls played to his feet, and runs at people. Nothing in his game helps relieve pressure. Was the idea to get in behind? Sealy doesn’t do that either. He also doesn’t play defense, see the 2nd goal. In 20 minutes, Sealy was 40% passing on 12 touches with 0 successful take-ons, and he committed 3 fouls. In those 12 touches, he had 3 miscontrols, was dispossessed 1 time, and had 2 passes completed with one of his passes being blocked. It’s not just on him, he wasn’t put in a position to succeed.

“We want to play football. It’s clear that is Peter’s identity. We did that most of the game but to win in MLS and to be champions and to be a great team, we have to perform for 90 minutes. Today we fell a little bit short, but I’m sure we’re gonna learn from this.”

Tsiki Ntsabeleng

Instant Reaction – 3 Things

Jordan Morris and Paul Rothrock celebrate Morris' game winner against FC Dallas, June 22, 2024. (Courtesy FC Dallas)
Jordan Morris and Paul Rothrock celebrate Morris’ game winner against FC Dallas, June 22, 2024. (Courtesy FC Dallas)


  1. Before Instant Reaction was posted, I told my wife that when Sealy came on, we gave up 3 goals. No defense, no possession. Nico did the same thing earlier that cost us a game. I don’t get it. Nico and Luccin are smart coaches. I don’t get the infatuation with Dante Sealy. I must be really dumb.

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