A miracle will have to take place in Frisco, Texas if FC Dallas will look to qualify for their second straight Western Conference Finals. To do that, they need to reverse a 3-0 deficit that occurred in Seattle last week following a convincing win for the side that finished fourth in the Western Conference.
Goals from Nelson Haedo Valdez and Nicolas Lodeiro gave the Pacifc Northwest side a hat-trick of goals under the rainy night at CenturyLink Field. Oscar Pareja's men have a big mountain to climb if they want to achieve the seemingly impossible and score four or more, as well as not concede any at Toyota Stadium on Sunday night.
FC Dallas' perspective
The Supporter Shield champions will come into this match with a healthy squad but some players, such as Kellyn Acosta is doubtful for the clash. A player to definitely watch in this tie is Maxi Urruti. A man who lead Portland Timbers to the MLS title last season, his goalscoring ability is absolutely vital and needed if Dallas wants to pose a fight and score the needed goals to put the tie in their own favor. Alongside Michael Barrios, the Argentine scored nine goals this season.
Projected XI: Chris Seitz; Atiba Harris, Walker Zimmerman, Matt Hedges, Maynor Figueroa; Michael Barrios, Kellyn Acosta, Carlos Gruezo, Ryan Hollingshead; Tesho Akindele, Maxi Urruti.
Seattle Sounders' perspective
The Seattle Sounders are clearly in the driving seat with their three-goal lead as they will be looking to be back in the Conference Finals to take on the winner of the LA Galaxy and the Colorado Rapids. The team is also injury free from the last leg and will be looking to inflict some more damage and possibly play defensively in order to keep the score at bay for them with the advantage.
A player to definitely look out for is Nicolas Lodeiro, who is slowly becoming one of the more important players for Seattle. A midfielder with amazing vision, technical ability and eye for goal, the Uruguayan is the most dangerous player out of anyone of both teams.
Projected XI: Stefan Frei; Tyrone Mears, Roman Torres, Chad Marshall, Joevin Jones; Osvaldo Alonso, Cristian Roldan; Brad Evans, Nicolas Lodeiro, Erik Friberg; Jordan Morris.
During the regular season, the two sides faced each other three times. In May, Dallas won 2-0 at home, in July where Seattle trashed Dallas at home by five goals to none and finally a 2-1 win for Dallas just before the playoffs began for both teams.