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April 22, 2010 at 6:40 AM

First look at FC Dallas, preview and prediction post

FC Dallas (0-1-2)
Head coach: Schellas Hyndman, third year
Last week: Lost at New York 2-1
Last year: 11-13-6, seventh in Western Conference
KEY DALLAS PLAYERS
F Jeff Cunningham — Last year’s MLS Golden Boot winner is off to a bit of a slow start, to his standards, with just one goal so far. But Seattle certainly doesn’t want to be the team that starts a hot streak for the 33 year old.
GK Dario Sala — Has played a huge part in salvaging two points this season. Made the critical saves when he’s needed to — though his Kevin Hartman as his backup, so he’d better.
M Dax McCarty — An energy guy. Was a mainstay on the U.S. youth national teams with Freddy Adu and Jozy Altidore. Had a great early goal against New York, but it didn’t hold up.
KEY MATCHUPS
Seattle forward Fredy Montero v. Dallas defender George John — Montero has gone three games without a goal and is in dire need of a standout game. The fans are getting impatient — and outgoing transfer rumors never help. He’ll be met by John, a local boy from Shorewood (I believe) and UW.
Dallas defender Heath Pearce v. Seattle’s right wing attack — Whether it’s Freddie Ljungberg, Montero, Pat Noonan or a someone else, Seattle will need to get some service and production from the right. But it won’t be easy against a former USMNT starter.
Seattle coach Sigi Schmid v. two-game roadtrip — Schmid said this week the team might have to mix and match its lineups. So we’ll see what the team looks like Thursday night. Expect to see some newcomers out there, but will they be able to produce?
PREDICTION
Save for a stoppage-time winner by Michael Fucito, the Sounders FC would have had three disappointing results in a row. The offense has struggled the last two games to hold onto the ball, let alone create chances.
Seattle’s defense was stellar last week but faces some good young talent (Atiba Harris, David Ferreira) and an old one (Cunningham). I don’t expect weather or the crowd to be a factor.
Seattle Sounders FC 1, FC Dallas 1
SEA: Noonan (Ljungberg) 39′
FCD: Harris (un) 76′

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