After closing out the regular season with a 2-1 win over the San Jose Earthquakes, a battered FC Dallas return to action after a week’s rest to face the Seattle Sounders in leg one of the Western Conference semi-finals. This is where things start to get really serious.
Dallas and Seattle have played twice this season, a draw and an FC Dallas loss. The draw was a scoreless snoozer that saw neither side look dangerous. Seattle was plagued with injuries at the time as was FC Dallas. The second match was a 3-0 romping by the Sounders in Seattle. Lamar Neagle, Obafemi Martins and Leonardo Gonzalez provided the goals. Alex Zendjeas made his MLS debut for FC Dallas in that one as well.
As most may recall, this is also a rematch of last year’s Western Conference semi-final that saw the Sounders move on with away goals. Leg one in Frisco was a 1-1 draw, with goals from Michel and Osvaldo Alonso. Leg two was a 0-0 draw in Seattle.
Dallas have reason to feel better about their chances this time around. With the team heating up right before heading into playoffs, unlike last season, the Texas club looks a lot more dangerous than the first two times they played Seattle.
The teams are two different sides from last year, with Seattle falling off a bit from their podium of last season that saw them crowned Supporters Shield champions. The team looks aged and beat up, while the young FC Dallas are out to prove that money does not win championships.
Seattle also played the LA Galaxy on Wednesday, and have a quick turnaround into this game. Dallas feel confident the rest will be a huge advantage. Dallas also head into the match knowing they will be coming home in the second leg.
Expect Dallas to attack at first, trying to get an away goal early. If that can be done, then the stout FC Dallas defense just have to do what they have done best recently, and not allow a goal. That sends Dallas back home with the series in their hands.
The Dallas defense have only allowed 43 goals all season, while the offense has scored 52 goals. That will get the job done. It is never easy to head into Seattle and grab a result, but this FC Dallas team know they have control of the series now. With six full days of rest compared to their opponent’s three, FC Dallas would come home knowing what they have to do. Should be fun.