It’s that time of year once again when Dallas fans will be glued to their TV’s on Wednesday and Thursday night to find out just who FCD will face in the Conference Semifinal round.
In the West, the bottom four playoff-qualifying teams will square off in a pair of mid-week games. The #3 seed LA Galaxy will face the #6 seed Real Salt Lake on Wednesday night (9:30 CT, UniMas) in California before the #4 seed Seattle Sounders host #5 seed Sporting KC on Thursday night (9:30 CT, FS1 & UniMas). FC Dallas will then face the lowest remaining seed beginning Sunday.
With Colorado in the #2 seed, and LA at #3, there is no scenario where FCD could face either. The three potential opponents are seeds 4-6 – Seattle, SKC or RSL.
Here are the scenarios on how Dallas could draw any of the three:
Seattle Sounders FC
The Sounders and FCD could meet for the third straight postseason if the higher-seeded teams take care of business in the mid-week – LA beating RSL and Seattle beating SKC.
In 2014, the Sounders advanced past FCD on a road goal tiebreaker in the Conference Semifinal round as the higher seed after a pair of draws: 1-1 in Frisco, 0-0 in Seattle. In 2015, Dallas returned the favor as the higher seed, taking the series on penalty kicks after the two sides were tied on aggregate scoring and on road goals after 120 minutes. In three meetings in the 2016 regular season, the home side was unbeaten – Dallas taking two matches in Frisco and Seattle the lone meeting in the Pacific Northwest.
Dallas and Sporting KC could meet in the postseason for the first time since the 1996 inaugural MLS season if SKC beats the Sounders and LA beats RSL.
The then-Kansas City Wizards took the best-of-three 1996 Quarterfinal series, 2-1. In the 2016 regular season, FCD and SKC met three times – a 2-1 Dallas win at Toyota Stadium in April, a controversial 2-0 Sporting KC win on the road in July and a 2-2 draw back in Frisco in August.
Real Salt Lake
The one way FC Dallas could know their opponent before Thursday night is if RSL upsets LA in the Knockout Round. Regardless of what happens in the Seattle-SKC game, if Salt Lake advances they would be the lowest remaining seed and therefore FCD’s Semifinal foe.
Dallas beat RSL in the opening round of the 2010 postseason en route to the club’s only MLS Cup Final appearance to date. A 2-1 win in Texas and a 1-1 draw in Utah that year was enough to put Dallas past Salt Lake in the only playoff meeting between the two franchises. This season, Dallas took the lone meeting at home, 2-0, and lost 1-0 and drew 0-0 in two meetings at Rio Tinto against RSL.