FC Dallas notes:
Injuries: Out: Bakary Soumare (concussion), Rolando Escobar (facial fracture); Questionable: Kellyn Acosta (hamstring)
Record in Seattle. FCD is a meager 1-6-1 (regular season) against Seattle in Washington.
Goals against. FC Dallas has improved its goals against average this season. Last year, the squad allowed 1.32 goals per game. This season the back line has reduced that number to 1.18 per match.
First half defense. FC Dallas has only allowed 13 goals in the opening 45 minutes of matches this season, which ranks first in MLS (tied with Seattle). The team has shutout its opponent through the first 45 minutes of the match 21 times this season or 68% of the time.
First goal is key. FCD has a 15‐1‐2 record this season when scoring first. Dallas' only loss was a 2‐1 defeat to the LA Galaxy on Aug. 15.
Playing the kids. Dallas' Homegrown players logged a league high 4,607 minutes (14%) of the team's total minutes in 2014. Dallas is leading the charge in MLS again this season with 6,373 minutes (20%) played by Victor Ulloa, Moises Hernandez, Kellyn Acosta, Alejandro Zendejas, Coy Craft and Jesse Gonzalez. The Revolution rank second with 4,343 minutes played. Dallas' Homegrowns have logged 1,900+ more minutes than any other team in MLS.
Key player for FCD: Ezequiel Cirigliano. The big stage is always tough for new players and young players too. EZ has done well over the last few weeks as he has grown more accustom to the league and the physical nature of it. He will have his hands full against a midfield that has some very crafty players that know how to feed their attackers good passes. He more he clogs up the lanes, the better the chances FCD will have.
Biggest question: Can FCD handle the hyped up Sounders?
Seattle was able to get over their big playoff hurdle on Wednesday against the Galaxy and now have a ton of momentum going into this round. They ended the season on an eight-game unbeaten run, something not a lot of people seem to be discussing (or I've been ignoring it myself). If Dallas can withstand some early pressure and get a counter attack goal in the first half, that would be huge to quiet the rowdy crowd and put pressure back on the home side.
One thing Dallas has going for them in this one is health. Seattle is playing in their third game in eight days (even though they were home for most of that), which takes a toll on players this time of year. The Sounders are already banged up in the defense, which is here FCD can catch a break in this one. As long as Dallas contains the attack with Clint Dempsey and Obafemi Martins for 90 minutes, they'll come out of this one with a good result.
FCD 1, SEA 1
How to watch
Match date/time: Sunday, 11/1, 8:30PM
Venue: CenturyLink Field, Seattle, WA
TV: Fox Sports 1
Online: Fox Sports 2 Go
Look out for our game thread, which will go up an hour before kick off.