Today the Seattle Sounders face FC Dallas is a matchup reeking with playoff, and silverware, implications. It feels like one of those moments where Scott Bakula lurks off camera. We’ll look back and say either, that was the game Seattle made a quantum leap and truly proved their championship mettle, or that was when we knew it was the good ol’ poop-the-bed Sounders. Tonight, a season of many of them, is a milestone game.
However, it only feels that way. The season is far from over, the Supporters’ Shield, far from Seattle. Tonight’s match is clearly not a must win, but…if Seattle wins this game, their last in hand, they’ll have clearly earned the most points on the season. No more pesky qualifiers or games played bullcrap. We’ll have played 29 games just like the other Shield hopefuls, and we’ll be in the driver’s seat. But if the Sounders lost tonight, we still control our destiny.
Much was made about L.A. having an easier remaining schedule than Seattle. But compare each team’s next three games:
L.A. also plays New York and Toronto, while we see Colorado and Chivas. And we both face Dallas. Hell, I’ll take our two over theirs. Granted no game is a gimme, especially in a league such as MLS, but Lameduck FC and CD Tailspin? They’ll cure what ails ya. Sure, L.A. has the edge with more home games and we’re facing Dallas at the tail end of a grueling stretch. But the Galaxy does not have a clear advantage.
Seattle may have a clear advantage when they take the pitch this evening. Yes, they are at the end of a long road trip. Yes, it will be hot in Frisco, but Dallas has been listless lately. They lost 3 of 4 and caught the injury bug. Los Angeles just beat FC Dallas this past weekend to meet us at the top of the table. Though they didn’t face a full strength FCD in doing so, and neither should we. The Hoops had rested Fabian Castillo and Matt Hedges against L.A. That decision really cheesed me off. Dallas had been playing a nice game-a-week schedule for the past 9 weeks, why did anyone need resting? Well, Castillo picked up a hamstring injury on the 13th playing Vancouver, but it wasn’t thought, at first, to be that bad. Now it is being reported that there is a serious chance Castillo will be out. That is great news, as he has continued developing into an all-around terror. Creative midfielder Mauro Diaz is also thought to be out with yet another injury. Diaz started the season red hot, but has missed half of FCD’s games with a collection of knicks.
Bold Prediction: It’ll be hot and both teams want it. Seattle wants to erase Saturday’s meltdown in Jersey. Dallas wants to regain their winning form. As always we’ll have to contend with Blaz Perez and his antics, but we are on the cusp of fulfilling the destiny we’ve anticipated (hell, expected) all season… the Treble. Like a horse winning the Triple Crown, you got take it one race at a time. Last week we won the Derby. Now we’re in the stretch run of the Preakness, but we’re neck and neck with L.A. Let’s surge to the finish. Sounders 3-0 in a blowout.