If you thought the Knockout Round was crazy for FC Dallas, the semifinal round may be crazier as the Supporters' Shield winning Seattle Sounders come to town on Sunday for the first leg in the series.
Seattle edged out LA in the last two weeks of the regular season to take home the top seed in the playoffs. Now FCD has the tough task of dealing with a quick turnaround at home against a dangerous team.
FC Dallas Notes:
Out: George John (knee), Hendry Thomas (ACL tear)
Questionable: Adam Moffat (hamstring), Raul Fernandez (head)
First playoff win. According to the club's game notes, for all but three FC Dallas players (Je‐Vaughn Watson, Zach Loyd and Fabian Castillo), Wednesday night's 2‐1 victory against Whitecaps FC was the team's first foray in MLS Cup Playoffs. For Dallas, nine of the 11 players making their first playoff start were under the age of 24.
Michel's importance. In five regular season matches against the Sounders, the Brazilian leads FCD with four goals and three assists against the Cascadian side.
Consistences in the lineup. Since his emergence this season, Victor Ulloa has played in 31 consecutive matches for FC Dallas (across all competitions). Since serving a suspension following a red card against D.C. United on April 26, defender Zach Loyd has appeared in 30 straight matches (across all competitions). Since making his first professional start in a 2‐1 loss to San Jose on May 10, Rookie of the Year candidate Tesho Akindele has appeared in 29 matches in a row (across all competitions).
Toyota fortress. FC Dallas won 12 matches at Toyota Stadium in the 2014 regular season. The last time Dallas won 12 games at home in one season was 2006, when the team went 12‐3‐1 in Frisco and won the Western Conference. Dallas' eight‐game home winning streak ended on the final day of the regular season, in a 2‐0 loss to Portland. It was the longest home winning streak in team history and the longest in MLS in 2014.
REFEREE: Baldomero Toledo. AR1 (bench): Craig Lowry; AR2 (opposite): Mike Rottersman; 4th: Drew Fischer
SUSPENDED: DAL: Mauro Diaz (through Nov. 2)
WARNINGS: DAL: Je-Vaughn Watson, Andres Escobar (suspended next yellow card)
DAL 3 wins, 17 goals ... SEA 8 wins, 24 goals ... Ties 4
2014 HEAD-TO-HEAD: DAL 1 win, 6 goals ...SEA 2 wins, 6 goals ...Ties 0
AT TOYOTA STADIUM:
4/12: DAL 2, SEA 3 (Texeira 10; Michel 42 - Dempsey 22,
9/24: DAL 3, SEA 1 (Texeira 8, 78; Perez 88 - Neagle 58)
This leg is all about getting an advantage going back to Seattle. The road goals are also a factor in this one so approaching this game in a similar fashion to how RSL did against LA last night may be a smart tactic that Oscar Pareja can use tonight. Be defensively strong in the back and almost employ a bend but don't break mentality. Seattle has a lot of talent all across the board and FCD is a tough matchup for them. I think Dallas can get the win in this game but something tells me Seattle will get at least one goal, if not two.
FC Dallas 2, Seattle 1
What do you think the score will be? Sound off below in the comments section.