FC Dallas aims to snap winless skid vs. Sounders (Sep 16, 2017)
The last time FC Dallas (9-8-10) won a match, this summer's solar eclipse was still a month away.
With the second-place Seattle Sounders FC (11-7-10) coming to Toyota Stadium on Saturday in Frisco, Texas, Dallas supporters are looking for a ray of sunshine after going winless, with five losses, in their past eight games.
Hanging on to sixth place with two teams chasing them for the final playoff spot in the Western Conference, FC Dallas defender Maynor Figueroa told the Dallas Morning News that reversing the fortunes of their club comes down to hard work.
"Whether we're winning or losing, we have to work daily and focus on things we're not doing well," Figueroa said. "The team knows what's going wrong, and the most important thing is that there are still points on the table. We've got to look for every way we can to get the three points."
Head coach Oscar Pareja believes his team can change its course.
"We're in a difficult position, but the league is in front of us," Pareja told the Dallas Morning News. "We're going to wait for Seattle, just get the three points that we need at home and straighten the ship in the way we want."
Meanwhile, the Sounders are riding a different type of streak. They haven't lost a match in 88 days.
But even with a 12-game unbeaten streak, head coach Brian Schmetzer isn't taking anything for granted.
"It's a really deep squad, good squad," Schmetzer told soundersfc.com. "(They are) a motivated team. They haven't been in a great run of form, but Oscar is a great coach and he's going to get them ready to go."
Seattle is in a tight race of its own as it is fighting for first place in the Western Conference. With only four matches left in the regular season, one point separates the Sounders from the Vancouver Whitecaps FC and Portland Timbers, who are tied for first with 44 points each.
The Sounders did receive good news this week as a red card suspension was overturned for center Roman Torres. The Sounders appealed the red card, which was given to Torres during the team's match with the Los Angeles Galaxy, to the Independent Panel. The panel unanimously agreed to overturn the automatic one-game suspension on Thursday.
However, the news wasn't all good for the Sounders. Forward Jordan Morris will be out Saturday and could miss the remainder of the regular season due injury. He suffered a hamstring strain in the 1-1 draw with the Galaxy last week.
Schmetzer told The Seattle Times that the team is taking Morris' injury one week at a time.
"He's definitely out this weekend, and then time will be the good factor or the bad factor, whichever way you want to look at it," Schmetzer said. "If he comes back in time to help us, great. If not, that's totally up to his healing process."
Saturday's match will be the first time Dallas faces the defending champion Sounders this year. The two teams will face each other again Oct. 15.