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FC Dallas MLS Playoffs preview

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FC Dallas enters the gauntlet of the Western Conference as the top team.

Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports

The playoff bracket is finally rounding into form as FC Dallas heads into the conference semifinal this weekend.

How FC Dallas got to the playoffs:

18-10-7, 60 points, 1st place in Western Conference

What's the outlook?

FC Dallas just missed out on a Supporters' Shield trophy, but their young core lead them the top seed in the Western Conference. During the summer, FCD picked up a conference high five-game winning stream and ended the season on a five-game unbeaten run. The general feeling around the team is that they are not content with just winning the Western Conference regular season title but something more. Also, this may be one of the healthiest groups that Oscar Pareja has coached as they only enter into the playoffs with one player out (Rolando Escobar).

Upcoming opponent:

Seattle Sounders FC

How they got here:

15-13-6, 51 points, 4th place in the Western Conference

Seattle advanced on Wednesday night in the Knockout round by beating the LA Galaxy 3-2.

Record this season between teams:

Seattle with the edge at 1-0-1

Why FC Dallas has the edge:

Redemption is huge for this club as they get Seattle again in the post season. Last year, Seattle knocked Dallas out on the away goal rule in the same round.

Why Seattle has the edge:

The Sounders are as healthy as they come at this point in the season. Not to mention their form as of late is arguably the most impressive of any of the playoff teams.

Why we'll win MLS Cup:

The youth and speed of this team have carried them this far in 2015. Pareja has a healthy Mauro Diaz and Fabian Castillo, which can guide them through anything and anyone; the defense is playing better and better each week as Matt Hedges and Zach Loyd continue to be one of the more underrated center back combination in the league; and the experience of not losing a game in last year's playoffs still has a sour taste in this group's mouth.

Why we'll fall short:

Going on the road is going to be the biggest challenge this group will face. Out of all the playoff teams in the Western Conference, FC Dallas only posted a 0-6-1 record away from Toyota Stadium.