The Sounders FC is off on its first road trip of the 2015 season and it will take on league-leading FC Dallas. The Hoops are undefeated to start the year with a perfect 3-0-0 record. Broadcaster Steve Zakuani discusses the match and its implications below in the latest Off-Camera Observations.
On the impact of players missing this weekend:
I think it’ll affect it a little bit. Obviously, if you’re missing key players, then you’re not able to put out your best 11. At the same time, I think FC Dallas and Seattle are two very deep teams and this is why you have big rosters these days so that when there are guys missing you can fill in with guys who are in there, train every day, and are in a positive place.
I think we’ll still see a competitive game and we’ll still see guys at the level required.
On what to expected from an undefeated FC Dallas:
It’s a dangerous team, a very dangerous team. I think traditionally, from my memory, Dallas always does quite well. I think it’s a team that made great strides last year and got to the playoffs. I think they’ve picked up where the left off and maybe even gone up a level.
I think Diaz, in the middle, is very good and Castillo. Those two guys are always playing well and they have been so far this season so the team is doing well.
I think it’s a good start for them, but they do this a lot and it’ll be key for them to sustain it. I think that’s the question people ask—“Can Dallas sustain it?”
For the Sounders, I think it’s a good test. It’s against a team leading at the moment. The Sounders had a great first game, a not-so-good second game, got a chance to run some players out in the middle of the week and now it’s a case of getting back on track and really kick-starting the season.
Traditionally, these teams have been good on the road. I think on the road away in Dallas, the Sounders have done well over the years. It’s a good opportunity to get a big win – a statement win – and get the season started.
On the first road trip of 2015:
I think it’s definitely different to be at home and in front of your home fans and you’re usually playing a team that’s more inclined to attack so you’ll be under pressure a bit more.
One thing being on the road can do is definitely get a team together and galvanize a team because if you pick up a road win especially, or some points, you then begin to build confidence there that you know you can also pick up points on the road.
I think what this means for the Sounders on the road is: Can they go there, get the win and put a statement out there that they’re going to be good at home and away? Tyrone Mears and some of the guys haven’t played on the road in MLS, so it’s going to be a bit different. Playing at CenturyLink Field, the fans pump you up. When you’re on the road, that atmosphere isn’t quite there.
You can’t win every road game. But when you can win, it definitely puts you in a position to be in a strong playoff position come November.