The Sounders were jolted back into MLS play with an early ping and blat of the ball off the goal post and cross bar Saturday. Stefan Cleveland’s eyes widened at the shots in the fourth and 10th minutes against FC Dallas.
Cleveland settled in by halftime, but Dallas just kept pressuring. The keeper cradled back-to-back saves in the 60th and 64th minute only to see forward Jesus Ferreira bury a right-foot shot in the 65th minute.
U.S. international Paul Arriola provided the insurance goal in the 88th, kicking the Sounders out of Toyota Stadium with a 2-0 loss to the delight of 19,096 people in attendance. Ferreira is third in the league’s Golden Boot race with seven goals to open the season.
Saturday was a sobering result for the Sounders (2-5-1), who were crowned the region’s top club with a CONCACAF Champions League title at Lumen Field on Wednesday. They are on a three-game losing streak in MLS play, dropping matches to Miami and San Jose before closing out the CCL run.
Sounders left winger Leo Chu should have had the Sounders’ opening score in the 24th minute. Dallas defender Emmanuel Twumasi slipped, letting the ball get past him to open a clear run for Chu. But the Brazilian’s shot was high in challenging keeper Maarten Paes, Twumasi also recovering enough to bump Chu on the shot.
Dallas outshot the Sounders 21-4 in the match.
There were 10 starting rotation changes after the historic CCL win. Only midfielder Ethan Dobbelaere, the 19-year-old from Seattle, made a season debut.
Dobbelaere was loaned to Czech Republic second-division side MFK Vyškov in February but returned a month later because of a broken hand injury and formally recalled last week in order to be eligible for Saturday’s match. He started in place of Alex Roldan at right wingback.
Sounders coach Brian Schmetzer also shifted the formation, playing veteran Will Bruin up top and pinching Fredy Montero along side Leo a line back with Obed Vargas and Josh Atencio in the middle.
Nouhou, who left Wednesday’s match in the 11th minute due to a thigh contusion, started at center back against Dallas with Jackson Ragen and AB Cissoko. Ragen slotted in for Xavier Arreaga, who is under concussion protocol.
Cleveland replaced Stefan Frei in goal for the second time this season.
Dallas (5-1-4) made one change from the starters that had a draw against Sporting Kansas City in their last outing. First-year coach Nico Estevez swapped defender Jose Antonio Martínez for Matt Hedges.
Schedule congestion for Seattle has the club hosting San Jose on Wednesday for a U.S. Open Cup match at Starfire Sports in Tukwila. The Sounders are entering in the round of 32, last winning the championship in 2014.