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FC Dallas playmaker suspended for first leg of Western Conference semifinals vs. Sounders

Cooper Neill

The Seattle Sounders will have one less dangerous player to worry about when they play the first leg of the Western Conference semifinals against FC Dallas on Sunday.

Mauro Diaz, who picked up an assist on FC Dallas' first goal in their win over the Vancouver Whitecaps in the Knockout Round, has been suspended for leaving the bench and entering the field during an 84th minute skirmish in that game.

Diaz's availability for Sunday's game was already in doubt, though. His 79-minute performance against the Whitecaps was the most playing time he'd seen in a single game since April. Over the past six months, various injuries have limited Diaz to just 11 appearances, the vast majority of which were off the bench. Diaz ended up missing the last two games against the Sounders and in his one appearance -- when he went 90 minutes on April 12 -- Osvaldo Alonso effectively marked him out of the game.

Still, Diaz is a dangerous player and, at times, has looked to be a budding star. He's been lauded for his performance against the Whitecaps and at the very least could have been an effective option off the bench.

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