Nov 2, 2014; Dallas, TX, USA; Seattle Sounders FC midfielder Osvaldo Alonso (6) celebrates scoring a goal in the second half against the FC Dallas at Toyota Stadium. Seattle and FC Dallas tied 1-1. Mandatory Credit: Tim Heitman-USA TODAY Sports
The 2014 MLS playoffs have had some exciting matches so far and a few not so exciting matches. Depending on what team you support, the match on Sunday night between the Seattle Sounders and FC Dallas could be labeled as both. We are now a mere five days away from leg two in the Western Conference semi-finals between Dallas and the Sounders. The Sounders picked up a crucial away goal in their 1-1 tie this past Sunday.
We all know that Dallas must score at least one away goal to have a chance to win this match and the two leg series. The Sounders know that if they can keep Dallas off of the scoreboard, they will advance to their second ever Western Conference final.
A question I have been asking myself is how will the Sounders play in this match?
I don’t pretend to be a tactical genius or someone that thinks they know everything about the sport of soccer. Yes, I played growing up but I mainly played because it was fun and I got to run around for 90 minutes. I’ve learned a lot more in my years of watching MLS and I have learned one thing from watching Sigi Schmid coach the Seattle Sounders — you never know what you will see on the pitch.
Last year in the second leg of the Western Conference semifinals against the Portland Timbers, we saw Schmid put Shalrie Joseph up top as a forward. As I made my three-hour trek down Interstate 5 to Portland with 15 of my closet friends, we never expected to see that.
I don’t expect Schmid to do something as drastic this time around. I see the Sounders maybe playing the same way they did against the Los Angeles Galaxy in the final game of the season. Sit back and counter-attack when the opportunity presents itself.
Yes, it is not the best way to play a match as the Sounders were out possessed and out shot but in the end, the Sounders found a way to score two goals in the final ten minutes of the match to clinch the Supporters Shield.
More from FC Dallas
- FC Dallas fans behave despicably in response to team kneeling during anthem
- FC Dallas: Why they will make the playoffs
- Reason for the swoon of FC Dallas
- Texas Derby bound to shape MLS season
- MLS Preview: Is FC Dallas the team to beat?
Seattle must also be careful not to commit silly fouls in or around the 18-yard box. If anyone is familiar with Dallas, you all know that they like to “flop” when the opportunity presents itself. They also cannot leave their feet in the box similar to what Marco Pappa did in the first leg that essentially gifted Dallas their lone goal in the match.
The Seattle Sounders must play smart and counter-attack when it is appropriate to do so. If the Sounders can so this and hurt Dallas on the counter, they will be playing in their second ever Western Conference finals.