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FC Dallas vs Seattle Sounders: Preview and prediction

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Can FC Dallas advance tonight?

Tim Heitman-USA TODAY Sports

FC Dallas looks to advance to the Western Conference finals tonight with a win over the Seattle Sounders.

The two sides played to a 1-1 draw last Sunday in Frisco in the first leg of the Western Conference semifinals. The winner will get a battle with the LA Galaxy, who beat RSL 5-0 on aggregate scoring in the other conference semifinal.

Dallas is looking for their second win in Seattle in both regular season and playoff matches.

FC Dallas Notes:

Injury report:

Out: George John (knee), Hendry Thomas (ACL tear)

Average age. According to the club's game notes, the average age of the 17 players that have seen time for FC Dallas this postseason is 24.9 - youngest of all 10 teams that qualified for MLS Cup Playoffs. FC Dallas head coach Oscar Pareja has also utilized the most players (17) of any playoff team.

Playoff history.Sounders FC are aiming to become the first Supporters' Shield winner since 2011 to advance beyond the conference semifinal stage. The LA Galaxy in 2011 won MLS Cup after winning the Shield. Only twice since 2003, when the current playoff format was adopted over the two conferences, have both regular season conference winners advanced to the divisional championships. The Sounders are also winless in its last three games in the MLS Cup Playoffs, after dropping both legs in their Western Conference semifinals versus Portland a year ago.

Playoff experience. Adam Moffat has 21 games of MLS Cup playoff experience under his belt - including three MLS Cup finals (one win with Columbus in 2008) - the most of any FCD player.

Last time in Washington. The Sounders won the lone meeting between the teams this season at CenturyLink Field. Lamar Neagle and Kenny Cooper scored in the second half as the Sounders overcame a first‐half deficit - through a Michel penalty kick - to claim a 2‐1 win on May 7.

Quick Notes:

REFEREE: Baldomero Toledo. AR1 (bench): Ian Anderson; AR2 (opposite): Fabio Tovar; 4th: Edvin Jurisevic

SUSPENDED: none

WARNINGS (suspended next yellow card): SEA: Leo Gonzalez ... DAL: Je-Vaughn Watson, Andres Escobar

LEAGUE HEAD-TO-HEAD:

SEA 8 wins, 24 goals ... DAL 3 wins, 17 goals ... Ties 4

2014 HEAD-TO-HEAD: SEA 2 wins, 6 goals ... DAL 1 win, 6 goals ...Ties 0

AT CENTURYLINK FIELD:

5/7: SEA 2, DAL 1 (Neagle 62; Cooper 88 -- Michel 16)

MLS CUP PLAYOFFS: SEA 0 wins, 1 goal ... DAL 0 wins, 1 goal ... Ties 1

Prediction:

It all comes down to this, a winner or go home type game in the second leg of the conference semifinals. The good news is FC Dallas is the massive underdog in this game and no one is really expecting them to win. The bad news, FCD has struggled big time in Seattle over the years on their turf.

This game really comes down to how well the Dallas defense plays, how many turnovers the midfield doesn't commit and whether or not Blas Perez and Fabian Castillo can get on the end of a quality attempt on goal. All three of those things have to happen for them to have a shot in this one.

I think in the end though, Seattle will do just enough to get by in this series. There is just too much talent up front and along with that turf, and their fans, this Sounders team will get over their playoff demons in this one setting up a big match with LA in the conference finals.

FC Dallas 1, Seattle 2

What do you think the score will be? Sound off below in the comments section.