Tonight could be the end of the road for FC Dallas (9-12-11, 38 points) as they travel to the pacific northwest to take on Seattle Sounders FC (14-7-11, 53 points) in a match aired live across the country on ESPN.
Staying Alive For FC Dallas to take the playoff race to the final weekend, they must better the Vancouver result this weekend. It's halftime in Vancouver and they're currently losing 1-0 to Portland so hope is still alive for FCD as I write this.
Missing players We already talked about it in a previous article, but it looks like Dallas will be without Brek Shea, Jackson, and Julian de Guzman while George John is seriously hobbled. It's an absolutely massive night for Fabian Castillo and Ricardo Villar most likely starting on the wings.
Seattle Missing Defenders It's looking like the Sounders will be without three of their top four center backs as Pat Ianni, Jhon Kennedy Hurtado and Zach Scott will be out for tonight's match leaving Jeff Parke and ??? to play at center back
Keys to the game
Get Castillo into space You simply have to find a way to get Fabian Castillo into space tonight and get him 1v1 with the Seattle outside backs. Good things happen when Fabian finds himself in good areas and with Shea/Jackson out, the burden falls to Fabian with David Ferreira likely being hounded all night by Tiffert and Alonso.
Service in to Blas With three center backs likely out, Blas Perez could have a field day in the middle if Dallas can get him good service. That means the outside backs pushing forward and getting good crosses off while not turning the ball over. Not easy, but essential.
Prediction (15-16 on the season)
Without knowing exactly what will happen in Vancouver, it's tough to say for sure. However, I think it's going to be very very tough on FCD tonight. They've had two weeks to prepare while Seattle has had just three days since a rough game with RSL and I think the first half will be very important tonight to establishing confidence. Screw it, homer call. Let's keep the season alive.
2-1 FC Dallas