TUKWILA, Wash. – As the Seattle Sounders try and dig themselves out of their current unfamiliar post in the Western Conference basement, they don’t figure to be afforded much of a break from their upcoming opposition.
Seattle host FC Dallas in a home fixture at CenturyLink Field on Wednesday (10:30 pm ET, MLS LIVE), a match-up that pits them against the current Supporters’ Shield leaders and one of the more explosive attacking sides in all of MLS.
It’s not exactly ideal timing for the goal-starved Sounders to come across an FCD squad that has scored 31 goals thus far in 2016 – a total that has them tied with the LA Galaxy for the top mark in the Western Conference and stands in stark contrast to Seattle’s league-low total of 14.
“We need to try and cut service [for Dallas],” head coach Sigi Schmid said after Seattle’s Monday practice at Starfire Soccer Complex. “The guy that has hurt us in the past is [FCD midfielder Mauro] Diaz so we need to take him out of the game and cut service from him. They’re also a team that relies on set pieces, a really big physical team, so we have to be aware of that as well.”
Added midfielder Erik Friberg: “They’re the best the team in the league, but we know we can beat them. We’ve just got to continue to create chances and hopefully we’ll score some goals.”
The Sounders are coming off their latest tough result – a 1-0 defeat to the LA Galaxy at CenturyLink on Saturday that dropped them to 5-10-2 on the season. At Monday’s practice, however, Schmid reiterated his postgame contention that Seattle’s struggles aren’t necessarily reflective of the type of soccer the Sounders have played.
Seattle outshot LA 22-7 on Saturday and controlled possession for much of the afternoon but, despite multiple close calls, could never quite parlay either of those advantages into an equalizing goal.
“At the end of the day [against LA], did we fight? Check that box,” Schmid said. “Did we work hard? Check that box. Did we play some good soccer? Check that box. Did we create chances? I’ve got to check that box. But did we score? No. At the end of the day, that’s what I’ve got to look at as a coach.
“Right now, I can’t say it’s not frustrating. It is frustrating. But if we were playing horrible soccer, it’d be more frustrating.”