One word on everyone's mind going into Saturday's fourth game of the season is revenge. FC Dallas looks to get revenge on the Seattle Sounders FC this weekend for knocking them out of the playoffs last fall on the 'lovely' away goals rule.
FCD is unbeaten on the year with three straight wins to start the season for the first time since 1998. Seattle comes into the match 1-1-0 on the season, following a loss to San Jose in week two. The Sounders also had a midweek friendly this week as they drew Liga MX side Tijuana 2-2.
FC Dallas notes:
Out: Dan Kennedy (back spasms)
Doubtful: Stephen Keel (foot), Coy Craft (shoulder)
International callups: Moises Hernandez (Guatemala), Blas Perez (Panama), Kyle Bekker (Canada), Je-Vaughn Watson (Jamaica)
Consistency in the back. According to the club's game notes, FC Dallas employed the same lineup in back‐to‐back matches only three times last season (4/5‐4/12, 5/24‐5/31, USOC matches on 6/17‐6/24). Dallas won only once - a 3‐2 win in Houston in U.S. Open Cup play on June 24. FC Dallas ran out the same lineup the past two weeks - both wins against Sporting (3/14) and Philadelphia (3/21).
Diaz effect. Since Oscar Pareja was named head coach of FC Dallas, the club has only lost one game in matches that Mauro Diaz plays at least 45 minutes - a 3‐2 loss to Seattle at Toyota Stadium on April 12 last year. That's 15 games with a record of 11‐1‐3. In that time, Dallas has scored 31 times while only allowing 15 goals
against in 1,159 minutes of play.
Key player for FCD: Mauro Diaz. If Dallas wants to remain perfect, they need to find ways to keep Diaz active in the attack and able to facilitate things on the wings to Fabian Castillo and Ryan Hollignshead. If he has another quiet game, it wouldn't be that all shocking to see Seattle dominate possession and find chances on goal as they put the Dallas defense under a lot of pressure.
Biggest question: How do the callups change the mentality here?
Three weeks in and the team is perfect (record wise). But this is a massive test even with the Sounders missing Clint Dempsey, Marco Pappa and Osvaldo Alonso. A lot will come down to how things shake up in the back and to what Oscar Pareja does off his bench in this game. He's been masterful at subbing the right guys in through three games but with a thin bench, it will certainly be tricky this week.
Just going on the gut feeling with this one, I think a draw seems pretty likely. FCD will be looking for revenge, which will help the energy early but once this one settles down I would imagine each side will trade some punches on goal and both come away with a point.
FCD 1, Seattle 1
How to watch
Match date/time: Saturday, 3/28, 7:30PM
Venue: Toyota Stadium, Frisco, TX
Online: MLS Live
Look out for our game thread, which will go up an hour before today's game kicks off.