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Sounder Strategy: Dispatch Dallas

To be a better squad, the Sounders must start beating the worse ones.

Last Updated
5 min read
Mike Fiechtner | Sounders FC Communications

It was a week of contrasts for the Sounders. With a tweaked starting lineup due to underperformance and injury, Seattle earned a comprehensive victory over Minnesota. Midweek, the team melted down in the Houston heat, but two unlikely heroes helped rescue a point. Now they return to face a dormant Dallas offense that just exploded for five goals. Let’s look at what went right, then wrong in the last week, and how the Sounders can keep their positive momentum at home.

Sussing out Seattle

Against Minnesota

The victory against the Loons was the Sounders second best overall performance by expected goal difference, with only the 5-0 drubbing of Montreal coming out ahead. Seattle played direct, vertical soccer. Jordan Morris and Paul Rothrock were instrumental receiving vertical passes from João Paulo and Cristian Roldan. JP had a vintage performance, leading the team in completed passes, touches, interceptions, recoveries, and fouls drawn.

Playing fullback after an injury to Alex Roldan, Cristian completed more long passes (10) than Alex has completed in any match this season. In fact, FBRef lists only two matches in Alex Roldan’s MLS career where he completed 10 or more long passes. Cristian’s ability to distribute the ball from deep areas is a potential game-changer when the Sounders play a more direct style.

Cristian Roldan repeatedly found Morris behind the defense.

Rothrock was also a monster advancing the ball, leading the team with 12 progressive receptions. What Rothrock lacks in technical ability, he is making up with smart, relentless movement.

Rothrock gets into the box and finds Obed Vargas.

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