FC Dallas stay at home after their midweek victory over the Portland Timbers, meanwhile Seattle come to Texas after beating San Jose 2-0 at home.
Old and New
Seattle has struggled this season in comparison to their usual position atop the Western Conference. Seattle is in a transitional phase, especially after the loss of Obafemi Martins in the winter. Several players in Seattle are older guys who are starting to slow down (Clint Dempsey), or younger guys who have not quite found their rhythm yet (Jordan Morris).
Seattle is missing Andreas Ivanschitz and Roman Torres. Seattle lines up in a 4-3-3.
GK: Stefan Frei; LB: Joevin Jones; CB: Chad Marshall, Brad Evans; RB: Tyrone Mears; CM: Osvaldo Alonso, Erik Friberg, Clint Dempsey; RW: Aaron Kovar; LW: Herculez Gomez; FW: Jordan Morris.
Carlos Gruezo vs. Clint Dempsey. Clint Dempsey has begun to show his age this season, but he is certainly still dangerous, as evidenced by Dallas encounter with Seattle in the playoffs last year. Gruezo will have to stifle Dempsey in the midfield. If Gruezo closes Dempsey down, and does not allow him opportunities to shoot, then Dallas should have an easier outing. Keeping Dempsey locked up will be central to Dallas success.
Keys to Three Points
Watch out for Jordan Morris. Everyone’s favorite Stanford alum has finally started scoring, with four goals so far this season (all of those coming in the last four games too). It will be important for Walker Zimmerman and Zach Loyd to mark Morris and keep him from having too many good chances, or Morris is liable to bury one in his form.
Opening up Space for Mauro. Mauro Diaz has been rather ineffectual since his return to the team a few weeks ago. It is imperative that the team create space for Diaz to roam in and make passes to Fabian Castillo and Michael Barrios. If Dallas can make space for Diaz, Seattle’s older team will be run ragged trying to stop through balls to the
Hoops speedy wingers. The End of the Annual Slump? FC Dallas had a rough road trip, notching three straight losses, but the slump has happened every year for several years now. Is three straight losses the entirety of FC Dallas summer slump? Hopefully so, it is frustrating to go through the same patch every year, but if it is only three games than it would almost be tolerable. Dallas needs to keep their head down and work now, to reclaim that top spot in the West.
Seattle looks old, and misses Ivanschitz, while running hard against the spry young FC Dallas.
My Prediction: FC Dallas 3-1.