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Sounders v FC Dallas 2014: Rounds 1-3

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In the previous meetings Seattle won the series 2-1-0 with a goal differential of zero. With the two-leg aggregate goal Western Conference Semifinals starting on Sunday what do those matches teach us?

That's Michel in the shadow of greatness
That's Michel in the shadow of greatness
Matthew Emmons-USA TODAY Sports

The previous three matches against FC Dallas are spread throughout the Seattle Sounders' Supporters Shield winning season. Two of those matches were down in Frisco, with Seattle splitting the games. It should come as little surprise that the overall goal differential is even. MLS is a league of parity, and FCD is a good team that tallied 54 points on the year.

Using the wayback machine there are some indications as to what went well for the Sounders. There were also errors against the suburban North Texas side that will need to be corrected

September 24 - 3-1 loss

This loss was the one that caused the most worry on the year. It put Seattle and LA even on points, and the fears of freefall came back to the fanbase.

What went well: Lamar Neagle scored from distance. It was a blistering strike. Zach Scott played his 300th match as a Sounder.

What can't happen again: Scott needed to be replaced after a 36th minute injury. The second goal showed what happens when several players fail to defend.

May 5 - 2-1 win

It was the first surge that showed Seattle would be a force. Sounders FC won five straight, and as they do won after falling behind. The hydra was out in force.

What went well: Shifting tactics at half, subs that changed the game, Martins as a creator, lesser heads of the hydra scoring (Neagle, Cooper).

What can't happen again: A soft penalty call against Evans led to a Michel PK. In the first half too many attempts at fancy dribbling let Dallas set their defense and bunkered with the early lead.

April 12 - 3-2 win

Early in the season the Sounders started by dominating games away from CenturyLink. This win also was an upset of the league's number on team at the time.

What went well: Clint Dempsey took the game over. Not only did he score both goals, he also created the own goal. Barrett came on as effective sub providing the direct energy that is his specialty.

What can't happen again: Another penalty with a Michel celebration, Texiera scored early forcing another comeback.

Scoring

Seattle's scorers: Neagle, Neagle, Cooper, Dempsey, Keel (Own Goal), Dempsey

Dallas scorers: Texiera, Texiera, Perez, Michel, Texiera, Michel

It's clear that when Dallas and Seattle play in 2014 that the toros score through David Texiera. In each of the three matches it was his early play that forced the Sounders to try to make a comeback. But, it's also clear that Dallas can't handle the ways that the Sounders create. Oba didn't score against them, but he did tally a few assists. Dempsey dominated the first match of the year. If Sigi can figure a way to reduce service to Tex and the club doesn't give up a PK FCD is going to struggle to score.