FC DALLAS v. SEATTLE SOUNDERS FC

by Charles Therrell (DISK DOKTOR)

Greetings to my brothers and sisters in Green.

One door closes, and another fast food joint opens…or something like that. The point is, we are supporters comprised of a reasonable level of mental toughness, and it will take more than crashing out of the CCL to bring us down. Still, three trophies to play for, so we keep spirits high and face our eyes forward.

Today’s Sunday matinee sees our boys in Green travel to Frisco, Texas, home of FC Dallas, formerly known as the Dallas Burn. Top marketing there, gents. Tip top indeed.

The Sounders FC will attempt to do their utmost to score as many goals as possible in Frisco before all our foreign nationals are deported. That’s right, Texas. I said it.

Vital for us to get all hands on deck. If you can’t travel to be with our supporters in Texas, gather your Green Family where ye may. Assemble at the pubs that have become our second living-rooms, in Seattle, California, and many other corners of America. Nonsense, that wasn’t at all an awkward sentence. Brighten up, mates. I’m certainly trying to, and I’m the better part of cynical.

Before the kick-off, join me in the auld toast: TO THE SEATTLE SOUNDERS FOOTBALL CLUB…AND VICTORY!!!

Lamar Hunt Way
I hate it so much that we ever have to play matches here. So, so very much.

The Good News
Our last league match against Dallas saw us send them off in grand style 4:0 in the friendly confines of Royal Brougham Park.

We are (at best guess) a fiscally solvent football club that had an average home attendance of over 43,000 supporters for league matches.

There are still three trophies left to play for this season. Time for our rotation players and reserves to show what exemplary professionals they are. PLAY UP, YOU SOUNDERS!

I think it entirely likely that Dempsey is still fit for selection.

Stefan Frei is arguably the best goalkeeper in the league.

Leerdam is fit again.

If you assemble Neagle, Dempsey, Cristian Roldan, Eikrem, Svensson, Shipp, Nouhou, Leerdam, Torres, Kim, and Frei, I think it’s fair to say that’s a decent team, certainly a competitive team. It’s not ideal, but you have to admit that we have the most depth in the squad we’ve known for years. Now we have to see if it’s enough to win in the league when we’ve so many men injured.

Dallas weren’t even close last season to resembling the 2016 edition that won a League and Cup double.

The Bad News
It seems like everyone in the Sounders’ team is injured. If indeed Alonso, Rodriguez, Marshall, Bruin, and Lodeiro are all unavailable for selection, it’s going to make it that much harder to scrap out a win down six first-team players.

We’ve never had a lot of luck winning at Lamar Hunt Way. We’ve only won twice in 12 league matches since 2009.

Over the last five matches (in all competitions) Dallas has only lost once whilst we have dropped three of our last five.

Know Thine Enemy
Goalkeeper –
Gonzalez, 22, played 29 times last season for Dallas. Gonzalez has spent his entire career with Dallas playing a total of 46 league matches over his previous five seasons. Gonzalez was highly rated by Yanks’ Manager, Bruce Arena, and was added to the USA’s Gold Cup roster last July. One to watch.

Defence –
Hedges, 27 has played 178 MLS matches, all for FC Dallas. This season will be Hedges’ seventh season representing Dallas. He has scored 13 career goals in the league. Hedges has five caps for United States.

Figueroa, 34, is a veteran Honduran footballer. Although this is only his third season with FC Dallas, his professional career began at CD Victoria 19 years ago. His football journey has seen him play for Olimpia (100 matches), Wigan Athletic (185 matches) and Hull City. Figueroa has 146 caps for Honduras.

Cannon, 19, in his second season with FC Dallas, has a total of 2 matches of MLS experience. Cannon is a product of UCLA (NCAA) and FC Dallas Academy. The Chicago native has played with the Yanks’ U-17 and U-19 teams. Promising, but just on solid food and out of short pants.

Ziegler, 32, is a veteran Swiss footballer produced by such youth setups as Servette and Grasshopper Zurich. He began his career with Grasshopper 16 years ago. His experience spans over 380 matches of football at such clubs as SV Hamburg, Tottenham, Grasshopper, Wigan, Sampdoria, Fenerbahce, Sassuolo, FC Sion, and most recently Luzern. Ziegler has 35 caps for Switzerland.

Midfield –
Gruezo, 22, is an Ecuadorian footballer beginning his third season with FC Dallas. He has nearly 60 matches with Dallas since arriving in 2016. A product of such youth academies as LDU Quito and Defensor, Carlos’ football journey has seen him play with Barcelona SC of Ecuador and VfB Stuttgart of the Bundesliga before his move to Texas. Gruezo has 17 caps for Ecuador.

Ulloa, 26, has played 117 times in the league for the Dallas since his arrival in 2011. If Ulloa is fit, it’s pretty likely you’ll see his name in the team sheet. Out of a possible 136 matches over the last four seasons, Ulloa has played in 116.

Mosquera, 23, a Colombian national, just moved to Texas from Millionarios of Columbia. Over the last two seasons, Mosquera played 54 times for Millionarios, scoring eight goals.

Diaz, 27, is an Argentinian footballer who came to FC Dallas in 2013 from River Plate, one of the premier clubs of Argentina. Diaz has played nearly 100 times in the league for Dallas, scoring 21 goals. Before his move, he played nearly 70 times for River Plate.

Barrios, 26, is a Colombian footballer who has played over 90 times for FC Dallas, scoring 19 goals. Before his 2011 move to Texas, Barrios played 140 times for Uniautonoma in the Colombian top flight, scoring 35 goals over four seasons.

Forward –
Urruti, 27, has played nearly 90 times in his six-year MLS career, scoring 36 goals. The Argentinian had previously played for Portland and Toronto in MLS, after beginning his career in 2011 with Newell’s Old Boys in Argentina, playing 57 times and scoring 12 goals for the club that produced him. I guess the burning question for me with Urruti is: “If he’s such a good goal-scorer, how come he never played for Argentina?”

Familiar Faces
Not a one.

Squads
FC Dallas from: Gonzalez, Maurer, Zobeck, Cannon, Cano, Figueroa, Hedges, Nedyalkov, Reaves, Ziegler, Barrios, Diaz, Gruezo, Hayes, Hollingshead, Lamah, Mosquera, Pomykal, Ulloa, Akindele, Colman, Ferreira, Reid, Reynolds, Urruti.

Sounders FC from: Frei, Meredith, Brown, Francis, Kim, Leerdam, Marshall, McCrary, Nouhou Tolo, Torres, Alonso, Rodriguez, Lodeiro, Bwana, Delem, Eikrem, Neagle, Cristian Roldan, Alex Roldan, Shipp, Svensson, Wingo, Adekoya, Bruin, Dempsey.

Injury List
[So, the way I’m handling this season is that if someone isn’t nursing torn ligaments, a broken bone, or a confirmed concussion, the players in question will not be listed as Out.]

FC Dallas –
OUT: Acosta (hernia), Servania (surgery).
MATCHDAY DECISION: Nedyalkov (Achilles).

Sounders FC –
OUT: Morris (ACL).
MATCHDAY DECISION: Alonso (quadriceps), Rodriguez, (quadriceps), Lodeiro (foot), Bruin (head), Marshall (eye).

Discipline
FC Dallas: none suspended.
Sounders FC: Alfaro (sent off).

Fun Fact
On March 10th, Seattle Sounders Academy U-17s and U-19s beat their counterparts from Vancouver Whitecaps. The respective scores were 2:0 and 2:1. Well done on the British Colombia road trip, lads!

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