Know Your Enemy: 11/8 Seattle Sounders

FC Dallas will look to bounce back from last week’s 2-1 defeat in leg one of the Western Conference Semifinal as Seattle Sounders FC visits Frisco for the first time since March. In Leg One, Andreas Ivanschitz and Clint Dempsey scored in the final 25 minutes, off-setting Fabian Castillo’s first-half strike in the win. In last season’s leg one playoff meeting at Toyota Stadium, the two sides played to a 1-1 draw.


DO OR DIE


Dallas picked up the all-important away goal last weekend in Seattle, and despite the loss, can still advance on Sunday at home with a few different possible scenarios. First-and-foremost, FCD has to win on Sunday. If they win 1-0 or by 2+ goals, Dallas will advance outright. If it is a 2-1 win, the game would go to extra time and potentially PKs. If FCD wins by one with Seattle scoring more than one goal, draws or loses, Seattle would advance.


KEY PLAYER FOR SEATTLE


Clint Dempsey – The Texan is feeling it right now with goals in three-straight games dating back to Decision Day. He scored on a perfectly-struck free kick to secure the win at CenturyLink Field and the last time he played on the Toyota Stadium pitch, he picked up a brace with the USMNT.



KEY MATCH-UPS


Fabian Castillo vs. Tyrone Mears – The speedy Colombian bested the 32-year-old Mears in a dead sprint to score Dallas’ lone goal in the first leg and was creating chances all night with a team-high four shots. Castillo will look to exploit a more-human Mears on Sunday in Texas.


David Texeira vs. Chad Marshall –Tex was held in-check in Seattle during Leg One and was subbed off in favor of Tesho Akindele in the 71st minute as Dallas looked to re-gain the lead in a 1-1 game. Texeira has been a key part of the FCD offense down the stretch and will need another strong home performance to push the team to the next round.


PROJECTED LINEUP


Goalkeeper: Stefan Frei; Defenders: Oniel Fisher, Chad Marshall, Zach Scott, Tyrone Mears; Midfielders: Andreas Ivanschitz, Erik Friberg, Andy Rose, Marco Pappa; Forwards: Obafemi Martins, Clint Dempsey.


KEYS TO THREE POINTS


Dallas had the best home record of any MLS team in 2015 and will have to exploit that strength to make it to the Conference Final round. If the offense, which has scored eight goals in their last three home games, and the defense, allowing two goals over the same span, can maintain form at Toyota Stadium – Dallas will punch their ticket to the next round.

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