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Behind Enemy Lines: Scouting Seattle Sounders 🔎
Can FC Dallas pick up a rare win in Seattle?
FC Dallas is back out on the road again this weekend as they wrap up league play in July before the start of the new Leagues Cup next week, when they travel to the Pacific Northwest to take on the Seattle Sounders.
After winning back-to-back games, Seattle is coming off a tough midweek loss to the San Jose Earthquakes, where they lost 2-0.
Let’s dive into how FC Dallas can pick up points on the road this weekend against the Sounders.
Key Player: Léo Chú
While the offense may rely more on guys like Nicolas Loderio, Heber, Raúl Ruidíaz or Jordan Morris (when he’s not on national team duty), Chu has been the catalyst for the Sounders’ attack in 2023, scoring three goals and adding in a team-high eight assists.
Key Matchup: Nouhou & Chu vs FC Dallas’s right wing
Given the injury situation Dallas has going on the right side of the field at the moment, whether it is Sam Junqua, Sebastian Lletget and say, Sebastian Ibeagha defending on the right side of the field more for Dallas, they’ll have to deal with the likes of Nouhou and Chu. Dallas got a glimpse of a fullback getting in behind last weekend with Colorado’s Andrew Gutman, and Nouhou will likely follow that script. Dallas has to defend the wings better in this one, or else these two will gobble up the chances.
Winless on short rest: The Sounders haven’t won this season coming off short rest, including Wednesday’s result in San Jose, going 0-4-3.
All-time at home against FC Dallas: The Sounders are an impressive 10-1-11 in all-time meetings at home against FC Dallas.
Out: Xavier Arreaga (R quad strain), Stefan Frei (concussion protocol), Kelyn Rowe (R quad Strain)
Questionable: Ethan Dobbelaere (R hamstring strain), Sota Kitahara (R quad strain)
International duty: none
Given the heavy schedule, Brian Schmetzer and the Sounders will probably have a fair amount of rotation for this one after playing Wednesday night.
Cleveland; Nouhou, Ragen, Yeimar, A. Roldan; Baker-Whiting, Joao Paulo; Che, Rusnak, Loderio, Ruidíaz
Keys To Three Points over Seattle
Start with energy - We saw this a bit last weekend in Colorado. Dallas had some good energy from the opening whistle and managed to score a (lucky) goal in the process from Junqua. Given that the Sounders have played a little bit more in recent weeks than Dallas has, Nico Estevez will want his team to come out a bit more aggressive in this one and try to dictate the pace of the match early. Seattle has shown they can give up goals at home this season, so why not put them away early?
Defend the wings - Colorado showed last weekend that you can stretch this Dallas team out and come away with a lot of good chances as a result. Seattle does a good job of using the width of the field with their attack. Dallas will want to make sure to limit the chances that come from the wings in this one as a result of that.
Impact subs - With the United States’ surprising elimination last night in the Gold Cup, Jesus Ferreira will likely join his teammates in Seattle for this weekend’s game now. Ferreira scored seven goals during the Gold Cup, including two hat tricks. While it’s unlikely he’ll start this game due to travel and workload over the last week or two, he could be a good option off the bench for the final 30 minutes or so of this one. Also, don’t sleep on newcomer Eugene Ansah to make his debut as well in the second half.