The Breakdown – FC Dallas at Seattle Sounders

When you have one win in Seattle in your entire history, a draw can be pretty good. Given how poor FCD has been of late I don’t walk away from this one with negative feelings.

“After having two bad results against DC United and Colorado, you could think that the team may have a lack of confidence but I think they responded really well.”

FC Dallas Head Coach Nico Estevez

Lineups and Tactics

FC Dallas continues to roll with the 4-3-3. Bernard Kamungo with the start at right wing. Sam Junqua in a left back with Marco Farfan sick.

The FC Dallas XI at Seattle on July 15, 2023. (Courtesy FC Dallas)
The FC Dallas XI at Seattle on July 15, 2023. (Courtesy FC Dallas)

Dante Sealy came on at the half for Geovane Jesus. Sealy played left back with Junqua moving to right back.

69th minute, Tsiki Ntsabeleng and Eugene Ansah came on for Alan Velasco and Kamungo. Then in the 88th minute, Herbert Endeley replaced Jader Obrian.

Seattle in a 4-2-3-1. Cristian Roldan returns from the Gold Cup and starts.

The Seattle XI vs FC Dallas on July 15, 2023. (Courtesy Seattle Sounders)

66th minute, Nick Lodeiro replaced my man Joao Paulo. Then in the 71st, Jordan Morris came on for Leo Chu.


FC Dallas 1-0… er, I mean, Seattle 1-0. 32nd minute. An own goal by Sam Junqua. A pretty clinical finish too. Neither team posted the game replay angle so we’re stuck with this poor one.

“They put it in a good spot. I had to challenge for it. If I didn’t, he was going to get it. There was a little push and it was an awkward one and, unfortunately, it ended up in the back the goal instead of out for a corner.”

Sam Junqua, owning it.

FC Dallas 1-1. 42nd minute. This time for real. Edwin Cerrillo to Sebastian Lletget to Bernard Kaumngo. Good team goal.

“It was a special goal, it was a great cross from Sebastian (Lletget). It reminded me of Robin van Persie’s goal in the 2014 World Cup. A great header and a great cross.”

Maarten Paes

Lo Bueno

My FCD Man of the Match was Bernard Kamungo. The value of taking chances when they come can not be overstated. This is his 3rd goal of the year and he has two game-winners and this game tier. He’s now the 2nd leading scorer for FCD this year. 2 shots in the game, both on target, accounting for the entire FCD shots on goal for the game.

“He is a player that competes well and you can see that he’s always willing to score, when a player is always willing to score, he gets into greater sports and it makes him have the opportunities and the chances to do it.”

Coach Nico Estevez

Maarten Paes was a Man of the Match candidate with two massive saves. He constantly keeps FC Dallas in games.

“It’s been a tough week for me because I lost my grandfather this week. I had to put the emotions away, but after the game I was emotional. I dedicate this game and performance tonight to him.”

Maarten paes

Nkosi Tafari and Sebas Ibeagha did a nice job in the middle of the back line. Yes, Seattle had 15 shots but only two of them got on target. FCD did a good job with blocked shots (5), forcing shots from range (29%), and harassing shooters (10 shots off target). If you can keep the scoring chances low you give yourself a chance, particularly on the road. For me, these two should be the first choice the rest of the way.

Good to see Paul Arriola back on the bench, even if he didn’t get in.

I liked what I saw from Eugene Ansah. Solid 22 minutes with FCD in game kill mode that left me wanting to see more. Nothing statistically jumps out, but he had good touch, nobility, and some burst.

Camino del Medio

Better from Sebastian Lletget. Still not back to form but some key glimpses. 43 touches (twice the previous game) 85% passing, 1 assist, 2 key passes, 3 shot-creating actions… this might have been his best game this season. Granted he mostly did it by vacating the middle, which isn’t ideal. If he’s going to do that you might as well play 4-4-2.

Sebastian Lletget passing chart vs Seattle, July 15, 2023. (Courtesy MLS)

Given the FCD way, only 40% possession is fine. Dallas relishes turning teams over and rapidly transitioning. Coach Nico even talked to the broadcasters about it as they brought it up. But FC Dallas didn’t really do that in this game. The rapid transition was missing. The good defense was there as FCD had 8 intercepts, 13 blocks, and 5/8 tackles won… they just lacked the rapid transition and didn’t create from them.

“We want to be the team that, when we don’t have the ball, we fight, battle and press and help each other. And when we have the ball, we want to be brave from the back and have the control of the possession to get to the opponent’s box.”

Coach Nico Estevez

Impressive that Dante Sealy was able to play half the game at left back without too much trouble. He’s obviously a very offensive-minded player but he had Tafari over there to help out. Sealy didn’t make any big gaffs and managed to get through it.

Muy Feo

Geovane Jesus was getting wrecked by Leo Chu. So much so that he got subbed off at the half. Sam Junqua moved to right back and basically shot down all the chaos Chu was creating.

While I understood why Jesus Ferreira wasn’t in the team it left a slightly sour taste that Cristian Roldan and Jordan Morris both returned from the USMNT in the Gold Cup and were involved for Seattle. Roldan even started.

Instant Reaction – 3 Things


  1. Neither Roldan nor Morris played nearly the minutes Jesus did. Jesus logged the full 120 minutes in the last 2 games.

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