FC Dallas continues its West Coast road trip with a Wednesday night matchup in the Emerald City against Seattle Sounders at CenturyLink Field. FC Dallas is coming off a 1-0 road victory over San Jose Earthquakes, while the Sounders play hosts following a 1-0 loss at home to LA Galaxy. To get you prepared for the game, here’s what you need to know about this week’s opponent.
The Seattle Sounders have started this season in unusually poor form. Through 17 games, the squad has just 17 points and 14 goals to go along with a -7 goal differential. In the previous four seasons, the Sounders never had fewer than 24 points and 21 goals through 17 games. Lacking a true goal-scorer since the departure of Obafemi Martins combined with Clint Dempsey’s absence for Copa America Centenario, the Sounders are in dire need of goals –– and fast.
KEY PLAYER FOR SEATTLE
Jordan Morris – The young phenom has been the lone offensive bright spot for the Sounders this season with a team-high six goals. On a squad where he’s the only player with more than two goals and one of just three players with multiple goals, Morris’ combination of pace and strength make him a viable offensive weapon, but Seattle desperately needs someone to feed him the ball.
Osvaldo Alonso vs. Mauro Diaz – This midfield battle might be the defining factor in how FC Dallas comes after Seattle. With Diaz’ current form, Seattle will demand that Alonso, the Sounders’ best midfield player, lock down Diaz. However, that’s much easier said than done, shown by Diaz’ ability to find space to place passes regardless of who’s marking him.
Jordan Morris vs. Walker Zimmerman – This battle of emerging young stars should be fun to watch as one of the league’s top young center backs takes on the quick, promising forward. Morris has the strength to go toe-to-toe with Zimmerman, but Walker’s ability to win essentially every aerial ball will be the biggest factor in trying to stop the Sounders’ biggest scoring threat.
PROJECTED LINEUP (4-2-3-1)
Goalkeeper: Stefan Frei; Defenders: Tyrone Mears, Chad Marshall, Zach Scott, Joevin Jones; Midfielders: Osvaldo Alonso, Erik Friberg, Cristian Roldan, Clint Dempsey, Jordan Morris; Forward: Nelson Valdez
KEYS TO THREE POINTS
FC Dallas should feel confident coming off of three straight league wins, but anytime a trip to CenturyLink Field is involved, it wont be easy. Seattle is starved for wins –– especially at home, where the team is just 4-5-0 –– and will be looking to get on the right track. FC Dallas will have to trust Mauro Diaz’ ability to feed the wingers against a slower Seattle back four and allow them to go directly at the defense. Look for the counter attack to play a major role in this one, as well.