Sounders looking to build momentum in Dallas

The Seattle Sounders returned to training  Tuesday morning after a week off from training and ten days removed from a disappointing 2-2 draw with the  Portland Timbers. With the Timbers in the rear view mirror, the focus for the Rave Green is the six remaining regular season games.   The thinking and looking forward paradigm has the Sounders focusing on themselves rather than the opponent.


It’s not that the Sounder are taking any of their upcoming opponents lightly.   TBrian Schmetzer wants his players to own the mindset that they control their destiny.

“The main message is to play to our potential. The results will come if we play to our potential,”  Schmetzer said after the team’s practice session this week.

 The Sounders are second in the Western Conference with 41 points. Above the Rave Green is St. Louis with  48 points. Below the Sounders are LAFC and Salt Lake both with 40 points and one less game played.

“We are confident going into Dallas and we are ready to get back and playing. I think it will be up to us these last six games where we will finish first, second fifth, or six it will be up to us. If we take care of our games we do not have to worry about the other teams”. Said  midfielder Albert Rusnak  after Tuesday’s  practice session.


If the Sounders are to have any success against FC Dallas on Saturday afternoon at Toyota Stadium they will need to put the ball in the back of the net with consistency. The Sounders have scored at least one goal in their last three games. A 1-1 draw at Minnesota, a 2-1 win at Austin FC, and the disappointing 2-2 draw home draw with the Portland Timbers.  The inability to put teams away when given the chance has been the Sounder’s Achilles heel all season.  In the draw with the Timbers, the Sounders had multiple chances to score a  third goal and put the game away before the Timbers scored two back-to-back goals to earn the draw.   


Simply put the Sounders have been missing the ruthlessness and killer instinct around goal.  It seems once they score a goal they let their foot off the pedal. With Leo Chu suspended for the game due to his two yellow cards in the  Timbers game  Raul Ruidiaz and Jordan  Morris will need to be clinical and hungry in front of goal. To make matters worse for the Sounders FC Dallas has allowed the third fewest goals in  MLS this season.


For team a that prides itself on defense the Sounders have been poor when defending set pieces all season.  The inability to stay compacted on defense has added to the Sounder’s recent defensive lapses. The backline and midfield block have been stretched when tracking back on defense and there has been a lack of communication between the two blocks  One player that  Jackson Ragen and  Yeimar will need to be aware of at all times on Saturday is  Jesus Ferreira.

The  American and Colombian striker is tied for fifth in goals with  10.  Ferreira leads MLS with six game-winning goals. Dallas has a 16-2-2 record in the 20 matches in which Ferreira has scored since the start of last season. The two losses came on the road against LAFC and SKC.


What will take pressure off the backline and  Joao Paulo would be the return of midfielder Cristian Roldan who was a full practice participant in all four of the Sounders practice sessions this week. . Roldan has been suffering from concussion symptoms since July 16  when the Sounders played FC Dallas.  Roldan’s speed and ability to read the game on both halves is something that has been missing since he left the line-up.


The Sounders are a transition team. To be effective all  10 field players will need to be committed to staying compacted on defense and pushing the ball down the field when in possession. Multiple players will need to make runs towards the goal to create space and cause confusion in the goal box. In addition, the  Sounders must be clinical and decisive when attacking the goal.  

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