This Wednesday, FC Dallas faces a huge match. In fairness, though, all of these final matches are pretty huge. I think at this point the team is sold on the fact that they're going to the playoffs, so now it's about getting higher seeding and I love that aggressiveness.
The Hoops take on an elite Seattle team that has MLS' best record, and has had Dallas' number this year, defeating them 3-2 in Frisco and 2-1 in Seattle. This game has a lot riding on it for both teams, as Seattle looks to take a three-point lead over LA Galaxy and FC Dallas looks to keep pace with RSL, eyeing the third-place spot.
Here are some things to watch for in the mid-week game:
Michel: The Sounder Killer
All teams have that guy who always does well against them. Historically, across all sports, there's always a single player that seems to have another team's "number." For FC Dallas, that man is Michel. The Brazilian set-price specialist has scored a goal in each of the four games he's played against Seattle. Whether it be a corner-kick olympico, a PK, or a rebounded goal, Michel has gotten it done for FC Dallas when they play Seattle.
Look for Michel to be closely watched by the Sounders, and should he get any sort of set-piece opportunity, don't count anything out, we know how dangerous he can be.
There's No Place Like Home
For FC Dallas this season, especially during the summer, Toyota Stadium has been incredibly rewarding for the team. Since June, the team hasn't dropped points in any of their home games, going 6-0-0. In those six games, the team has outscored it's opponents 14-6, only giving up multiple goals once.
If FC Dallas wants to get the three points it needs against Seattle, Toyota Stadium will have to once again be a safe haven for the team. Let's hope there's a large crown on hand, even considering it being a mid-week game.
How Is the Fitness?
The last thing to watch for will be our players' fitness. Per Steve Hunt, (@dfwsportsguy93) both Mauro Diaz and Fabian Castillo missed training Monday due to hamstring issues. Castillo became the 22nd FCD player to miss because of an injury and the 10th with a hamstring issue. For Diaz, he's missed 13 games due to injury, which is unfortunate considering his fine form being bowing out a third of the way into the April 26th loss to DC United.
For the team to continue to hang with the West's top three and hold off Vancouver, the team will have it's depth tested, as it has been all season. So far, the team has managed the numerous injuries relatively well and that will have to continue especially if Castillo's hamstring issue turns into something bigger.
Well that's all I've got for Wednesday's game. Be at Toyota Stadium this Wednesday or tune in on MLS Live or Time Warner Cable Sports at 7:30. Check out the poll question below. DTID!