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Five things we’d like to see against FC Dallas

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We’re expecting to see a heavily rotated lineup but still think it’s capable of claiming all three points.

SOCCER: DEC 01 MLS Cup Playoffs Western Conference Semifinal - FC Dallas at Seattle Sounders FC Photo by Jeff Halstead/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

For the first time in a long time, the Seattle Sounders will have a nearly full complement of players traveling with them on this road trip. Among the new faces in the traveling party are Stefan Frei and Nouhou, which means there may be actual competition just to get into the gameday roster. The return to health comes just at the right time, as the Sounders are in the midst of playing four games in 12 days.

Here’s what we’re hoping to see in tonight’s road game against FC Dallas:

Settle the score

Even more than their two recent home losses, the recent draw against FC Dallas seems to have stung quite a bit. The Sounders dominated the first 70+ minutes and when they finally scored, it seemed to be a breakthrough moment. Instead, Dallas was able to seize control of the game for the final 20 minutes and ultimately grabbed a late equalizer that left the Sounders with a possibly Supporters’ Shield-killing one-point homestand. The Sounders have since scored 9 goals in two games, and seem to be viewing this as a chance to sort of reclaim those lost points. — Jeremiah

Down in Dallas

The Sounders don’t have the best record when they play in Dallas and playing midweek during August certainly won’t make it any easier. Seattle is winless in their last 10 trips to Frisco, Texas, a run of futility only matched in franchise history by their 11-game winless run away to the Galaxy that lasted from 2010-15. You’ll have to go all the way back to the 2014 to find the Sounders’ last victory in Dallas. To top that off, Dallas saw its 18-match home unbeaten run come to an end last weekend against Sporting KC. Dallas hasn’t lost consecutive regular season home matches since September-October 2013. But hey, the past is the past and the future is what we make it, right? — Mark

Focus on you

Scoreboard watching is simply human nature, and if you’ve been doing that lately you’d be excused for getting a little nervous. Not only have the New England Revolution opened up a sizable gap in the Shield race, but the top 4 in the West are only separated by three points. The Sounders can’t let themselves worry too much about that. All they can control is their games and their road form suggests this one is very winnable. They’ve already won as many road games as they have in any year since 2014 and their 2.125 points per road game are the best in MLS. Let’s keep it going. — Jeremiah

Feed the bear

Will Bruin is one of the most consistent goal-scorers in MLS history, bagging 71 goals in 274 career appearances. But it’s been a while since his last one. Bruin has not yet scored in 12 appearances this year and you’d have to go back to Oct. 22, 2020 to find his last regular-season goal (he did score in the playoffs, it should be noted). It’s not that he’s played bad, but rather has just been a bit unlucky. Chances are, he’s going to get his first start in nearly two months tonight. It’s a great chance to get off the schneid and to do it against a team he absolutely loves scoring against. — Jeremiah

Ch-ch-changes

The Sounders are in the middle of playing 4 games in 12 days, with 3 of them being on the road. The first two matches of this stretch have gone pretty well, as the Sounders beat Tigres 3-0 in the Leagues Cup and absolutely rinsed the Portland Timbers in their home stadium. However, the lineups for those two matches remained unchanged. It’s highly unlikely that’ll be the case against FC Dallas tonight. Seattle is through the worst of their injury crisis, so for the first time this season there are options all over the pitch. It’s important to rest players that have heavy minutes but also put out a lineup that can win. If the Sounders can at least keep things close, they’ll have a virtual all-star roster to bring off the bench. — Mark