The Seattle Sounders continue their quest for the MLS Cup tomorrow against FC Dallas.
Normally qualifying for the semis is baseline expectations for this franchise, but with the new playoff format, a horrible summer, and a thrilling win over L.A., Sounders fans are already feeling good. We’ve been waiting for this moment for the playoffs for a long time, ever since we reset our expectation for this season. We kicked off the postseason in thrilling fashion Wednesday night, but now the real fight begins.
Seattle drew the top-seed in the west, Dallas. This won’t be easy. We haven’t played Dallas in over four 4 months. And as they’ve been terrorizing the league, we’ve been…ahem… soul searching and gut-checking.
Honestly, I don’t know how to feel about this matchup. I really wanted to draw Vancouver in the semis because we’ve had their number all season, Dallas is such an unknown quantity.
Seattle and Dallas only matched up twice this year (lucky for Dallas). March 28 saw a 0-0 draw in Frisco. June 13 was a thoroughly entertaining 3-0 victory for the Sounders in Sodo, that catapulted Seattle into first-place for the Supporters’ Shield (remember that?).
- For us Sounders fans somewhat in the dark regarding our ability to match up with Dallas in this series, we can only ask if the 3-0 win in June was a telling result (as if the past ever predicts future results). So some context:
- Our win over Dallas was the final game before our Summer of Discontent. Seattle promptly went 1-10-1, all comps, in the next 12 games after embarrassing Dallas..
- FCD went 8-1-3 in their twelve immediately following that loss, for a scorching 2.25 ppg.
- Neither team was at their best. That game was played in the middle of a 0-3-3 run for Dallas, which included 5 consecutive road games. They were shorthanded, missing some quality like Tesho Akindele, Je-Vaughn Watson, and Kellyn Acosta. And Seattle started a front 6 of Rose, Pineda, Azira, Thomas, Dempsey and Neagle. And we still dropped a three-burger on them.
Traditionally, we’ve always matched up well against Dallas. We’ve gone 5-2-3 against them in our last ten meetings with a +6 goal differential (though 2 of those games were in the playoffs last year and that greatly changes the context, playing for draws yadda yadda). In short, I am not afraid of this matchup, but maybe I should be. We’ll find out tomorrow at Century Link Field where I hope we scare the bejeezus out of Dallas!