by Charles Therrell (DISK DOKTOR), Oakland, CA
Greetings to my brothers and sisters in Green. Our Sounders travel to Lamar Hunt Way in Frisco, Texas to contest the 17th match between the sides in MLS league play. The data paints the numbers firmly in our favour, and with the Sounders currently putting consistent displays together it seems likely that our boys in green could find themselves feasting on a three point meal. Now if only we can endure the Texas heat, with consideration for not just the weather but also with respect to the local cuisine. Let us all gather at our local pubs for viewing parties. Raise your glasses along with me and our FCF brethren in Pill Hill, the Lower Haight, and Mountain View, in the auld toast that I’ve grown so fond of. TO THE SEATTLE SOUNDERS FOOTBALL CLUB…AND VICTORY!!!
The Good News
The statistics favour us. Heavily. We’ve only lost to Dallas twice in 16 matches. We have a 3-4-1 record playing on the road in Dallas. Seven results out of eight matches is an excellent record indeed. Jordan Morris is finding a rich vein of form that has seen him score four goals over the last few matches. Dempsey found the net against San Jose last week, and seems also ready for a return to the consistency and level of production we’ve grown to expect from him. Aside from Torres’ knee injury, and Ivanschitz facing a fitness test on matchday, our team is otherwise healthy and whole. Our recent form shows results from five out of the last six matches, with four of those results being victories. Our Texan counterparts have dropped the last three and have only two wins in their last six. All statistical trends point to a decisive victory for our Sounders.
The Bad News
This Dallas team has a great depth of experience. Several of the players on the Dallas roster have played in the Colombian and Argentinian first divisions. Figueroa, a first team selection for Honduras with 113 caps, played over 170 times for Wigan Athletic in England. Castillo is always a dangerous player with his pacy runs and mazy dribbling. In addition to Castillo’s impressive skill set, Barrios, Urruti, Rosales, Díaz, and Atiba Harris are threats to score. Also, the referee for Saturday night’s match is Ricardo Salazar, our least favourite MLS official. Who knows what might happen with the match in his hands?
As many of the opposing managers are, Oscar Pareja was more than a handful to deal with as a player. Capable of beating you with either a deft touch, or hitting a venomous scorcher at goal, he played 170 times for FC Dallas/Dallas Burn scoring 13 times. He also played 11 times for Columbia scoring three goals. His record as Dallas’ manager is 34-12-22. The series against Dallas has seen its share of ill-tempered encounters. Each club has had 35 players booked over the last seven seasons, with one Seattle player sent off to Dallas’ three. So prepare for the potential spikiness. Zimmerman will face a one match ban as the consequence of his next booking.
Mauro Rosales played 86 matches for Seattle Sounders (2011-2013), scoring 12 goals. The Villa Maria, Argentina native helped the Sounders win a US Open Cup in 2011. Rosales has also played for Newell’s Old Boys, River Plate, and Ajax Amsterdam winning four trophies at Ajax, and one at River Plate.
Selections for Last Match
Dallas: Seitz, Hollingshead, Zimmerman, Loyd, Figueroa, Acosta, Gruezo, Barrios, Díaz, Castillo, Urruti.
Bench: Herman (gk), Rosales, Harris, Ulloa, Ortiz, Akindele, Lizarazo.
Sounders FC: Frei, Mears, Evans, Marshall, Joevin Jones, Alonso, Dempsey, Friberg, Kovar, Morris, Gómez.
Bench: Miller (gk), Scott, Remick, Roldan, Valdez, Ivanschitz, Anderson.
OUT: Zendejas (osteitis), Hedges (meniscus tear).
MATCHDAY DECISION: Gonzalez (neck).
OUT: Torres (ACL).
MATCHDAY DECISION: Ivanschitz (thigh).
No players suspended.
When Dallas selected midfielder Ryan Hollingshead in the 2013 MLS SuperDraft, Hollingshead declined Dallas’ first contract offer. His reason was that he had to help build a church in Sacramento, California, his hometown, and also spend time doing charity work at an orphanage in Haiti. It wasn’t until 2014 that Ryan signed with FC Dallas and began settling in at Lamar Hunt Way.