Two was an unlucky number for the Sounders in Dallas on Saturday.
They waded through a two-hour weather delay to give up two own goals in a 2-1 loss to FC Dallas at Toyota Stadium. It’s the first time the Sounders have given up multiple own goals in a game.
“You can’t gift teams goals,” Sounders coach Brian Schmetzer said via audio provided by MLS. “Stop giving away soft goals, and we’ll give ourselves a chance.”
Kickoff was pushed back because of thunderstorms in the Dallas metro area. It was still raining during parts of the opening half, but the field wasn’t described by the players as slick or sloppy.
It was the Sounders’ self-inflicted wounds that created a mess.
In the 33rd minute, Sounders defender Xavier Arreaga jumped into the air to clear a Ryan Hollingshead header, but instead flicked the ball into the Sounders goal.
Saturday was Arreaga’s first MLS start. The Ecuadorian, who arrived in Seattle on May 23, replaced Kim Kee-hee, who’s out with a left knee sprain suffered in the loss at Kansas City last week.
Dallas’ second score was off a set piece. Midfielder Michael Barrios sent a cross into the box in the 39th minute that, when Sounders left back Brad Smith went to deflect, scooted into the goal past keeper Stefan Frei.
“The first half was pretty garbage,” Frei said via audio provided by MLS. “It’s the second game on the road where we’ve come out a bit flat in the first half. … We’ve got to come out stronger, a bit more mentally prepared to not make stupid errors. I’m not talking about the goals specifically, but you give the ball away poorly, first touch, simple passes — those are small things, but they add up.”
The Sounders tried to overcome their mistakes in the second half. Forward Raul Ruidiaz scored off an assist from Will Bruin in the 65th minute. It’s Ruidiaz’s sixth goal of the season.
Seattle (7-3-5) couldn’t find the equalizer, even when substituting creative players such as Handwalla Bwana and Joevin Jones. The latter joined the Sounders on Wednesday after playing in Germany.
“The chances that they got were because of our sloppiness, our mishandling of the ball,” said Sounders midfielder Cristian Roldan via audio provided by MLS. Seattle limited Dallas to one shot on target and possessed the ball 52.3 percent of the game.
“The second half was a lot better, and you take that as a positive,” Roldan continued. “But overall, it’s disappointing we didn’t get the result.”
“The second goal killed us,” Schmetzer said. “It was a bad goal to take. It gave them momentum going into the half and you can’t dig yourself a hole 2-0 all the time and expect to win — especially on the road.”
Saturday was the second Sounders match this season impacted by weather. An April game in Colorado was rescheduled because of a blizzard. They will make up that game in September.
Regardless of conditions, the Sounders were going to face a challenge against Dallas (6-6-3).
The Sounders played without center midfielder Nico Lodeiro, who served a one-game suspension because of yellow-card accumulation. He was shown his fifth in the loss to Kansas City.
The Sounders were also without wingers Victor Rodriguez and Jordan Morris, who each are dealing with hamstring injuries. Rodriguez missed his fourth consecutive start while Morris missed his third.
Sounders midfielder Gustav Svensson returned after missing the past six matches with a hamstring injury. He played the middle alongside Jordy Delem as Roldan was moved up to replace Lodeiro.
“I’m disappointed that I didn’t get as many touches as I wanted to in the attacking half (of the field) when I was playing as an attacking mid in the first half,” Roldan said via audio provided by MLS. “In the second half, I was able to step it up and play a little bit more of my natural position and press guys from behind.”
I felt like I helped the team a little bit more in that position. … Wish I could’ve done more.”
A match at Montreal on Wednesday is the Sounders’ final before a two-week break for international play. The Sounders are expected to have 12 players called up for various competitions and miss the MLS game.