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Scouting Report: What kind of hangover will Seattle have?

We know they won a big title on Wednesday but how rotated will their lineup be exactly?

MLS: Concacaf Champions League-Pumas at Seattle Sounders FC Joe Nicholson-USA TODAY Sports

I started my report before watching the CONCACAF final. Along with thousands of other American soccer fans, I tip my cap to the Sounders for raising the bar for the league and being successful at a level that no other MLS club has achieved. They’ve earned the right to be obnoxious.

I usually look at the Seattle Sounders as a measuring stick for how good our team is playing. I want to find something to dislike about them, but I respect that Garth Lagerway has built a quality side. Brian Schmetzer is a good coach. Seattle plays good soccer – and have since they entered the league. They’ve built a culture of winning. At times I am envious of the success that they’ve had, but I also enjoy watching the FC Dallas Homegrowns mature and find success around the world. I wouldn’t mind a few more finals appearances though and some additional hardware.

The most important question regarding Seattle coming into Saturday’s match is which team they are bringing to town: The first team that has scrapped through CONCACAF Champions League play and managed to beat Pumas UNAM 3-0 on Wednesday night? Or the rotated squad that has dropped points to start the season? On the one hand, Seattle’s stars played about 75 minutes against San Jose ahead of the first leg of the final, so fitness may not be a concern. But following the second match away to NYCFC, Schmetzer heavily rotated his side and they lost to Miami. Win or lose, there is likely to be an emotional letdown after the final. So.... I guess we’ll find out on Saturday.

Recent Results

Date Home Score Away
Date Home Score Away
3/20 Austin 1-1 Seattle
4/2 Minnesota 1-2 Seattle
4/6 -CCL Seattle 3-1 NYCFC
4/13 - CCL NYCFC 1-1 Seattle
4/16 Seattle 0-1 Miami
4/23 San Jose 4-3 Seattle
4/27 - CCL Pumas UNAM 2-2 Seattle
5/4 - CCL Seattle 3-0 Pumas UNAM

The MLS injury report either hasn’t been updated or the injuries sustained by Nouhou and Joao Paulo are less serious than they looked when they had to leave in the first half of Wednesday’s final (edit: Joao Paulo is out for the season). But I doubt Dallas will see them in any event. I am curious about center back Xavier Arreaga, who suffered a head-to-head collision but remained in the game. He seems another player likely to take a break on Saturday.

So I expect that Dallas will meet a highly rotated side as Seattle’s stars continue to celebrate their success. The squad will need to settle itself soon to begin climbing up the Western Conference standings (they sit 12th in the Western Conference with 7 points from seven MLS matches) but between the post-match celebration and the ages of those stars, I expect them to need the rest.

Line-Up Prediction: 4-2-3-1

Will Bruin
Leonardo Chu Freddy Montero Obed Vargas
Josh Atencio Leyva
Medranda Cissoko Ragen Rowe?

First, let me note that Kelyn Rowe played most of the match against Pumas, so he may not play many minutes this weekend. And I don’t know who else would play in the back unless Alex Roldan returns immediately to the line-up.

Second, no one in this line-up has more than one goal this season. They’ve only played seven matches, but the Sounders have limited the big guns to mostly playing CCL matches. If this is the squad we face, Dallas should get a win. I can’t imagine that anyone in Seattle is overly concerned with the game.

However, the moment of truth: I watched the final. I watched Seattle sit in their mid-block and then repeatedly get behind the defense in the second half with runs from Jordan Morris and Cristian Roldan. But I’m uncertain how this line-up will play. Bruin and Montero are just not Ruidiaz and Lodeiro. This squad lost to Miami a few weeks ago and posed little danger to the Flamingoes, but I only saw highlights and that’s not the same as seeing the full game. I’ve heard a lot of chatter about Josh Atencio, but I’m interested to see how the Seattle Homegrown plays.

Of course, if I’m wrong on the line-up... all bets are off.

Game Information:

The kick-off is scheduled for 7:38 PM at Toyota Stadium. Should be about 90 degrees at kick-off (be prepared, Dallas friends – summer is fast approaching).