by Charles Therrell (DISK DOKTOR)
Greetings to my brothers and sisters in Green. The end of the league schedule is nigh with only two matches remaining including this afternoon’s warm reception for our close personal friends from the Lone Star State. That’s right, Faithful, FC Dallas have made their way to the Evergreen, soon to discover just how far out of their depth they are. Welcome to Green Hell.
Time to galvanise our support. At the ground and in the pubs where the employees grin when we turn up in droves wearing our colours. We will gather in Seattle, in Tacoma in Washington. We will gather in the Haight-Ashbury, Pill Hill, and Mountain View in California. We’ll turn up by the scores with hearts and eyes brightened by the prospect of victory. We gather the Green Family once again, fortifying the side and each other as we work together towards victory.
Before the whistle at kick-off, join me in the auld toast: TO THE SEATTLE SOUNDERS FOOTBALL CLUB…AND VICTORY!!!
““O God!” I screamed, and “O God!” again and again; for there before my eyes—pale and shaken, and half fainting, and groping before him with his hands, like a man restored from death—there stood Henry Jekyll!” – Robert Louis Stevenson
The Good News
We’re 9th best in the league. If we win, we clinch an MLS Cup berth. Dallas are mid-table at 12th, barely holding on to the last Western Conference MLS Cup berth, only one point clear of Salt Lake and San Jose. We have not lost to Dallas this season, earning a draw in our trip to Frisco, TX in mid-September.
All-time we are 7-1-1 when Dallas visits the Evergreen. All-time our overall record against Dallas is 9-6-6. Dallas have only won three away matches out of 16 played this season. Even with Alonso and Morris out we still have Dempsey, Lodeiro, Rodriguez, Frei, Marshall, Torres, Leerdam, Jones, and Roldan to carry the load. In the end, quality usually prevails. We have plenty of quality in the squad.
Sounders FC have only lost once at home this season, carrying a record of 9-5-1 in front of the Brougham Faithful.
The Bad News
The performance of the two clubs when compared favours us by extremely narrow margins, +0.07 goals/match and -0.12 goals conceded/match. The Dallas are desperate, having managed only one victory in their last 13 matches, during which they’ve been defeated six times.
Should Dallas fail to secure victory, Salt Lake and/or San Jose could leapfrog them, jouncing the Texans out of the last MLS Cup playoff spot. Dallas are desperate for points and results. Desperate opponents tend to show their teeth with their backs to the wall. Not good news for Seattle who are struggling to find the form that saw them unbeaten in 13 matches a mere month ago.
Are the Sounders the side that beat Vancouver 3:0, or the side that got shut out 2:0 in Utah and Pennsylvania? The extreme highs and lows of the last three matches are asking questions relative to the Sounders consistency. Can the Sounders find the combination necessary to achieving success in the Cup? Will Morris and Alonso return to fitness in time to bolster the side?
Know Thine Enemy
Jesse Gonzalez, 22, a domestic footballer developed by FC Dallas, has played over 30 matches with the Dallas first team. He has also been capped at youth levels by Mexico 8 times.
Figueroa, 34, is a Honduran international who once played 148 matches for Wigan in England. He has 135 caps for Honduras.
Hedges, 27, is a domestic footballer developed by Butler and North Carolina (NCAA). He has played over 160 times for FC Dallas and has five caps for the United States.
Zimmerman, 24, is a domestic product developed by Furman (NCAA). He has played nearly 90 times for his club. He has 14 caps for United States youth sides, and one cap with the senior team.
Grana, 32, is an Argentine national on loan from All Boys. He has played nearly 30 times for the Dallas and had previously played 7 times for the Columbus Crew. He has experience in Argentine football in excess of 100 matches.
Gruezo, 22, is an Ecuadorian international who played 18 matches at VfB Stuttgart before moving to Dallas in 2016. He has played nearly 60 matches for his current club. He has 17 caps for Ecuador.
Acosta, 22, is a United States international developed by FC Dallas and the IMG Academy. He has played over 100 times for his club. He has been capped 15 times for the Yanks.
Hollingshead, 26, is a domestic footballer produced by UCLA (NCAA). He has played 90 times for his club.
Diaz, 26, is an Argentine national developed by River Plate. After playing 69 times for River Plate, he moved on loan to Union Espanola for 41 matches. He moved to Dallas on a Designated Player contract in 2013 and has played nearly 100 times for them scoring 20 goals.
Barrios, 26, is a Colombian national. He played 140 times for Unlautonoma scoring 35 goals before moving to Dallas in 2015. He has played 90 times for Dallas scoring 18 times.
Urruti, 26, is an Argentine national developed by Newell’s Old Boys. Played 65 times for the Treecutters. Has played 60 matches for the Dallas scoring 21 goals. He is the danger man going forward.
Not a one.
Sounders FC from: Frei, Miller, Meredith, Nouhou, Marshall, Alfaro, Leerdam, Torres, Jones, Fisher, Svensson, Roldan, Rodriguez, Lodeiro, Kovar, Mallace, Shipp, Delem, Wingo, Mathers, Dempsey, Adekoya, Morris, Bruin, Neagle.
Dallas from: Jesse Gonzalez, Seitz, Cannon, Chala, Figueroa, Grana, Guillen, Harris, Hedges, Hume, Zimmerman, Acosta, Barrios, Cermeno, Craft, Diaz, Luis Gonzalez, Gruezo, Hayes, Hollingshead, Lamah, Morales, Pomykal, Ulloa, Akindele, Colman, Ferreira, Reid, Urruti.
Sounders FC –
OUT: Alonso (quad), Evans (back), Morris (hamstring).
MATCHDAY DECISION: Bruin (AC joint), Roldan (broken arm).
MATCHDAY DECISION: None.
None suspended for either side. Should he be booked within this match or the next, FC Dallas’ Grana will face a one match ban and a $500 fine.
Former Sounders Academy player and Ballard High School alum, Handwalla Bwana, has played nine matches with UDub this season, scoring six goals and adding five assists. A midfielder, Bwana is enjoying his sophomore campaign after having completed a freshman season that saw him named Pac-12 Freshman of the Year hitting four goals and assisting on seven.