TUKWILA, Wash. – The Seattle Sounders enter their Western Conference semifinal series second leg with FC Dallas Monday night in prime position to advance after a 1-1 draw in the first leg last weekend in Frisco, Texas. With one road goal courtesy of midfielder Osvaldo Alonso’s game-tying header, the Sounders move on with a victory or a scoreless draw.
“We feel solidly that this is our time,” Seattle head coach Sigi Schmid said. “But it doesn’t happen unless we go out on the field and put in the work and the effort and the concentration and the desire. Our guys are ready to do that.”
Seattle may not technically need a win Monday to move on, but that will not result in a more conservative or overly defensive playing style, according to center back Zach Scott.
“We’ve never really adjusted the way we play around a specific result we need to get,” Scott said of his team’s mentality going into the matchup. “We’re not going to bunker in, we’re not going to look for any specific scoreline. We’re just going to play our soccer.”
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The Sounders will have a new variable to deal with Monday, as Dallas will plug midfielder Mauro Díaz back into the lineup after he missed the first leg while serving a one-game suspension.
“[Díaz] is quick, dynamic, good on the ball, good running at people one-on-one, so that’s another player we have to look out for doing that,” Marshall said. “We’ll have to make sure we’re covering and communicating really well and keep them off the scoresheet.”
The winner of the two-game set earns the right to take on the LA Galaxy, who punched their ticket Sunday night with a 5-0 thrashing of Real Salt Lake.
“We know what we want to get,” Schmid said following his team’s Sunday training session. “And what we want to get doesn’t end tomorrow.”