FC Dallas stay home after beating the Galaxy last weekend, while Sounders head to Dallas after a 0-0 draw with Houston.
A New Sounders
Seattle has had a tough time this season, but since September 10th, Seattle are unbeaten. The new Seattle, featuring Nicolas Lodeiro, has begun finding ways to link attack and defense. Seattle have one of the best points per game averages in the league since the midway point of the season. Getting a win against this team, is much more difficult than it would have been earlier this year.
Seattle is missing Andreas Ivanschitz, Clint Dempsey, and Dylan Remick, Alvaro Fernandez and Osvaldo Alonso, thanks to a red card.
GK: Stefan Frei; LB: Joevin Jones; CB: Chad Marshall, Roman Torres; RB: Tyrone Mears; CM: Nicolas Lodeiro, Erik Friberg, Christian Roldan; RW: Aaron Kovar; LW: Herculez Gomez; FW: Jordan Morris.
Carlos Gruezo vs. Nicolas Lodeiro. Lodeiro has been a huge reason for the recent success of the Sounders. Without him Seattle were easily stifled, but his creativity has brought new life to Seattle. With so many midfielders out for this game, Seattle will rely on Lodeiro to make things happen. Gruezo is one of the best midfielders in the league. His ability to shut players down and win the ball have won Dallas games. The battle between these two will have a massive impact on the outcome of this game.
Keys to Three Points
Morris has transitioned from cute college graduate with potential, to massive striker threat this season. His 12 goals and three assists are testimony to his growth. He faces one of the best center back pairings in the league this weekend. Morris is the other huge danger Seattle possess this weekend.
Taking Advantage of the Situation
Seattle are missing several key players. Ivanschitz and Alonso are both starting midfielders, and two of the more dangerous players in Seattle’s squad. Dempsey is out for the season, and Fernandez and Remick are both useful substitutes. With so many players missing, it is hard not to consider this a big opportunity to beat a strong team in a weak moment.
Do or Die Time
FC Dallas is one point behind Colorado in the Shield standings. With two easier opponents left, it is key that Dallas win out. Seattle at home, with a weakened squad is a must win for the Hoops. Anything less than a win will almost surely put the Shield out of reach.
Seattle finally loses a game missing key parts of the team.
My Prediction: FC Dallas 2-0