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3 Questions with Sounder at Heart

Fun with cropping
Fun with cropping

Deja Vu all over again as FCD faces Seattle for the second time in 10 days tomorrow night. However, Dallas will be making their first trip to the Starfire Sports Complex where the USOC Semifinal will take place. I shared a quick chat with Dave Clark of Sounder at Heart.


1. For the fans that don't know, tell them a little bit about how Seattle has ruled the Open cup the last few years.


1 - Seattle's love affair with the US Open Cup probably goes back to 2007. Now, slow down a bit, we know that the USL Sounders and MLS Seattle Sounders are different, but not quite. The GM and ownership groups are certainly related.

The star players from the 07/08 run were the same that made that run for Seattle in 2009. Once it was clear that the winner of the Open Cup would qualify for the CONCACAF Champions League, and Seattle could make a deep run on a regular basis the whole squad bought into the tournament. Five straight years in the semis has helped it develop even bigger, and Tuesday night will have one of the two local radio stations broadcasting their afternoon drive show during pre-game.

2. What kind of lineup will we see from the Sounders tomorrow? Is this going to be a top priority match? 

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2 - Seattle is so deep right now that calling any lineup a "First" team is a little crazy. Just at left mid the choice is between Lamar Neagle (6 goals, 2 assists in all competitions) and Alvaro Fernandez (8 goals, 4 assists) both with more than 20 appearances. Brad Evans and Patrick Ianni are both healthy and able to start (as of Tuesday's practice) which makes the spine even deeper. Like FC Dallas, the Sounders have a long break after this match so they may push a player a little harder than they would if it was another week of two matches.

3. How have the Sounders fared at Starfire and what are the differences between this pitch and CenturyLink(Qwest)?

3 - Starfire plays smaller, particularly narrower. The actualy measurements are greatly different, but the proximity of signage and the crowd make it play like that. In the three seasons with the MLS Sounders playing Open Cup and Reserve Games at Starfire they are now 17-0-0 (5 against non-MLS teams) with 44 goals for and 12 against. They know this pitch, and their success on it has lead to the past two seasons Player of the Open Cup being from the Sounders. They plan for success on that field, and the team loves playing there in the tight space with passion of the crowd directly on top of them.

Goodness, I didn't realize the 17-0-0 record at Starfire...Dallas has their work cut out for them tomorrow. 

Sounder At Heart Projected lineup: