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Scouting Report: Deep in the heart of Texas

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Seattle will look to bounce back from just their second defeat of the season while Dallas looks to break a six game winless streak.

MLS: Mobile Mini Sun Cup-FC Dallas at Seattle Sounders Jacob Snow-USA TODAY Sports

What You’ll Watch

The Seattle Sounders continue their long road trip as they head to Frisco, TX to take on FC Dallas. The Sounders will look to bounce back from just their second defeat of the season. This is the first of two meetings this season.

FC Dallas currently sits in the seventh and final playoff spot in the Western Conference standings with a record of 5-6-3 (18 points in 14 games played; 1.29 ppg) and the Sounders sit in third place with a record of 7-2-5 (26 points in 14 games played; 1.86 ppg). Last time out, Seattle lost on the road to Sporting KC 3-2 and Dallas lost 2-1 to Vancouver.

This will be the 25th all-time regular season meeting between the two teams. Seattle is 12-6-6 with 41 goals scored and 26 conceded. In Frisco, Seattle is 3-5-5 with 12 goals scored and 18 conceded, but they last time they won there was in 2014.

Tale of the Tape

Seattle

Last Five: T-W-W-T-L

Leading Goal Scorer: Raul Ruidiaz, five goals

Assist Leader: Nicolas Lodeiro, eight assists

Dallas

Last Five: L-L-L-T-L

Leading Goal Scorer: Jesus Ferreira, four goals

Assist Leader: Michael Barrios, five assists

Injury Report, Suspensions and International Duty

Dallas

Out: Santiago Mosquera (knee injury)

Questionable: Jesse Gonzalez (ankle injury), Reto Ziegler (adductor tightness)

Suspensions: N/A

International Duty: Brandon Servania (U20 World Cup), Paxton Pomykal (U20 World Cup), Pablo Aranguiz (Toulon Tournament).

Seattle

Out: Jordan Morris (hamstring strain)

Questionable: Kim Kee-hee (knee pain), Gustav Svensson (hamstring), Victor Rodriguez (hamstring)

Suspensions: Nicolas Lodeiro (yellow card accumulation)

International Duty: N/A

Match Officials

REFEREE: Baldomero Toledo

AR1: Apolinar Mariscal

AR2: Adam Garner

4th: Alejandro Mariscal

VAR: Chico Grajeda

AVAR: Jonathan Johnson

What to Watch

  • The first thing to know is that like Sporting KC a week earlier, FC Dallas are in a bit of a funk. The last time they won a match was on April 19, on the road against Atlanta United. In the six games since, they’ve gone 0-4-2, which includes three home matches. They have managed to be reasonably competitive in all of them, but that 5-2-1 start seems a long time again right now.
  • To a certain degree, these sort of growing pains were to be expected. Luchi Gonzalez was promoted from the academy not to bring immediate results, but to help continue to culture that Oscar Pareja had built. This is a longterm project and Gonzalez has been dealt a tough hand, with numerous players being called away for youth national duty that has hamstrung his ability to put out a consistent lineup.
  • The players he’s been left with are not exactly slouches, though. In Matt Hedges and Reto Ziegler, he may have the best centerback duo in the league. At the very least, no centerback duo is relied upon as heavily in possession as this group. Both are averaging more than 60 passes per game and are combing for about 130. Not only is that about 40 more passes than the Sounders’ two top centerbacks average, it’s more than Nicolas Lodeiro and Gustav Svensson — the Sounders’ two busiest passers — average.
  • That may also help explain how FC Dallas tends to dominate possession — about 53 percent — while not doing a ton of with it. Their 11 shots per game ranks 22nd out of 24 teams, as does their 8.1 dribbles per game. Given their rather plodding nature, it’s almost impressive that they’ve still managed a respectable 18 goals on the season.
  • No team attacks down the right hand side more than Dallas, but that’s due in large part to the way they use right back Reggie Cannon, who averages more than 40 passes per game. There’s been a bit of a rotation at right midfield, especially recently, as Michael Barrios, Ryan Hollingshead and Dominique Badji have all seen minutes there. They’ve also changed their formations quite a bit, mostly using a 4-2-3-1 but also lining up in a 4-3-3, and even a 5-4-1 or 3-4-1-2.
  • The Sounders should have opportunities to disrupt Dallas, as their high press would seem to be a good counter-punch to a centerback-focused passing system. In that sense, this game seems to set up well for Cristian Roldan to move up a line with an emphasis on him harrying Ziegler and Hedges.

Projected lineups

FC Dallas (3-4-3): Gonzalez; Hollingshead, Hedges, Ziegler; Bressan, Cannon, Hayes, Acosta; Badji, Ferreira, Barrios.

Sounders (4-2-3-1): Frei; Leerdam, Arreaga, Torres, Smith; Delem, Svensson; Shipp, Roldan, Rodriguez; Ruidiaz.

How to Watch

Date/Time: Saturday, June 1 @ 5:00 PM

Location: Toyota Stadium — Frisco, TX

TV: JOEtv

Streaming: YouTube TV, ESPN+ (out of market, affiliate-link)

Radio: 950 KJR AM (English), El Rey 1360AM (Spanish)

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