Visits to Seattle traditionally aren’t much fun for FC Dallas.
With a Western Conference semifinal berth on the line, FC Dallas will aim to halt an 18-match MLS winless streak in Seattle when they battle the second-seeded Sounders on Friday night in the finale of a three-game, first-round series between the teams.
The winner moves on to face third-seeded Los Angeles FC.
Seventh-seeded FC Dallas is 0-14-4 in the shadow of the Space Needle since beating the Sounders on May 25, 2011.
Nearly 12 1/2 years later, FC Dallas is in position to claim a mammoth upset after splitting the first two matches of the series. FC Dallas lost the opener 2-0 in Seattle on Oct. 30 before recording a 3-1 home win last Saturday.
“We know what to expect for next game,” FC Dallas captain Paul Arriola said. “The beauty of the three-game series is being able to play the first one (in Seattle) and then have another opportunity to come back.”
FC Dallas received early goals from Arriola (sixth minute) and Jesus Ferreira (penalty kick in 18th minute) to set the tone in Match 2. Jader Obrian scored an insurance goal in the 89th minute.
“We have to have another magical night, go for something epic,” Dallas coach Nico Estevez said. “We’re probably the lesser of the (remaining playoff) teams in this conference and we have to earn respect.”
Seattle will be looking to get off to a much better start than it did in Game 2.
“We didn’t come out and match their intensity,” said Jordan Morris, who has scored goals in both matches in the series. “Their backs were against the wall, they needed to come out flying. We needed to match that and we didn’t.
“Little moments hurt in a playoff game like this, and so we put ourselves into too big of a deficit and couldn’t come out of it. So we’ve got to right that and, especially at home, come out flying on Friday.”
Morris scored in the 48th minute of the Match 2 loss and has five career playoff goals against FC Dallas. In the opener, Albert Rusnak joined Morris in finding the back of the net.
Sounders coach Brian Schmetzer minced no words by saying his team came out flat in Saturday’s match. Veteran goalkeeper Stefan Frei agreed.
“We’ve got to regroup, we’ve got to regroup quickly,” said Frei, the team captain. “Obviously next game is Friday already, so quick turnaround. It’s maybe good in a way because not everything’s going to go smooth.”
–Field Level Media