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Five things we want to see when Sounders host FC Dallas

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The Sounders have all the advantages; they need to act like it.

MLS: FC Dallas at Seattle Sounders FC Joe Nicholson-USA TODAY Sports

Let’s be honest, there’s really only one thing we really want to see from the Seattle Sounders this weekend, and that’s a win. But that sort of defeats the purpose of this whole exercise. With that out of the way, here are the things we want to see on the way to an 11th straight visit to the Western Conference semifinals:

Rain, rain come again

Fall has come with a vengeance, which means it’s here just in time for playoff season. Damp playoff games have become a bit of a staple here in Seattle and the Sounders tend to do pretty well when it’s wet outside. The forecasts seem to suggest there’s a decent chance of rain with a slight chance of thunder. Definitely bring the rain. If nothing else, it will be appropriately festive. - Jeremiah

Lean into home field

Rain or shine, the Sounders have been very good at home, both this year and throughout their playoff history. The Sounders went 11-2-4 at CenturyLink Field this year — tied for the second best home record in MLS — and are 12-2-3 there in the playoffs all time. This is about as close to a fortress as there is in MLS. The Sounders need to act like it. FC Dallas is a talented team, but they’re also young. The top priority for the Sounders needs to be establishing dominance early. Get one goal early and watch the rest flow from there. - Jeremiah

The good Joevin Jones

Joevin Jones’ return to Seattle this season has not been all sunshine and rainbows. He’s played three different positions and not really settled into any of them. Well, except for the last game of the season against Minnesota. In a match that was a essentially a playoff game, Jones returned to his old self and played absolutely lights out. This is the Jones we want to see. He seemed to have built a solid partnership with Kelvin Leerdam on the right-hand side of the pitch in that game. Long may that continue. If Joevin gets to do what Joevin is good at, the Sounders might be unplayable on Saturday. - Mark

Keep Rodriguez healthy

The good news is that Victor Rodriguez should be fit and available for selection after training in full the past three days. But let’s hope Brian Schmetzer resists the urge to throw him back into the starting lineup. Rodriguez can be just as effective coming off the bench and is the exact kind of player you want if a change of pace is needed. If the Sounders jump out to an early lead and are in coasting mode, saving him for the midweek conference semifinals is just fine. The Sounders need a healthy Rodriguez if they are to make a deep run, and there’s no reason to risk an injury by starting him in a game they should be able to win without him. - Jeremiah

Let’s get weird in the best possible way

I wrote earlier today about how weird of a season 2019 has been. To summarize my main point, it’s been a ridiculously weird season. So let’s make the playoffs even weirder. The matchup against FC Dallas in Seattle always produces some weird moments, especially in the playoffs. In 2016, Nelson Valdez scored the opening goal against Dallas after not scoring for like a billion years before that (well, technically he scored in the game against SKC, but you know what I mean). In the 2018 regular season, FC Dallas absolutely lost their cool in extra time after Retro Ziegler manhandled Raul Ruidiaz, which earned him a red card. I am all about the Sounders winning this match in the weirdest way possible. Maybe we’ll see another Roman Torres goal. Maybe Nouhou will finally score. Maybe we’ll win 10-0. I don’t care, just bring me the weird. - Mark

Our predicted lineup