(Photo credit: Steven Bisig-USA TODAY Sports)
Near the top of Major League Soccer's Western Conference standings, the Seattle Sounders will try to avoid being tripped up by host FC Dallas on Saturday night in Frisco, Texas.
The Sounders (11-9-8, 41 points) have been limping to the finish line, posting just three wins in their last 13 games (3-4-6), but they still sit in second place in the West.
Seattle is 1-0-2 in its last three matches. The Sounders downed Austin FC 2-1 on Aug. 30, and ties with Minnesota United (1-1) and the Portland Timbers (2-2) bookended that result.
At this juncture, Seattle trails only St. Louis City SC (48 points) in the conference standings. The matchup with Dallas is one of four road matches remaining for the Sounders.
"We're in second place, six games to go. That's the positive, glass half-full, that's the Pollyanna viewpoint," Sounders head coach Brian Schmetzer said. "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."
FC Dallas (9-10-7, 34 points) went 1-1 in league play in August, then drew even with Atlanta United last time out. Paul Arriola scored in the 4th minute and Bernard Kamungo netted a marker in the 62nd. The team was playing for the third time in eight days.
FC Dallas will be without talented defender Geovane Jesus, who tore his ACL in training Wednesday.
"Of course, no player wants to get hurt, no one wants to receive this news," Jesus said. "Before it happened, I was feeling very confident, very happy with the news I was being called up to the Brazilian national team."
These two teams crossed paths earlier this season, fighting to a 1-1 draw in Seattle in July.
--Field Level Media