Steve Zakuani registered an assist in his first start in exactly 500 days, but the Seattle Sounders were forced to settle for a 1-1 tie with FC Dallas in a match that left both teams slogging through the final minutes in the 100-degree atmosphere on Sunday. After equalizing on a Jackson goal in the 32nd minute, FC Dallas pretty much had the run of play, but were unable to pull ahead.
FC Dallas pulled within four points of the Vancouver Whitecaps for the final playoff spot in the Western Conference with the tie, but they will surely feel as if they left some points on the tabel after outshooting the Sounder 24-11 and forcing Michael Gspurning into five saves while also watching another shot cleared off the line.
The story of the day should probably belong to Zakuani, though. Playing as a left forward in a 4-3-3, Zakuani had moments where he looked very much like his old self. One of those was on his 20th minute assist, as he used his speed to get around Zach Loyd and then sent a well-place, left-footed cross through the box that Mauro Rosales was able to poke into the far post. The Sounders moved a point ahead of the LA Galaxy for third place in the Western Conference.
The Sounders only held their lead for about 10 minutes. Blas Perez sent a ball through the penalty area that a couple Sounders failed to clear and it found Jackson all alone at the back post. It was Perez's first appearance in 12 matches.
FC Dallas nearly took the lead on several occasions, once when Patrick Ianni cleared a curling free kick off the line and again when Jackson was stopped by a diving Gspurning when he was through on a 1-on-1.