Bruised but not broken
The Sounders have had the worst injury situation of anyone in the league and the worst of that seems to be behind us. The Roldan Brothers are back from international duty, Will Bruin saw some minutes in the defeat to San Jose, and Josh Atencio doesn’t have a broken rib. Brad Smith and AB Cissoko should feature Wednesday night against Dallas. Nicolas Lodeiro has been upgraded to questionable on the injury report and could be “days away” from playing. The team is still bruised but no longer broken. Let’s go.
Keep Dallas down bad
Let’s dig into some numbers. First, everyone is less than pleased with losing two straight home games. It does not happen very often, and the last time it happened in back-to-back matches was in 2016, before Brian Schmetzer became the Sounders head coach. You’re really frustrated because it’s such an oddity, so I’ve got some stats to make you feel better about this. FC Dallas has just one win in 17 all-time visits to Seattle (D3 L13, including playoffs), a 1-0 win in May 2011. The Sounders are unbeaten in the 14 meetings since. Also, the last time a home losing streak like this happened, FC Dallas visited Seattle and got walloped 5-0 in Sigi Schmid’s final win as head coach. ALSO! Before Dallas’s surprise 2-1 victory over Sporting Kansas City, they had lost their first seven away games of the season. They haven’t won back-to-back away games since 2018.
Get back on schedule
In 10 of the 12 matches this season in which Seattle has earned points, the Sounders have scored the first goal of the match. This game we love isn’t really rocket science. Goals win games, and you have a pretty good chance at winning (or drawing) the game if you score first. In each of the Sounders 3 losses, they did not score first. Please. I’m begging. Score first.
Cheap goals and cheap tricks are costly
The Sounders have been snake bitten recently by allowing some cheap goals and penalties. Seattle has conceded an MLS-high four penalties this season, allowing three goals (cheers to Diego Valeri for missing that one—twice), tied for most in MLS with CF Montréal. They’ve also switched off at poor times, allowing stupid goals like the San Jose winner from the weekend. We need to see the simple mistakes buttoned up and taken care of.
Let Raúl cook
Now that those boring numbers are out of the way, let’s get back to the important stuff: Vibes. The master of vibes himself, Raúl Ruidíaz, has seemed a bit off recently. Obviously he scored that incredible goal against Austin, but he’s not scored in his last three starts (Minnesota, SKC, and SJ). The recipe for success, both for Seattle’s trophy hopes and Ruidíaz’s Golden Boot dreams, is to have Raúl score goals. Plus, his song is a banger. Let’s hear it Wednesday night.