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FC Dallas hopes to build off previous road experience in Game Three at Seattle
The road performances in the playoffs under Nico Estevez haven't been great so far.
Winning away from home in Major League Soccer is difficult. Winning on the road in the MLS Cup Playoffs may be even more difficult.
Since taking charge as head coach of FC Dallas, Nico Estevez has been searching for his first road win in the playoffs and will get another crack at it when his club takes on the Seattle Sounders in Game Three of their Round One series.
Estevez is hoping to lean on the prior two road experiences in Austin last year and Seattle almost two weeks ago for how he manages things on Friday night.
“I think for us as we approach the whole year is about what we learn, what can we do better, and try to to do a better performance that we did last time, you know, and this is exactly the same mentality we have for this game,” said Estevez during his weekly press conference. “I think the first game that we played them, we wanted to have a better game that we had in Austin last year. I think we had a really good first half in comparison to what we did last year.”
Estevez may lean on his bench more on Friday night. During the Game Two win, Estevez brought on some heavy speedsters in Eugene Ansah, Jader Obrian and Dante Sealy late in the second half. Their pressure on and off the ball helped lead to Obrian’s late goal to help push the series back to Seattle.
“I think it's important to know that we have a roster where we can change the way that the game goes,” said Estevez. “I think when an opponent is tired, and you bring players like how they're like Jader (Obrian), Eugene Ansah and Dante Sealy that they have a lot of physicality. They have legs to run, and they also have quality. It is difficult for the opponents to deal with that.”
The two sides also split their regular season series with 1-1 draws in the two matches. Should the two sides end level again on Friday night, penalty kicks will determine which team will move on to face the defending MLS Cup Champions, LAFC, in the conference semifinals. FC Dallas has some recent experience in shootouts from last year’s playoff run and this year’s Leagues Cup to draw on should Friday’s game go that direction.
“I think the experience we had last year was a very positive experience,” added Estevez. “The experience we had in the Leagues Cup wasn’t positive. The first one was against Charlotte, and I think that the Miami one we didn't win, but I think we did better. We can do it. We don't have to be worried about anything. We just have to put out the best from our side. And I think we're prepared for any scenario, and we'll be ready.”