FC Dallas (5-2-6, fifth in the Western Conference)
Head coach: Schellas Hyndman, third year
Last week: Beat Kansas City 1-0 at home, third-straight win
Last year: 11-13-6, missed playoffs
DALLAS PLAYERS TO WATCH
M David Ferreira — The straw that stirs the Hoops’ drink. Should be an all-star for my money. Means everything to his side, and with central midfield a huge question mark for the Sounders, he could be the difference for his team.
GK Kevin Hartman — Might be playing better than any goalkeeper in the league right now. Maybe he’s been motivated by that drawn-out saga in preseason when he was ditched by K.C.
F Brek Shea — Emerging as a young star in the league. Some think he could be on the right track to play in Europe and possibly with the USMNT. Tall, athletic, productuve, could be a handful for the Sounders backline.
Playing Nate Jaqua v. resting Nate Jaqua — Surely Sigi Schmid wants him on the field. There are also potentially 20-some meaningful games the rest of the way, so there’s no need to push him. How long can he go?
Seattle F Fredy Montero v. Dallas D George John — The young Colombian has either a goal or assist in four straight games. He might need one of each if his team is going to get the win. John, a local product, has all the tools to be an above-average MLS defender, but he is known to make a gaff or two.
Change v. stability — Schmid and GM Adrian Hanauer have been hinting to change for a while. Will this be the game we see the youngsters on the first team? Michael Seamon and Miguel Montano each starred Wednesday in the Open Cup win against L.A. Will they get the call?
So many variables heading into this one. Especially with who the Sounders will field as their starting 11. Seattle does face an opponent that has won three straight, perhaps fueled by the benching of Jeff Cunningham.
While the home side is desperate for the three points, there’s a reason why. I see this one playing even.
Seattle Sounders FC 1, FC Dallas 1
SEA: Montero (pk) 58′
FCD: Atiba Harris (Ferreira) 64′