The Sounders losing streak reaches a club-record four games with a 2-0 loss at FC Dallas.
Sounders (15-12-6) can still get into playoffs tomorrow if L.A. win or ties against San Jose. Otherwise, it's going down to the final weekend, as Los Angeles visits next Sunday with a full-stadium sellout crowd expected.
This result also eliminates Seattle from Supporters Shield race.
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It marks not only the first four-game losing streak in Sounders FC history, but also the first in Sigi Schmid’s 14 seasons as an MLS coach.
Meanwhile, other negative milestones keep piling up. Seattle finishes 5-10-2 on the road, where they were outscored 27-13.
The Sounders haven’t won since Sept. 13. They haven't held a lead since September 29. They haven’t scored since Oct. 9.
The Sounders got off to an encouraging start as Brad Evans and DeAndre Yedlin both get shots on goal in the early minutes, while Clint Dempsey make a run into the box and Lamar Neagle sent an attempt just over the crossbar.
Seattle similarly started the second half with chances as Evans put a volley over the bar and Neagle sent a bicycle kick wide, both from inside the area.
Those squandered chances – and more yet to come – came back to haunt the Sounders as Dallas made good on a couple of its chances.
The Hoops jumped ahead in the 65th minute, after a free kick was conceded by Leo Gonzalez 28 yards from goal. Matt Hedges got his head to the ball, and guided it past Goalkeeper Marcus Hahnamann.
Seattle had a chance to respond almost immediately, as Dempsey slipped a pass to Evans, who rolled his shot just wide. A few minutes later, David Estrada put a header on goal, but it was cleared away by Hedges. A couple of minutes after that, Dempsey snuck a free kick through the Dallas wall, just just wide of the post.
The Hoops ended the suspense in the 87th minute, when Michel scored in the 87th minute.The Sounders once again played without key personnel, as goals leader Eddie Johnson and designated player Obafemi Martins were out with injuries, MLS Best XI midfielder Osvaldo Alonso was out due to red-card suspension, and former No. 1 goalkeeper Michael Gspurning was benches for the second consecutive game by coach’s decision.
I'll be back with notes and quotes.87' GOAL Dallas, as Michel cleans up after scramble in Sounders box. Dallas, 2-0.
80' Sounders' final subs: Zavaleta and Rose in for Rosales and Moffat.
69' Estrada on for Caskey.
65' GOAL Dallas. Matt Hedges goal after free kick from 28 yards out. Hoops, 1-0.
First 15 minutes of second half: Sounders being dangerous. Evans whacks one over the bar. Neagle bicycle kick wide.
Second half: ... has begun. Blas Perez in for Dallas.
Halftime: Scoreless. Schmid says team needs to do better possessiong ball on attacking end and singles out Lamar Neagle as needing to do better job.
Shots 6-5 SEA; on goal 3-1 SEA; fouls 8-5 SEA; possession 57% SEA.
Scuffle between Dallas players before going on pitch.
First 20 minutes: Play has evened out a bit. Sort of a choppy and chippy game still looking for rhythm.
First five minutes: Nice start for Sounders, as Evans and Yedlin both get shots on goal, Dempsey makes run into the box and Neagle fires over the crossbar.
First kick: ... has been struck. We're under way. Sounders in rave/rave. Dallas in red and white hoops/red.
Lineup: Sounders starting with Hahnemann; Yedlin, Hurtado, Ianni, Gonzalez; Rosales (C), Evans, Moffat, Caskey; Dempsey, Neagle. Reserves are Subs: Gspurning, Burch, Zavaleta, Scott, Remick, Estrada, Rose.
One hour before first kick: Clint Dempsey tells NBC that his injury still hurts but he'll be able to push though and hopefully help the Sounders win.
Two hours before first kick: The Sounders are in the north Dallas suburb of Frisco, Texas, today, where they will meet FC Dallas. Coverage on NBC -- yes, big network NBC -- begins at 11:30. The game also is on the usual radio outlets, and I'll blog here with more notes and comments on Twitter @donruiztnt.
The stakes, yet again, are playoff qualification, seeding, and continued chances at the Western Conference title and even Supporters Shield.
Seattle will clinch a playoff spot with a win. The Sounders also would get in with a draw if Colorado loses or ties with Vancouver on Saturday or San Jose loses or ties with Los Angeles on Sunday. Seattle also could get in regardless of result if Colorado and L.A. win.
The Sounders have qualified while on the road in each of their first four seasons.
Dallas is assured of missing the playoffs for the second consecutive season.
Here is our preview story from today's paper.