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Three questions with Big D Soccer

Dallas and Seattle are both better than they were when they last met. But neither are good yet.

Last Updated
3 min read
Musa dribbles by Josh Atencio.
Chris Jones / USAToday

In April the Seattle Sounders went to Frisco, TX for the boring 0-0 draw. Since then Dallas switched coaches, Seattle's health improved, and both teams are now middling (as opposed to the mutually horrible starts they had).

This should be a winnable match. Seattle is at home, which in MLS generally means teams win 50% of the time. The Sounders aren't yet reaching that goal that this season, but there's reason to hope.

FC Dallas is coming off a high-scoring win over Minnesota. Like Minnesota, the Toros are very bad in the Puget Sound, last winning over the Sounders back in May of 2011.

Brian Schmetzer's men can target 7th place with a win and help. Peter Luccin can bring his squad above the Sounders and up to 10th if they grab three points.

Answering Three Questions for Big D Soccer is Drew Epperly.

SaH: Likely the most important question – how does Peter Luccin change the tactics of the team?

BDS: In the two games under Luccin, he hasn't made a giant, wholesale change in the team's formation or overall tactics. He's kept the 3-4-3 formation that Nico Estévez was looking to adapt, but the main difference is who he is putting out on the field. So far, he's been able to get a little more out of Paul Arriola on the right wing, while Marco Farfan continues to be key on the left side. In the middle of the field, he's still rotating through the same group of Liam Fraser, Sebastian Lletget and Asier Illarramendi. Defensively, he's still rotating through the likes of Omar Gonzalez, Nkosi Tafari, Sam Junqua and Sebastien Ibeagha. And the attacking trio of Patrickson Delgado, Jesus Ferreira and Petar Musa is finally figuring one another out.

The main difference is the motivation, passion and energy of this group. This team has a fair amount of veteran players that were keeping the locker room under control when Estévez was in charge, but now that leadership is starting to shine more on the field under Luccin. The Frenchman wants and expects more energy and passion from his players, similar to how he used to play. The team has brought that passion and energy in his first two games and the results started to come in, with back-to-back wins for the first time in 2024.

Peter Luccin looks to make his mark on FC Dallas
“I’m a real FC Dallas person, no doubt about it.”

SaH: Injuries destroyed Dallas' early season. Who has stepped up the most to replace the three that are out for the year?

BDS: Yeah, injuries are a pain in the butt. As we saw in 2023, it did help bring about some playing time for guys further down the depth chart. Some of that led to poor play earlier this year, and other times, it was just a lack of connection for guys on the field. It appears that the team is finally healthy, outside of the long-term injuries to Paxton Pomykal, Alan Velasco, and Geovane Jesus.

The big one that the club had to figure out was who would step up for Pomykal. They knew going into the season that Velasco and Jesus would be out for most of the season, but Pomykal's injury was unexpected. For the most part, we've seen a lot out of Fraser and Delgado this season. Both guys are finding their own path with the team in 2024 and have been contributing with goals (Delgado) or assists (Fraser).

Delgado and Fraser have combined for five goal contributions in their 26 starts. Outside of Peter Musa and Jesús Ferreira, there isn't a consistent attacker. While Dallas' tactics are different than Seattle's, their injuries damaging the season and poor results are similar.

SaH: Who will need to play well for the Toros to overcome their poor history in Seattle?

BDS: After Wednesday's big win over Minnesota, it comes back to Ferreira, Musa and Maarten Paes in goal. If the two attackers can create some chaos around the Sounders' penalty area and Paes continues to make key saves, this could be one of those rare times that FC Dallas finds some points at Lumen Field. 

Maarten Paes gives up 1.56 goals per 90 with a 77.6% save percentage. Frei's numbers are 1.12 and 72.2%.

Check out Big D Soccer for the Reverse, including what Seattle's summer transfer window needs are.