The Seattle Sounders continued their run towards a historic domestic treble on Monday night, advancing past FC Dallas in the Western Conference semi-final round of the MLS Cup Play-offs with a 0-0 home draw.
After a 1-1 draw in the last weekend’s first-leg, an away goal in Dallas was enough to see the Sounders through to the Championship series after a tension-riddled stalemate at CenturyLink Field, with their back-line managing to subdue the visitors’ dynamic attack.
“Being able to defend well is an important part of winning a championship,” head coach Sigi Schmid said after the match.
“I know during the season the pundits were saying, ‘Do they have a good enough defence to win it?’ I think we’ve proven over the last three or four weeks that we can play good enough defence for sure.”
With victory setting up a tie against the LA Galaxy, part of the reason for Seattle’s triumph was the impressive defensive performance of soon-to-be Tottenham Hotspur right-back DeAndre Yedlin, who successfully managed to shut down the right flank on the night.
|Total Tackles||Total Clearances||Interceptions||Total Crosses||Cross Acc||Total Dribbles||Dribble Acc||Total Passes||Pass Acc||Total Touches||Unsuccessful Touches||Mins Played|
Known more for his speed in attack, the 21-year-old’s defensive skills has been criticised at times in the past, making Monday’s showing an encouraging one ahead of his future move to White Hart Lane.
With news that he is on the verge of securing his Latvian passport, that switch could come as soon as January but, until then, the US international is hoping to help Seattle add a first-ever MLS Cup to the US Open Cup and Supporters’ Shield titles already won this season.
Judging by the reaction to his recent display, fans of the Pacific Northwest outfit will certainly be disappointed to see him depart, but they wouldn’t begrudge him the chance to prove himself in one of Europe’s top leagues either.
I'm really going to miss my boy Yedlin when he leaves...— SoccerGirl (@soccergirl_prob) November 11, 2014
really glad sounders went through because I'm not emotionally prepared for Yedlin's last game in rave green— Hannah (@hkeolker) November 11, 2014
Yedlin has gotten much better crossing the ball. #growth— Uchenna Nwude (@biggeazy206) November 11, 2014
This defense is gonna be no good next year. No Yedlin is gonna be painful.— Dr. Loomucopia Ham (@loomishamilton) November 11, 2014
Omg that Yedlin header THAT'S COMMITMENT— Sophie (@insopherable) November 11, 2014
@marcusborton good thing you guys are getting Yedlin because he will help your defense. We would have lost this series without him.— ThirdStringAllStar (@3StringAllStar) November 11, 2014
DeAndre Yedlin.. Disgustingly fast and amount of hair keeps dwindling.. Next Landon Donovan?— John Rey (@JohnReyBtB) November 11, 2014
DeAndre Yedlin would walk into Tottenhams starting 11 today— Danheem Hendotelli (@weareliverpoo1) November 11, 2014