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Behind Enemy Lines: Seattle Sounders

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Sounders are in favor as the teams head to home to host the second leg. What does FCD need to clean up to outplay Seattle?

Ray Carlin-USA TODAY Sports

It is the same ol' team, just a different day as FC Dallas heads to Seattle to take on the Sounders in the second leg of the MLS Western Conference Semifinals.

FCD and Seattle played to a 1-1 draw in Frisco last Sunday, putting a lot of pressure on Dallas to take the win to advance on Monday.

Injury Report

The Sounders will not sport a different squad than they saw last week. Forward Kevin Parsemain and midfielder Andy Rose will stay sidelined for Monday's match. Defender Damion Lowe remains questionable for an appearance in the semifinals.

Probable Lineup

Although Seattle showed flaws that need to be cleaned up before the second leg, the Sounders will most likely stick with the same 4-4-2 formation they styled last match.

GK: Stefan Frei; LB: Leo Gonzalez; CB: Zach Scott, Chad Marshall; RB: DeAndre Yedlin; LM: Marco Pappa CM: Osvaldo Alonso, Brad Evans; RM: Lamar Neagle; F: Obafemi Martins, Clint Dempsey

Key Matchup

Victor Ulloa vs. Dempsey - With advancing on the line, the talented Sounders' forward will be ripping shots left and right to trouble goalkeeper Raul Fernandez. Last game, Dempsey was limited to three shots, but all three shots were put on target. If that was not already good enough for Dempsey, the USMNT captain took all three shots from outside the 18-yard-box. Ulloa will need to contain Dempsey in the holding midfield role and not give him the opportunity to see goal.

Keys to Advance

Control possession. FCD did a great job controlling the game in the first leg of the semis. The Hoops won the battle 57 percent to Seattle's 43. Dallas needs to continue to hold the ball and fix the little kinks in their possession game. Last week, defender Moises Hernandez loss four balls in his quadrant of the pitch. It is the little things that can be the difference maker and possession is huge in the playoffs.

Finish crosses. Dallas outcrossed Seattle 24-7 last match. However, of the 24 crosses, only two of them proved to be successful. At that, none were able to turn into goals for Dallas. Fabian Castillo saw six unsuccessful crosses. Michel provided three early crosses, but they did not do Dallas any good. FCD had its only successful crosses come from the second half off the left side from the foot of Hernandez and Tesho Akindele. The Hoops need to keep searching for those crosses inside the box and actually make the opportunities useful.

Hold the line. The FCD backline had to defend 12 shots in Frisco during the first leg. Of those 12 shots, 10 came from either behind the 18 or right on the edge of the box. Dallas was only able to catch Seattle offsides one time, and that was to Dempsey. The defensive-third has to fall in Dallas' favor for a win. The defensive mids and center backs will look to clean things up at the box and not allow the talented duo in Dempsey and Obafemi Martins to combine for six shots the way they did last week.