After a week off from MLS action, FC Dallas returns to the fireld at Seattle Sounders FC on Saturday night. FCD will be looking to put the disappointing months of June and July behind them and start August off with their first taste of victory since late May. As we saw earlier this year, the atmosphere at Century Link Field is as good is as there in MLS so join us to check it out at 9:30pm Saturday on TWCSN-TX for our broadcast. Here's ten key stats we'll be looking at leading up to and during the match:
5 points separate the top six teams in the Western Conference and so even with FC Dallas' recent struggles they are still very much in the race for the post-season. Real Salt Lake tops the West table with 37 points while Colorado, Portland, Los Angeles, Vancouver and FC Dallas trail RSL by 5 or fewer points. Seattle can claim being in the playoff picture with 28 points, but games in hand against all of their Western competitors. With FC Dallas and Seattle Sounders FC among the teams in the playoff picture, the importance of the match is obvious.
3 goals for Panama in the CONCACAF Gold Cup for FC Dallas' Blas Perez. FCD's leading goal scorer with six in 2013 returns from playing a vital role in a run to the Gold Cup Final for his country. He'll look to help a sagging FC Dallas attack that is threatening the franchise record for most minutes without a goal. The goalless streak is at 360 minutes, 3rd longest in franchise history, and the club record is 401 minutes.
MATCH PREVIEW: FCD at SSFC
7 MLS appearances without a goal for Kenny Cooper. The last MLS goal Cooper scored was at Seattle on May 18. In addition to Perez's return, perhaps Cooper discovering his goal scoring touch is a hope for FCD to break their goal scoring drought. After a 2nd best in the league 18 goals last season, Cooper only has three this year.
0.77 is the team goals against average when George John is on the field for FC Dallas compared to 2.13 when he is not, an undeniable difference. The Washington native and FC Dallas center back was unavailable when FC Dallas lost 4-2 in Seattle in May. John will be in his customary spot in the Starting XI on Saturday night after returning for FC Dallas in Montreal two weeks ago. John was recognized for his valuable contribution to FC Dallas this year by being named an MLS All-Star on Wednesday. By CBA mandate, 32 players are named All-Stars and John was on the inactive roster.
21 players have appeared in MLS matches for FC Dallas this year with the most recent debut by homegrown signee Bradlee Baladez of Mesquite in Montreal. Baladez played the final 27 minutes of the match subbing on for Je-Vaughn Watson. Another debut is very possible on Saturday as new signing Mauro Diaz, an attacking midfielder from Argentina, could be the 22nd player to appear in MLS for FC Dallas in 2013. Diaz did see about 30 minutes of action in last weekend friendly vs. Stoke City of the Barclay's Premier League.
2 goals scored by former FC Dallas man Eddie Johnson against his old club earlier in the season. Johnson and Colorado's Atiba Harris (also formerly of FC Dallas) are the only players to record a 2-goal performance against FCD in 2013. Johnson returns to Seattle Sounders FC after a successful run for the Gold Cup Champions where he scored in the USMNT wins in the quarterfinals against Cuba and the semifinal match with El Salvador.
6 red cards have been shown to Seattle Sounders players this season, the most in MLS. That also equals the total FC Dallas had last year en route to owning the dubious distinction of most red cards in the league. It is worth noting that after the fact the MLS Disciplinary Committee has rescinded two of those red cards. In those cases, the players still count as having been booked with a red card, but the subsequent one game suspension that typically accompanies being sent off is not served.
8 match home unbeaten streak for Seattle Sounders FC. Seattle lost their first kick home contest with Montreal 1-0. Since then, Sounders FC have won five and drawn three at Century Link, thus tying the club record for an unbeaten streak at home. Meanwhile FC Dallas, while not outstanding on the road this year, has managed a result in 6 of 10 road matches. FCD has one road win in New England and five draws including 0-0 at Montreal two Saturdays ago.
19 league games played by Seattle Sounders FC this season, the fewest of any club in MLS. As noted earlier, the lower number of games played relative to West competition is a reason while 7th place Seattle is still very much in the race for a top five spot and playoff appearance that goes with it. Sounders FC have two games in hand to FC Dallas, Vancouver and Portland. They have three games in hand on the LA Galaxy and four to Colorado.
1.16 club goals against average for Seattle this year. Sounders FC, in their 5th year in MLS, are potentially looking at the worst defensive year they have had since joining the league. In 2010, Seattle's club goals against average was 1.17. Seattle has failed to keep a clean sheet in four straight matches.