FRISCO – FC Dallas will host defending MLS Cup champion Seattle Sounders FC on Saturday night for the first meeting this season. Dallas (9-8-10, 37 pts) returns to home action after a 3-0 defeat in Atlanta on Sunday and winless in their last eight matches. Seattle (8-1-5, 43 pts) sits in second place after taking their unbeaten record to 12 games with a 1-1 draw against the LA Galaxy last week, with their last loss coming on June 17th.
After three consecutive MLS Cup Playoff meetings, FC Dallas and Seattle hold bad blood despite their geographic disposition. FCD mounted a comeback for the ages two years ago to advance, while the Sounders dispelled Dallas en route to their first MLS Cup last season. Add into the mix the injury to Mauro Diaz in the last regular season meeting between the two, sparks are sure to fly as the teams meet twice down the stretch.
Maxi Urruti vs. Chad Marshall - The Sounders' center back has been a regular in the backline playing 23 games this season seeing 90-minutes of action in each game of Seattle's unbeaten streak. The Argentine striker has been a crucial player in Dallas' attack with 12 goals this season and will look to rejuvenate himself against a sturdy defense anchored by a well-in-form Marshall.
Clint Dempsey vs. Jesse Gonzalez - The USMNT veteran has eleven goals to his name and has taken 20 shots at goal over the last five games. Gonzalez is coming off a season-best eight saves last week despite the loss in Atlanta. Against Seattle and Dempsey, Gonzalez’s key saves can give Dallas the momentum and motivation it needs to take away a much-needed victory at home.
Last Time Out
(4-2-3-1): Stefan Frei: Kelvin Leerdam, Roman Torres, Chad Marshall, Oniel Fisher; Osvaldo Alonso, Cristian Roldan; Nicolas Lodeiro, Clint Dempsey, Victor Rodriguez; Jordan Morris.
Keys to Three Points
Against a potent attacking side, Dallas’ defense will have to be on their toes to prevent early goals after conceding the first goal in eight straight games. A rivalry matchup against Seattle, who they have seen in three straight postseasons and eliminated them in the Western Conference Semifinals last year, should give Dallas the needed motivation to find a victory this coming Saturday.