FRISCO - FC Dallas (10-9-13, 43 pts.) heads to CenturyLink Field to face Seattle Sounders FC (12-9-11, 47 pts.) in their penultimate match of their regular season, looking for much needed points in their bid for playoff qualification. Seattle is currently in 4th place following their 2-0 loss to Philadelphia Union last week, while Dallas sit in 6th place, heading to their third straight away match after drawing 1-1 against Colorado last weekend.
Not Your Regular Match
Playoffs are quickly approaching, but Sunday might as well be a final. After three consecutive MLS Cup Playoff meetings, the two Western Conference teams will face off in a match that can decide the fate of either team on whether there is life after the regular season. A potential loss for Seattle will mean they will have await other results across the league with Houston, Real Salt Lake, San Jose, and Dallas all chasing them in the standings. Dallas comes into this game needing to pick up points in order to avoid a scenario where they will heavily depend on other results to determine their chances of finishing above the playoff line.
Jesse Gonzalez vs. Clint Dempsey – The Homegrown keeper has been fundamental for FC Dallas picking up points as of late. With more impressive saves against Colorado, Gonzalez will be looking to deny the veteran striker’s 13th goal in a rebound 2017 season.
Carlos Gruezo vs. Nicolas Loderio - Seattle ended a five-game winless streak against Vancouver two weeks ago, with the Uruguayan scoring his 5th goal of the year and providing two assists. He will be a key figure in Seattle’s transition to attack, where Carlos Gruezo will have to be at his best to close down the attacking midfielder if FC Dallas wants to come away with a draw and even better, a victory.
Last Time Out:
(4-2-3-1): Stefan Frei: Kelvin Leerdam, Chad Marshall, Tony Alfaro, Nouhou Tolo; Gustav Svensson, Jordy Delem; Nicolas Lodeiro, Cristian Roldan, Joevin Jones; Will Bruin.
Keys to Three Points
Against Colorado, Pareja admitted that Dallas was a bit too “passive” in the beginning of the game. Before then, the intensity right from the start played very well out for Dallas. This weekend in Seattle, Dallas will need to show that same courage and attacking prowess as they did against Orlando and Colorado two weeks back. On top of that, a sturdy defensive face anchored by Gonzalez who has had great performances recently can make life for Seattle on Sunday very difficult.