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Behind Enemy Lines: Scouting Seattle Sounders

The Sounders bring their big lead to Texas.

MLS: Conference Semifinals-FC Dallas at Seattle Sounders Steven Bisig-USA TODAY Sports

I imagine everyone knows the score to settle, Dallas is 3-0 down on aggregate to Seattle. What do they need to do to stop Seattle’s domination?

Harsh Reality

Last week was a bit of a wakeup call for Dallas. The best ever season this team has had, was brought to a crawl by an eight minute collapse in the northwest. Nothing can change the achievement of this team this year, but something has to change if they are going to continue this amazing run.

Potential Lineup

Seattle is missing Andreas Ivanschitz, Clint Dempsey, Alvaro Fernandez, Dylan Remick, and Oalex Anderson this week.

GK: Stefan Frei; LB: Joevin Jones; CB: Chad Marshall, Roman Torres; RB: Tyrone Mears; CM: Nicolas Lodeiro, Erik Friberg, Osvaldo Alonso; RW: Christian Roldan; LW: Alvaro Fernandez; FW: Jordan Morris.

Key Matchup

Maxi Urruti vs. Chad Marshall. With a 3 goal margin, Urruti will be integral to any success Dallas can achieve. It is critical for Dallas that Urruti bosses and bullies Marshall into bad positions. If he can drag Seattle’s defense around, make space for himself and others, and score some goals, then Dallas may just have a chance. For Marshall, the objective is simple; don’t give up a three goal lead. Remain compact and level headed and that should be enough to see Seattle though to the next round.

Keys to Three Points

Be Prepared for the Counter.

Dallas got burned three times in eight minutes from counter attacks. Trailing by three goals, Dallas is only going to become more prone to counters. For Dallas players it is important to remain vigilant and chase down every ball. One away goal will solidify it for Seattle.

Bye Bye 5-3-2?

The 5-3-2 was a terrible gamble by Pareja that failed spectacularly. The lack of support on the wings left Dallas full-backs exposed all game. A more traditional formation will be key to providing any defensive continuity to this team. Without a consistent defensive performance Dallas won’t be able to begin to build an attack.

Hard Road Ahead.

Dallas has a difficult task ahead of them. If any team can overcome stiff odds this year, Dallas have proved they are capable of that. This team deserves our faith and support for all the doubters they have proved wrong this year. Now, let’s hope they can go do it one more time.

Dallas Til’ I Die!