When the Seattle Sounders last came to Dallas, they were fresh from the CONCACAF Champions League victory and several of their frontline players did not even make the trips. This week, FC Dallas makes the trek to the Pacific Northwest and the land of Rave Green to take on a team struggling to claw its way back into the playoff picture.
With a record of 9W-11L-2D and 29 points, Brian Schmetzer and company sit in 9th place in the West – with a game in hand. The Sounders played Friday night against LAFC, so they do have an extra day of rest on Dallas and, with a relatively weak Atlanta squad waiting for them on the weekend, they may not feel as inclined to rotate at home. On top of which, they need a home win against a rival just a few points ahead of them in the standings.
If you had to do a double take, you are correct: Seattle is 1-4-0 in their last five matches. Remember that match last year when the ball ricocheted off Tanner for an own goal? Seattle isn’t having quite that level of bad luck, but a string of individual errors has led to defensive breakdowns repeatedly – not Chicago Fire 2020 bad... but those goals are costing them games.
Star striker Raul Ruidiaz has been a notable absence from the line-up for the last several weeks and Will Bruin has played significant minutes in his stead. Needless to say, Bruin is not Ruidiaz. And given the mileage on Bruin, I expect to see Montero. But they’ve only scored three goals in the last five games, and that’s not enough to overcome mistakes.
In the midfield, Joao Paulo was lost for the year in the CONCACAF Final, but the recent loss of Obed Vargas to injury has pushed utility star, Christian Roldan, into a defensive midfield role which has led to a defensive shape that has occasionally been suspect – especially in transition. That said, it’s hard to watch Seattle and not believe they’re just a lucky break or two away from crossing the playoff line.
Player Notes for Seattle:
- Jordan Morris is rounding into form after the ACL surgery more than a year ago. He leads the squad with six goals and right now Seattle looks the most dangerous with Morris breaking on long balls from the midfield.
- The Roldan Brothers: Older brother Cristian has moved further back in the midfield, but his crosses from the right side have led to five assists on the campaign. Similarly, younger brother Alex has four from his right back position. Marco Farfan will have a busy night.
- Despite our recent lumps, Dallas is fifth in the league in Goals Against with 25. Seattle is right behind us at 27 – but Seattle has given up nearly 20% more shots on goal... and they get away with it because Stefan Frei does Stefan Frei things. He’s quietly having another stellar campaign.
Predicted Line-Up: 4-2-3-1
Morris Lodeiro Medranda
Rusnak C. Roldan
Nouhou Arreaga Yeimar A. Roldan