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Behind Enemy Lines: Scouting the Seattle Sounders

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Is Dallas a trap game for Seattle?

MLS: Minnesota United FC at Seattle Sounders FC Joe Nicholson-USA TODAY Sports

FC Dallas and Seattle will face off on Saturday in Frisco. This meeting comes at a time with both teams on opposite ends of the form spectrum. Dallas hasn’t won since July 22nd, and Seattle hasn’t lost since June 17th.

No Jordan Morris

Seattle announced that they expect to be without Jordan Morris for the rest of the regular season earlier this week. This announcement comes after Morris pulled up with a non-contact hamstring injury in the 1-1 draw against the Los Angeles Galaxy.

The reigning MLS Rookie of the Year is having a difficult second year, only scoring three goals and adding one assists, compared to last year’s twelve goals and four assists. But the USMNT regular’s absence should make things a little easier for Dallas

Projected XI

Seattle lined up in a 4-2-3-1 against the Galaxy (Frei, Leerdam, Torres, Marshall, Fisher, Alonso, Roldan, Lodeiro, Dempsey, Rodriguez, Morris), but expect at Morris to be swapped for Bruin. Roman Torres’ red card was rescinded and he will be available against FCD.

Key Matchup

It’s hard not to cheer for the hometown boys when they suit up for the national team. It’s also hard to not want them to start for the national team (unless it’s Matt Hedges and you want the US to win). This Saturday brings a matchup between two players that will spend a long time manning the USMNT midfield when Kellyn Acosta and Cristian Roldan take the field. Although Acosta seems to have the upper hand on the national team job now, Roldan is a talented player and his absence from the national team picture won’t come without Seattle fans letting you know how much better he is than Acosta at the six role. And currently, they might be right. The year of the Kellyn has fizzled out and Roldan has only improved from last year, increasing his goal tally from four to six.

This breakdown from the Sounders on Roldan’s defensive instincts is really interesting to watch. He really exemplifies a fantastic work ethic and shows just how valuable a good holding midfielder is to a team’s success.

Key to Victory

Dallas must minimize the space that they allow Seattle. Dallas looked helpless last week against Atlanta as a result of allowing too much space to their South American playmakers.

Atlanta’s key passes and assists against Dallas

Dallas must cut down on the number of incisive passes from the edge of the 18. There’s no reason that any number ten that tries to play a pass from that position shouldn’t be staring at Kellyn Acosta or Carlos Gruezo in the way. Dallas were overrun in the midfield last week and they must make a change either in tactics or philosophy to not allow that to happen again, although Seattle does pose a lesser threat of exploiting that than the very talented Atlanta United.