The Seattle Sounders are hosting FC Dallas on Friday (7 p.m. PT; Watch on MLS Season Pass on Apple TV | TICKETS) in the third match of a best-of-three opening round series in the Audi 2023 MLS Cup Playoffs. Here are three matchups to watch:
Jordan Morris vs. Nkosi Tafari
More than half of Jordan Morris’ career postseason goals have come against FC Dallas, including one in each of the first two matches of this series. He also scored the first Sounders postseason hat trick when he dropped three on Dallas in 2019. He’s a man in strong form playing in his arguably more natural position at the No. 9 rather than on the wing, and he’ll be looking for a third consecutive match with a goal on Friday. Tafari has been one of the most improved players in the league this year, and the 26-year-old central defender will have his hands full trying to prevent Morris from getting on the score sheet.
Nouhou vs. Bernard Kamungo
It was a tale of two matches for these two talented and speedy players. In the series opener, Nouhou played what Head Coach Brian Schmetzer called one of the best matches of his career, helping keep Dallas off the board while adding an assist. In the return contest in Texas, Kamungo set up Paul Arriola’s early opening goal before drawing a penalty on Nouhou shortly after. However this 1-v-1 battle goes on Friday will likely go a long way in determining which side advances.
Yeimar vs. Jesús Ferreira
Nominated for MLS Defender of the Year, Yeimar leads a Sounders defense that set a franchise record for fewest goals conceded this season. With star attacker Alan Velasco sidelined, almost all of Dallas’ offensive threat will come from Ferreira, who will be tasked with both playmaking and finishing duties. The United States international missed two opportunities in the first match before depositing the penalty that Kamungo drew in the second game. If Yeimar & Co. can neutralize his influence, the Sounders will be in prime position to move on to the Western Conference Semifinals against LAFC.