The Seattle Sounders are visiting FC Dallas on Saturday (5:30 p.m. PT; Watch on MLS Season Pass on Apple TV, 950 KJR AM, El Rey 1360AM) in a Western Conference clash. Here are three matchups to watch.
Raúl Ruidíaz vs. Sebastien Ibeagha
Raúl Ruidíaz is fresh off a stint with the Peruvian national team for CONMEBOL FIFA World Cup qualifiers and will be looking to pick up where he left off heading into the international break. He got on the score sheet against the Portland Timbers last time out, but he faces a stout Dallas defense led by Ibeagha, who’s in his first season in Frisco. The 31-year-old Nigerian anchors a back line that has allowed the second-fewest goals in the Western Conference, behind only the Sounders.
Alex Roldan vs. Michael Farfan
Look for Saturday’s matchup to be won or lost on the Sounders’ right flank, and in particular, a battle of fullbacks. Alex Roldan returns after two Concacaf Nations League matches with El Salvador, and Seattle will need him to be on the front foot in attack. The Sounders are at their best when Roldan is advanced and can unbalance defenses with his passing and crossing. FC Dallas will be without speedy winger Bernard Kamungo, which should also help to free up more of Roldan’s defensive responsibilities.
Yeimar vs. Jesús Fereira
Fereira leads FC Dallas with 10 goals on the season, yet no one else has scored more than four. Dallas relies heavily on its 22-year-old United States national team forward for both goals and creativity in the final third, and with star playmaker Alan Velasco sidelined with an injury, the onus will fall even more on Fereira to produce. If Yeimar & Co. can limit Fereira’s involvement, it will go a long way in helping the Sounders leave Texas with a result.