by Charles Therrell (DISK DOKTOR)
Greetings to my brothers and sisters in Green. The 2016 season draws to a close as we have two matches left to play in the league. Our MLS Cup place is not entirely secure and we must be vigilant as we face FC Dallas in Frisco, Texas this afternoon. Although we have players out this match and must depend on some of our squad depth, this match will be a benchmark undertaking against the second best side in MLS. If we can win away in Frisco, where wins seldom come – surely the sky is the limit for our boys in Green. Hearts full and eyes forward ECS, FCF, and all other member groups of our supportership! Join me in the auld toast: TO THE SEATTLE SOUNDERS FOOTBALL CLUB…AND VICTORY!!!
The Good News
Sounders have only lost one in their last 12 matches. Seattle are unbeaten in their last six matches, winning four of them. Seattle currently sit in fourth position in the Western Conference, good enough for an MLS Cup berth. Seattle are now 7th in the league table, a welcome change from earlier in the season when we sat 10 places further down the ladder. Figueroa, the veteran Honduran defender, will miss this match due to accumulated bookings. Until an injury to Ivanschitz and then Alonso losing his discipline, getting sent off, the Sounders were getting the better of Houson in their midweek meeting in Seattle. The Sounders were creating the better of the chances and were holding roughly 70% of the possession. Afterwards the game became sort of a crapshoot with neither managing to finish a chance despite numerous efforts by both sides. The continued development and improvement of Morris is a godsend. Alfaro showed well in his first start at Left Back, playing in at least one dangerous through ball that I can remember. Lodeiro’s work rate was exemplary, and much of what the Sounders accomplished flowed through him. Roldan continues to impress and also to show versatility, ably filling in at Left Back after Alonso’s sending-off.
The Bad News
Dallas have lost only once in their last six matches. Dallas are unbeaten in their last three matches, though they only managed one win during this period. Seattle are only four points clear of the Treecutters who are currently the best of the teams below the qualification line for MLS Cup. Dallas are currently 2nd in the league table, with only Colorado above them. Seattle’s record on the road, though improving, is still a dismal 4-4-8 (W-D-L) overall. FC Dallas have only lost once at home this season over the course of 16 matches. In the league all-time at Dallas, we have only won two of 10 matches. Dempsey, Ivanschitz, Remick, (all injured) and Alonso (suspended) are unavailable for selection for Seattle on Sunday. Despite the good that can be drawn from the midweek fixture, it’s troubling that the Sounders (at full-strength) had trouble breaking down the defence of a team that’s second from bottom in the league. Dallas, in contrast, managed to beat the well-appointed Los Angeles Galaxy in Frisco,TX, 1:0.
Know Thine Enemy
Goalkeeper – Seitz is able and has won an MLS Cup with Salt Lake. Seitz’s only fault might be seen in the fact that he hasn’t yet played 100 pro matches (currently at 77 appearances as of May 2016). Seitz’s understudies, Gonzalez and Herman have 17 appearances between the two of them.
Defence – Harris, though able (28 goals) and experienced (226 matches played), is getting long in the tooth at 31 years-old. Hedges is able if unspectacular, and in the peak of his career. Zimmerman, at the tender age of 23, has played several times at various youth levels for the United States, but his pro experience is limited at less than 100 matches. Figeroa is out through suspension and his experience will be missed. Look for the Argentinian, Paparatto, to fill in as he is experienced, once winning the MLS Cup with the Treecutters.
Midfield – Acosta is quickly becoming a fixture in the American team. Although his professional experience is limited at under 100 matches, it’s clear Jurgen Klinsmann sees enough in him to award him four United States caps. Gruezo has a lot of experience for a 21 year-old along with 10 caps for Ecuador, and a club championship with Barcelona SC (Ecuador). Barrios scored against the Sounders in our May matchup in the league. He is still relatively young at 25, scores goals, and played a great deal of top division football in Colombia. Diaz has a ton of experience for a 25 year-old mixed with a bit of goalscoring ability, and played 49 times for River Plate in Argentina.
Forward – Urruti started for Dallas in the win against LA. He is reasonably experienced for his age (25), scores a fair amount (nearly a goal every two matches), played nearly 60 times for Newell’s Old Boys in Argentina, and won an MLS Cup with the Treecutters in cursed 2015. Akindele, though listed as a midfield player in last weeks lineup, is listed as a forward on the Dallas team roster. His experience as a pro is limited although this is mitigated by his goalscoring ability his 10 caps for Canada, and his MLS 2014 Rookie of the Year award.
Urruti and Paparatto were part of the Treecutters MLS Cup winning side in 2015. Mauro Rosales played nearly 90 times for the Sounders from 2011-2013.
Selections for Last Match
Dallas: Seitz, Harris, Zimmerman, Hedges, Figueroa, Acosta, Gruezo, Barrios, Diaz, Akindele, Urruti.
Bench: Gonzalez (gk), Paparatto, Rosales, Ulloa, Hollingshead, Ruiz, Getterson.
Seattle: Frei, Mears, Torres, Marshall, Alfaro, Alonso, Roldan, Gómez, Loderio, Ivanschitz, Morris.
Bench: Miller (gk), Scott, Anderson, Valdez, Sturgis, Friberg, Kovar.
OUT: Loyd (concussion).
OUT: Dempsey (irregular heartbeat), Ivanschitz (knee), Remick (concussion).
MATCHDAY DECISION: Fernandez (hamstring), Evans (calf), Anderson (hamstring).
Dallas: Figueroa (accumulated bookings).
Hedges out next booking.
Seattle: Alonso (sent off).
Alonso out next booking.
When Dallas forward, Getterson was loand from his Brazillian club J. Malucelli to São Paulo, the contract was terminated hours after being signed because of remarks Getterson had tweeted four years ago that disparaged SPFC fans and proclaimed himself a supporter of SPFC’s rival SC Corinthians. This incident made him available for loan to FC Dallas.