Sounders FC vs. FC Dallas
MLS Regular Season
Wednesday, May 7; 7 pm PT; CenturyLink Field
TV/Radio: JOEtv (Locally, KZJO channel 22/cable 10); ROOT Sports (Regionally); KIRO Radio 97.3 FM; ESPN Deportes Radio, 1490 AM (Spanish)
Less than a month ago, Sounders FC met red-hot FC Dallas at Toyota Stadium. Much has changed for both teams as they square off again on Wednesday at CenturyLink Field. Here are three matchups to watch as Seattle looks to extend its four-game winning streak and five-match unbeaten run.
Michel vs. Chad Marshall
A free-kick specialist, Michel has shown a propensity for picking players out of the box and putting pinpoint crosses to their heads, particularly off of set pieces. The Brazilian has two assists this season and is a constant threat on dead ball situations. Marshall, meanwhile, has been a defensive star for Seattle this season, particularly in clearing aerial danger from Seattle's box. On Saturday against Philadelphia, Marshall blocked six shots in the match. Sounders FC may need another similar performance if Dallas is able to win free kicks deep in Seattle's end of the field.
Lamar Neagle vs. Zach Loyd
With Kellyn Acosta out because of injury and Je-Vaughn Watson out serving a red-card suspension, Dallas will be thinned out on its right side. That could leave opportunities for Neagle, who has three goals and three assists this season. Loyd missed Sunday's match after picking up two yellow cards against D.C. United on April 26 and has started three matches this season. A former first-round SuperDraft selection, he is certainly a capable defender, but was also in the back for both Seattle drubbings of Dallas at CenturyLink Field last year, when results of 4-2 and 3-0 went Sounders FC's way.
Seattle forwards vs. Dallas center backs
No matter who Dallas uses at center back on Wednesday, they will have their hands full with Clint Dempsey and Obafemi Martins. They aren't alone, though. Seattle hasn't played a match this year that hasn't seen a goal or an assist from either Dempsey or Martins and Dempsey unloaded on Dallas in the last meeting in April. Matt Hedges is a solid defender and whether it is Walker Zimmerman, George John or Stephen Keel that plays alongside him, Dallas won't have the speed to keep up.