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Sounders look to secure spot in Western Conference Semifinals on Saturday

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The Seattle Sounders put on a show at Lumen Field Monday night in their 2-0 victory over FC Dallas. But the job isn’t finished yet against the Texas squad as the Sounders will need to solidify another win in the Round One, best-of-three series to move on to the Western Conference Semifinals.

The Rave Green have the opportunity to do just that on Saturday as the team travels to FC Dallas' home territory in Frisco, Texas. 

“If we go down there and play to our potential, we have a good chance of winning,” said Head Coach Brian Schmetzer.

A loss in Match 2 of the Round One series won’t eliminate the Sounders from playoff contention given that they will have another chance to compete the following Friday in a third and final battle against FC Dallas, but the team is looking to secure a spot in the Western Conference Semifinals sooner rather than later.

“We're not taking anything for granted,” said Schmetzer. “We want to play and keep our momentum going.” 

The depth from this year’s roster gives the Sounders’ the potential to close out Round One this weekend. From the starting eleven to the players on the bench, Schmetzer said he’s had to make “tough choices” regarding a finalized lineup for Saturday. 

“The group has been training well for the last four weeks,” said Schmetzer. “So it just gives me more options, and it means I’m a fortunate coach.”

The Sounders’ success on the road during the 2023 regular season is obvious; the team ranks No.2 in away-match wins in the Western Conference with three of those results coming near the end of the regular season. 

While competing against FC Dallas on their stomping grounds will be a daunting task with the Texas team carrying only three losses at Toyota Stadium this year, the Sounders hope to utilize their consistent efforts on the road and their current 10-game unbeaten streak to change that narrative and leave Frisco with a win under their belts.

“We found some confidence in the last 10 games to have possession, to be patient, and when to be explosive, and I think we're making those decisions much, much better these days than we have in the past,” said goalkeeper Stefan Frei. And when you make those decisions on how to play, that can completely change the game.” 

Individual performances will be beneficial in how the Rave Green plays on Saturday, but an overall team effort is what’ll push them to victory and into the Western Conference Semifinals — Together as One.

“Putting yourself first or not getting your emotions in check cannot happen,” said Frei. “So, we need to make sure that whatever we do is to help this team.”

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