With the belief that you can never have enough of a good thing, Seattle Sounders (8-9-5,29 points) will entertain Western Conference Divison leaders FC Dallas (12-4-6, 42 points) Sunday night 7 p.m. at CenturyLink Field. On Wednesday the Sounders announced the season-long loan signing of former AFC Bournemouth defender Brad Smith.
The signing of the 24-year-old Smith means that Nohou, Waylon Francis, and Smith will all be battling for playing time at the left back position. Midfielder Victor Rodriguez was playing his best soccer before his right hamstring injury sent him to the medical room and the insertion of Gustav Svensson alongside Osvaldo Alonso freed up, Harry Shipp, Cristian Roldan, and Nicolas Lodeiro to find passing lanes in the middle of the field.
Rodriguez has been given medical clearance to participate in Sunday’s game. Forward Will Bruin the teams leading goal scorer was relegated to the bench when the team acquired Raul Ruidiaz. The Peruvian National-led League MX in scoring the last year.
Ruidiaz has recorded goal and an assist since joining the team on June 29th his on-field presence has created a spark in the Sounders offense. Bruin to his credit has continued to make things difficult for Schmetzer. Bruin scored the game-winning goal in stoppage time against Minnesota in the Sounders improbable come from behind win.
It was a header from Ruidiaz that sprung Bruin loos for the game-winner. Forward Clint Dempsey has been nursing a groin injury and is out for Sunday’s game.
There is no doubt Sounders head coach Brian Schmetzer has plenty of options going into Sundays Wild West Showdown. Given the team’s recent form of four consecutive wins and unbeaten in the last six games how much tinkering is Schmetzer willing to do.
Regardless of who is in the game, the Sounders will need to play team defense. FC Dallas is a quality side led by midfielder Roland Lamah who has scored a team-high eight goals and recorded five assists. Lamah scored two goals in FC Dallas 3-0 win over the Sounders March 18th at Toyota Stadium.
The Hops are coming off a disappointing 3-1 home loss to the San Jose Earthquakes on August 4th. It was the first time FC Dallas tasted defeat at home this season. The Hops will be out to prove the loss was an anomaly on Sunday according to defender Tesho Akindele.
“Sometimes you just lose games. We did play poorly. We did lose the game, but that’s not a trend of a bigger thing to come or a cycle that we’re a part of,” said Akindele .“We’re a good team and we’ve been playing well. I think that’s the cycle, that’s the trend that people should focus on instead of one bad game and it’s going to go downhill. That’s not what’s going to happen.”