The Audi 2023 MLS Cup Playoffs continue with a scintillating Round One Best-of-3 series in the Western Conference with second-seeded Seattle Sounders FC taking on seventh-seeded FC Dallas.
This is Will Schwartz from The Game Day to break down this matchup, where we’ll look at whether No. 7 Dallas have a chance to make a push to take down No. 2 Seattle.
The two teams drew 1-1 in both matches in the regular-season series, so there’s real reason to believe they’ll be competitive once more.
The series will kick off in Seattle on Monday, Oct. 30 at 9 pm ET, then head to Dallas for Game 2 on Saturday, Nov. 4 at 9 pm ET, and then, if still tied, the series will conclude back in Seattle on Friday, Nov. 10 at 10 pm ET.
Seattle Sounders FC vs. FC Dallas MLS Cup Odds
MLS lines used for Seattle Sounders FC and FC Dallas were current as of Tuesday, Oct. 24 at 3:30 pm EST on DraftKings Sportsbook.
- To Win MLS Cup: Seattle Sounders (+1400) • Dallas (+5000)
Despite earning the second seed in the West, the Sounders are seen as a relative longshot to win MLS Cup, while Dallas are rightfully viewed as a serious longshot as a well-deserved lower seed.
Seattle Sounders FC vs. FC Dallas Best-of-Three Prediction
Seattle Win Series 2-0
Neither team has come into the playoffs in the best form. Both have been drawing plenty of games, but both have shown the survive-and-advance mentality that does so well in this format.
Seattle haven't lost in MLS since Aug. 20 (4W-0L-5D), while it’s been since Aug. 30 for Dallas (2W-0L-7D), so expect some draws in this series.
It’s important to note at this stage in the postseason, no extra-time will be played with a penalty kick shootout deciding the winner if the match is tied after regulation, so Seattle should have a further edge with star goalkeeper Stefan Frei in the net.
He’s a centerpiece of a defense that has allowed a league-low 32 goals and has had some great support; he plays behind a pair of solid defenders in center back Yeimar Gomez and left back Nouhou Tolo, while João Paulo ties it all together in central defensive midfield and leads the team with a 7.48 rating from FotMob.
Dallas run a similar style of play, with 41 goals scored, just like Seattle, and a slightly worse defense, as they’ve let 37 goals in.
USMNT forward Jesus Ferreira leads the team in both goals and assists, with 12 and a modest six, respectively, and there’s not too much attacking firepower beyond him. Veteran Jordan Morris is the top scorer for Seattle, with 11 goals of his own.
Seattle have done well both at home and on the road, while Dallas have struggled mightily away from home, a real problem as the lower seed in this format.
The Sounders also have much more of a championship pedigree; they won this competition in 2016 and 2019, and in 2022, they became the first American team since the year 2000 to lift the Concacaf Champions Cup.
Conversely, Dallas were MLS Cup runners-up in 2010 but have never won the title. With more experience, one of the league’s best home atmospheres, and a stifling defense, Seattle should be able to pull off the sweep in this one.
Seattle Sounders MLS Cup Future
Seattle Sounders to Win MLS Cup (+1400) • DraftKings Sportsbook
As a proven champ and the second seed in their conference, with a relatively soft Round One match and a path that allows them to spend a reasonable amount of time dodging top teams like St. Louis and Houston, Seattle are a great value play at +1400.
They aren’t necessarily my prediction to lift the trophy, but these odds pin them with the eighth-highest odds of winning it all, with an implied probability of 6.67%.
Defense wins championships, and home-field advantage can be a great equalizer or even scale-tipper, and Seattle have both of those factors on their side.
Lumen Field is home to one of MLS’s most passionate fanbases, and with a bit of help from the opponents of St. Louis, the Sounders could be essentially living at home throughout the West playoffs.
They have veteran leadership, great building blocks in midfield and defense, and should be competitive in every match, making this an excellent future to add to your portfolio.