The MLS Cup Playoffs are here as FC Dallas looks for the treble following their Supporters’ Shield winning season. They begin their run with a Western Conference semifinals series against a familiar foe in the Seattle Sounders.
Seattle advanced to the semifinal round following Thursday’s late win in the Knockout Round against Sporting KC.
FC Dallas notes:
Injury update. Zach Loyd remains out with a concussion while Mauro Diaz (Achilles) joins him.
Life without Mauro. According to the club’s game notes, Diaz has missed 37 regular‐season games since arriving in Dallas in the middle of the 2013 season. In 2014, FCD's record was 6‐7‐4 in games that Diaz missed. In 2015, the mark was 4‐5‐1. This season Dallas went 3‐1‐3 without Diaz.
Playing on shuffle. Over the first 33 games of the MLS regular season, Oscar Pareja has utilized 30 different lineups. In 42 games across all competitions in 2016, FC Dallas has used 36 unique lineups.
Key player for FCD: Maxi Urruti. We saw last weekend in LA that Urruti was the one guy pressing forward in the attack. If FCD wants to get any sort of advantage in this series up in Washington, they’ll need Urruti to force a mistake in a Sounder defender and actually make the most of the chances he gets in front of goal.
Biggest question: Can FCD get a positive result to kick off this series?
One good thing FC Dallas has established over the last two months is the ability to grind out a result on the road. They haven’t lost away from home since late August and have been able to get results in places like New York City, Salt Lake and LA (not to mention that blowout win in the CCL last week in Guatemala).
Injury update: Clint Dempsey (heart) -- out; Andreas Ivanschitz (knee) -- out; Dylan Remick (concussion) -- unknown
Key player for Seattle: Nicolas Lodeiro. We saw exactly what he was able to do against this Dallas defense a couple weeks ago in Frisco. We know we can’t give them good free kick chances. But more importantly, Dallas has to limit his passing lanes wide and going forward to Jordan Morris.
How to watch
Match date/time: Sunday, 10/30, 8:30PM
Venue: CenturyLink Field, Seattle, WA
Online: Fox Sports to Go
Weather Forecast: Rainy, 50 degrees
Look out for our game thread, which will go up an hour before kick off.