Sounders eager to return to action with positive result over FC Dallas on Saturday

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Coming off the FIFA international break, the Seattle Sounders are relishing a return to action when they head to FC Dallas for a Western Conference road matchup at Toyota Stadium in Matchday 32.

For Seattle, the stakes are high heading into the season’s final six games, with the club currently posted at second place in the Western Conference standings with 41 points from 28 matches (11W-9L-8D record). But that standing is a tenuous one, with just seven points separating second from ninth on an airtight West table. 

“We’re in second place, six games to go, that’s the positive, glass half-full, that’s the Pollyanna viewpoint,”  said Head Coach Brian Schmetzer at training this week. “But the reality is we’ve got to take care of business, we’ve got four on the road two at home. That’s the reality, so we’ve got to work hard at training, work hard in games and steal some points in this three-game stretch and then close out with a couple of good games at home.”

Looking ahead to the stretch run, midfielder Albert Rusnák said the players are anxious to get back on the field after the lengthy layoff. From the outside, all eyes will be on the standings as clubs jostle for postseason positioning.

Internally, however, the group knows that they’ll control their own destiny with a run of positive results.

“Last six games, we’re in second [place], we know teams below us have games in hand,” said Rusnák. “They can catch us and go above us. We also know that they play each other, which means both teams can’t win."

“I think it’s up to us these last six games, where we will finish, whether we’ll be [in] first, second, or we’ll be fifth, sixth. It will be on us. If we take care of our games we don’t have to look really what other teams are doing.”

It starts with a three-game road-swing that will see Seattle make away trips to play the Colorado Rapids and Nashville SC in the two weeks following Saturday’s matchup in Texas.

That presents a formidable challenge, but the Sounders have also demonstrated solid form away from Lumen Field in 2023, taking five wins and three draws in 13 matches. Channeling that road warrior mentality will be paramount to taking the necessary results, and ensuring a coveted top-two seed in the West.

“We know we have three road games in a row, those are different than playing at home,” said Rusnák. “But then again, we’ve been kind-of successful lately on the road. We’ve got some good results, some results that could have been better."

“But we’re confident going into Dallas, we watched film, we know what they’re good at, we also know what we’re good at. Especially on the road you need to be very good defensively, and then the amount of chances you create, take some, and then see how many points you go home with.”

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