By Mohammad Bushnaq
Top of the table FC Dallas will have their hands full when USMNT veteran Clint Dempsey and his Seattle Sounders visit Frisco this weekend for a meeting between the two Western Conference powerhouses. FC Dallas and Seattle played three matches last year. FC Dallas won the final meeting of the season 2-0 at home having lost the first two matches of 2013 at CenturyLink Field in Seattle by a combined score of 7-2.
WATCH: SSFC 4, FCD 2
Game 1 - May 18th, 2013 - Seattle Sounders FC 4 FC Dallas 2: Top of the table FC Dallas took a trip to the Pacific Northwest trying to extend their nine-game unbeaten streak to ten games. Former FC Dallas man Eddie Johnson opened the scoring, taking advantage of rookie London Woodberry and hitting a half volley past Raul Fernandez. Lamar Neagle doubled Seattle's advantage on a breakaway in the 30th minute after dribbling around Raul Fernandez and calmly slotting the ball home.
After the half, Michel led the charge for the Hoops. First, the Brazilian sent a perfect cross in to Kenny Cooper to give FCD their first goal on the evening. The best set-piece taker in the league was not done with that contribution. Seven minutes after the Cooper goal, Michel sent in a corner kick that was untouched by Gspurning and nestled itself in the side netting. The rare "Olimpico" had FC Dallas back in with a shout, but it was short-lived. EJ struck immediately after the restart putting Seattle back on top for good. Blas Perez was ejected in the 72nd minute for a high elbow and Obafemi Martins put any doubts to bed with an 83rd minute finish. FC Dallas' unbeaten run was over, losing 4-2.
WATCH: SSFC 3, FCD 0
Game 2 - August 3rd, 2013 - Seattle Sounders FC 3 FC Dallas 0: Contrary to the first meeting of the season when FC Dallas was riding in on a nine-game unbeaten streak, the return to CenturyLink Field in the summer was one to try to end a winless streak. Having not won in their last eight matches, FC Dallas had their work cut out for them just knowing they had to travel to one of the loudest stadiums in North America. Another wrinkle that gave Seattle the confidence to come out swinging in this match was the formal introduction of USMNT start, Clint Dempsey.
Seattle rode that wave of optimism from the crowd to a strong start. The capacity crowd was treated to a beautiful glancing header by Obafemi Martins in the 9th minute to give the hosts a dream start. EJ scored his first goal since the last time these two teams met in May, finishing a powerful effort past Fernandez. Brad Evans capped the the final score line at three with a penalty kick after a bleached David Ferreira brought Lamar Neagle down in the box. Seattle, despite a strong Mauro Diaz showing in the second half, took the second of two matches at CenturyLink 3-0.
WATCH: FCD 2, SSFC 0
Game 3 - October 19th, 2013 - FC Dallas 2 Seattle Sounders 0: The final home game of the 2013 season (and the Schellas Hyndman Era) was a victory for FC Dallas. While the first half was frantic, it ended scoreless. 20 minutes in to the 2nd half, Matt Hedges headed home a Michel corner kick to send 15,017 fans into a frenzy. Michel, having already gathered an assist in the game, found himself on the end of a fortuitous bounce to double the FCD lead. David Ferreira had his shot deflected and it fell to Michel who calmly slotted the ball home in the 87th minute to ensure FC Dallas was leaving Toyota Stadium that night with three points for one last time in front of their fans in 2013.