Sounders-FC Dallas Preview

The Seattle Sounders are off to the best start in their

four-year history, recently overcoming a packed schedule and the

loss of their starting goalkeeper.

The depth of their defense has helped in both situations.

Seattle looks to match a franchise record with its fifth

consecutive victory when it visits struggling FC Dallas on


The Sounders (6-1-1) will be playing their fourth game in 12

days, then they’ll return home for a Western Conference showdown

with Real Salt Lake on Saturday.

Fredy Montero assisted on Mauro Rosales’ goal in the 63rd minute

this past Saturday to give Seattle a 1-0 victory over Philadelphia

and its fourth straight win.

Seattle won a team-record five in a row Sept. 18-Oct. 15,


“Three games in a week is not an easy task, but we came out with

nine points which is something that we are very happy about,” coach

Sigi Schmid told the team’s official website. “I thought we had

chances to get more than one goal and we were a bit unlucky. One

day those floodgates will open up.”

The Sounders haven’t had to score much given how well their

defense has played. They’ve outscored opponents 6-1 during their

winning streak and they’ve posted five shutouts this season.

Schmid has used a rotation of seven defenders, allowing him to

keep the defense somewhat fresh during a tough stretch of games.

He’s started six different four-player combinations, and the

Sounders have allowed a league-low three goals.

“I really think we have seven starters,” Schmid said regarding

the depth of the defense. “It’s a team effort when you get a

shutout. It’s not just the defenders, it’s everyone together.”

The depth of the backline, however, will be tested after the

league suspended Leo Gonzalez on Tuesday for this match. The Costa

Rican defender stomped on the leg of Philadelphia’s Sheanon

Williams in the 88th minute shortly after entering the game as a


Bryan Meredith earned a shutout in his first MLS start Saturday

in place of the injured Michael Gspurning, who will miss at least

the next two games after aggravating a right hip injury in the

first half of a 2-0 win over Los Angeles last Wednesday.

“I thought Meredith did a great job in goal and dealt with the

things he needed to deal with,” Schmid said. “Our defense did a

good job of keeping things away from him.”

He’ll be in net again versus Dallas (3-4-3), which dropped to

0-2-2 in its last four with a 2-0 loss to Colorado on Sunday.

As if the recent struggles weren’t enough, Dallas went down two

men in the first half when Daniel Hernandez got his second yellow

card in the 34th minute before Blas Perez was given a red card for

what the referee deemed a reckless play in the 36th minute.

Each will serve a one-game suspension Wednesday for a Dallas

team that’s allowed 14 goals – tied with Los Angeles for most in

the West.

“We won’t be putting our best team on the field because of the

red cards and the injuries,” coach Schellas Hyndman told the team’s

official website. “But I know I have a lot of guys in the locker

room looking for an opportunity, and so they’ll be given that


Seattle is 1-0-2 all-time at Dallas, winning 1-0 in the most

recent meeting Aug. 20 when Montero assisted on Rosales’ goal in

the 16th minute.