Competition: Major League Soccer – FC Dallas vs. Seattle Sounders
Venue: Toyota Stadium – Saturday, May 14 – 21:00 ET (02:00 BST)
Match Odds: Dallas 4/6 – Draw 14/5 – Seattle 4/1
Dallas ended a three-game losing streak with a 2-1 win over Portland on Wednesday night and will need to go again quickly here, with just two days rest in between these two important home ties.
Oscar Pareja’s side have struggled to find the net in recent weeks, but they are always a bigger threat at Toyota Stadium than on the road and have scored 11 in six home games so far.
They sit second in the Western Conference heading into the weekend, but have played three more games than Seattle, who sit eighth ahead of this one.
The Sounders are only seven points behind Dallas and know that Saturday’s game is an excellent opportunity to close the gap at the top of the conference.
Sigi Schmid’s men have responded well to a terrible start, in which they lost their first three games, as they have only lost one of their last six since then.
Last weekend’s 2-0 win over San Jose was their third victory in four and they look like a team on the up, despite their lowly position at this relatively early stage of the campaign.
This will be the first of three regular season meetings between the two sides. They met four times last year, with two games being played in the MLS Cup Playoffs. Dallas advanced in a dramatic two-legged tie that went all the way to penalties at Toyota Stadium and will be hoping to win back-to-back home games against Seattle for the first time in their history.
FC Dallas remain without star defender Matt Hedges, so Walker Zimmerman and Zach Loyd will continue their partnership at the back. Alex Zendejas also remains out, while goalkeeper Jesse Gonzalez is a doubt so Chris Seitz will likely continue between the sticks.
Seattle will be without defender Roman Torres once again, though he is the club’s only injury concern heading into the weekend. Andreas Ivanschitz made his return from injury last week off the bench and will hope to start here.
FC Dallas’ last five: W/L/L/L/W
Seattle Sounders’ last five: D/W/L/W/W
Key Stat: FC Dallas are unbeaten in their last 11 regular season games at Toyota Stadium (W9 D2).
Key Player: Jordan Morris – The Sounders rookie forward has inspired Seattle in recent weeks, having scored in four consecutive matches. No MLS rookie has ever scored in five-straight games but Morris will hope to set that record on Saturday night with another impressive display.
FC Dallas 1-1 Seattle Sounders – FC Dallas are favourites for this one, given their impressive home record, but the short delay between matches may leave them fatigued. Seattle will hope to capitalise but they have yet to win away in three attempts this season and would probably be happy enough with a draw here. That’s the way this looks likely to end, though both will fancy their chances.