Sounders relish chance to face depleted Dallas outfit
TUKWILA, Wash. — Considering how many injuries the Seattle Sounders have dealt with this season, the schedule couldn’t have been much kinder. They’ve played the fewest matches in the Western Conference (eight) and no MLS team has played fewer on the road (two).
HIGHLIGHTS: SEA 1, PHI 0
As they get ready to face FC Dallas on Wedneday night (8:30 pm ET, watch LIVE online), the Sounders are poised to catch another scheduling break. FC Dallas will be without three key men, in Daniel Hernandez (suspension), Blas Pérez (suspension) and Ugo Ihemelu (concussion symptoms).
“Daniel is the guy who’s the brains in that operation,” Sounders head coach Sigi Schmid said when asked about the absences. “He keeps everybody else organized, keeps everyone else disciplined as they need to be. He’s an important part of it.
“Pérez has done well for them,” Schmid continued. “He’s somebody they’re going to miss because they don’t really have another guy who can play up there like him. It changes how they play a little bit.”
As if that wasn’t enough, FC Dallas may also have to limit Brek Shea’s minutes (turf toe). Shea did not play in FC Dallas’ last game against Colorado, but will likely feature in this one. Those absences are in addition to the longer-term issues that have kept out David Ferreira (foot surgery), Ricardo Villar (foot strain) and Carlos Rodríguez (dislocated elbow).
Of course, that won’t affect the Sounders, who have no intentions of stepping off the gas after their franchise-best 6-1-1 start to the season.
“When you’re doing well you want to keep doing well,” Schmid said. “You don’t want to lose that momentum.
“For our team ambitions in terms of maybe moving ourselves to the top of the overall table, that’s something that’s there within grasp now. And I think the guys see that. They see our point total, they see how many games we’ve played, and they see what the other teams have.
"There’s a lot at stake, and the three prizes that we haven’t won yet in the league is winning our conference, winning the Supporters' Shield, and obviously winning MLS Cup. If we can knock off a couple of those this year we’ll be happy.”
Jeremiah Oshan covers the Seattle Sounders for MLSsoccer.com and SB Nation.