If the Sounders are to sweep FC Dallas in their best-of-three series, they will need to make some subtle tweaks in Saturday Night’s game two of their first-round playoff series with Dallas. A 2-0 victory at home finds the Rave Green looking to close out the series on the road. With game two at Dallas, there is little doubt FC Dallas will be looking to score early and keep the home crowd engaged The Sounders will also be looking to score and take the home crowd out of the game. While the crowd will not be making a difference on the field its engagement can make a difference for the players.
FAST START SCORE EARLY
With both sides looking for a fast start the key will be which side can handle pressure from the opponent. Both sides are counter-attacking teams and play good fundamental defense.
In game one the Sounders pressured FC Dallas and had chances to take the early lead. Josh Atencio, Leo Chu, and Joao Paulo all had early chances that were wanting. On Saturday night the Sounders must capitalize on their early chances.
DO NOT PARK THE BUS STAY AGGRESSIVE
Twenty-two minutes into game one and a 0-0 score line the Sounders allowed FC Dallas to get a foothold in the game. FC Dallas had three good chances that could have easily tipped the score line in their favor. Stefan Frei made a show-stopping save and Jackson Ragen saved the day with two consecutive blocks. After taking the lead three minutes before halftime, the Sounders sleepwalked the first ten minutes of the second half. The Sounders allowed FC Dallas to dominate the midfield and get pushed into their defensive half. On Saturday night the Sounders cannot allow FC Dallas to push them back into a retreating position with the home side urging them on.
STAY COMPACT ON DEFENSE
Solid defending between the three blocks allowed the Sounders to keep a clean sheet. Yeimar and Ragen never allowed the FC Dallas forwards to find pockets between and in front of them. Nouhou and Alex Roldan were disciplined in their runs upfield. Critical in stuffing the Dallas attack was the defensive play of Joao Paulo and Josh Atencio. The two holding midfielders were disciplined in marking players in the middle of the field.
Jordan Morris and Stefan Frei are the two players the Sounders need to continue their fine form. It is no surprise that one is a goalkeeper and the other a forward. Morris’s goal sealed the win for the Sounders. Frei’s early and late saves were the difference maker and will need to be on Saturday.
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- Following a 2-0 win over FC Dallas in the first match of the best-
of-three Round One series in the Audi 2023 MLS Cup Playoffs,
Seattle Sounders FC travels to Dallas for the series’ second match on
Saturday, November 4.
- Prior to Monday’s match, Seattle and Dallas have faced off twice in
the regular season, with the two fixtures ending in 1-1 draws on both
- A win on Saturday would see Seattle advance to the Western
Conference Semifinals. A loss would send the series to a third match,
to be played in Seattle on November 10.
- Sounders FC and FC Dallas also have a rich playoff history, battling it
out in the postseason nine times, with Seattle leading the series 5-2-2.
Prior to Monday, the two sides most recently played in the 2020 MLS
Cup Playoffs, with Seattle winning 1-0.
- Monday’s clean sheet was goalkeeper Stefan Frei’s 15th in MLS play
this year. His 14 shutouts during the regular season were the most in
MLS this year and a new single-season club record.
- The win on Monday was good for Head Coach Brian Schmetzer’s
16th postseason victory, third in MLS history behind legends Bruce
Arena and Sigi Schmid. His .761 winning percentage is the highest
among all coaches with at least 10 playoff victories.
- Jordan Morris scored his seventh career postseason goal on Monday.
The Mercer Island native is fourth among active players in MLS in
postseason scoring, with former Sounder Will Bruin (9) and current
teammates Raúl Ruidíaz (9) and Nico Lodeiro (8) in front of him on that