Taking on a tough FC Dallas side in 100 degree heat on short rest was never going to be easy, and the Seattle Sounders were likely fortunate to leave Texas with a point after a scrappy match that saw four yellow cards and a scary clash of heads that forced a bloodied Osvaldo Alonso to be withdrawn from the game. A clearly exhausted Seattle spent the majority of the second half on the back foot, and after the hour mark it became apparent that the primary goal was to leave Dallas with a point in tact. Combined with San Jose's 4-0 shellacking of Chivas USA the result means that Seattle's already paper-thin Supporters Shield hopes have all but disappeared, but the point was good enough to leapfrog the LA Galaxy into third place in the Western Conference and keep second place Real Salt Lake within striking distance.
The return of Steve Zakuani was the story of the night, and it didn't take long for his presence to be felt; in the 20th minute, Zakuani found himself 1-v-1 on the wing and used his speed to find space near the touchline before sending a low cross against the face of goal that was tapped in by Mauro Rosales. FC Dallas would grab the equalizer in the 32nd minute after Blas Perez fired the ball from the edge of the area that was missed by Adam Johannson and put away by Jackson. Despite solid chances from each side, that would round out the scoring. The Sounders had moments of weakness defensively, but some excellent last-ditch defending and several stunning saves by Michael Gspurning preserved the draw.
The Sounders will now take a much-needed week off before hosting Chivas USA on Saturday. Seattle will then travel to face the Portland Timbers on September 15th. With the final two games of September coming against the San Jose Earthquakes and Vancouver Whitecaps, the Sounders will need to make the most of those two winnable games in order to maximize their playoff positioning. This isn't the result Seattle will have been hoping for at the start of the night, but given the way events unfolded it was likely the best possible outcome. In MLS play, even the best teams have to pragmatic.