KNOW YOUR ENEMY: FC Dallas at Seattle Sounders FC | 8.12.18

FRISCO — FC Dallas will look to rebound after a 3-1 home defeat against San Jose as they travel to Seattle to face one of the hottest teams in the league. The Sounders have moved all the way up to eighth in the conference with four straight wins after sitting in 11th just a month ago.

Riding Hot

Through the first 15 games of the season, Seattle recorded only 12 points. Over the last seven matches, they have accumulated 17. The Sounders have won in all sorts of ways, most recently by scoring two goals in stoppage time to defeat Minnesota United FC. They have played some high-quality teams in their unbeaten streak as well, beating NYCFC 3-1 at home and drawing Atlanta United FC 1-1 on the road.

Starts in the Back

The key to Seattle's streak has been their back line. They have only allowed four goals in the last seven games and have not given up more than one goal in any of those matches. Goalkeeper Stefan Frei averaged 5.4 shots per game on him in the teams first fourteen games, but during their winning streak the back line of Chad Marshall, Kelvin Leerdam, Kim Kee-Hee and Nouhou Tolo have cut that number down to 3.6 shots against on goal. KeeHee came out early in last weekend's match, and should he be unable to go, the Sounders will likely turn to Roman Torres in his place.

Key Matchups

Matt Hedges vs. Nicolás Lodeiro — Lodeiro has been extremely dangerous during Seattle's streak. The No. 10 has four goals and four assists in his last eight games. FCD hasn't had to prepare for a No. 10 like this since facing Atlanta United FC and Miguel Almirón on July 4. It will be a big challenge for Hedges and Ziegler to contain Lodeiro.

Michael Barrios vs. Kelvin Leerdam — Barrios followed up his three-goal performance with an assist to Roland Lamah against San Jose. He also won seven corner kicks for FCD, setting up a multitude of chances. If he stays up at forward this week, Leerdam and the center of Seattle's defense must be wary of Barrios' speed.

Projected Starting XI

Seattle Sounders FC (4-5-1): Frei; Marshall, Leerdam, Kee-Hee, Tolo; Roldan, Svensson, Shipp, Lodeiro, Alonso; Ruidíaz

Keys to Three Points

If FC Dallas gets off to a quick start, they will have a good chance winning this game. Seattle has been great defensively for the last two months, that if FC Dallas can get pressure quick, it could break down the back line. FCD is 12-0-3 this season when scoring the first goal of the match. It will be tough with Seattle allowing only eight first half goals this season, the best in the league.