Brian Schmetzer has praised the collective spirit of his Seattle Sounders side as they go in search of a third successive victory when they take on FC Dallas at the Toyota Stadium on Wednesday.
The Sounders snapped a three-game winless streak in the league with an emphatic 6-2 victory against Portland Timbers at the weekend to stay within a point of Western Conference leaders Sporting Kansas City.
That followed on from a 3-0 victory over Tigres UANL in the Leagues Cup and free-scoring Seattle will be out to stretch that winning run against a Dallas side down in 10th in the West.
“We are absolutely enjoying the moment,” Schmetzer said. “We have a lot of momentum but now have a tough game against Dallas.
“The team is coming into focus for me. We’re proud of the fact that we have this team to a point where they get it, they understand the tactics they want.
“Their understanding of what we want to accomplish and that locker room’s belief in themselves as individuals and as a collective, I’ve never seen a locker room that strong. It reminds me of 2016.”
While Seattle have another MLS Cup in their sights to match their 2016 and 2019 achievements, Dallas find themselves two points outside of the playoffs after losing 2-0 to Sporting KC in their most recent match.
The Toros had taken 10 points from the previous 12 on offer and head coach Luchi Gonzalez is seeking a return to winning ways on home soil in midweek.
“We want to protect our home with pride,” he said. “We hadn’t lost here in a year before the Sporting loss and I’m proud of the team for that streak.
“We had a good run of form with a couple of games recently and doing things that have mentally and physically helped us.
“It’s a strange feeling because I thought we created some good chances in the last game but it wasn’t our night.”
PLAYERS TO WATCH
FC Dallas – Matt Hedges
Dallas captain and all-time appearance maker Hedges returned to the starting line-up against Sporting KC for the first time since May 23 after recently missing nine games through injury.
The defender showed his worth as he made more successful passes (63) than any Dallas player in that match, while nobody managed more clearances (three) and interceptions (three).
Seattle Sounders – Fredy Montero
Raul Ruidiaz continues to impress for Seattle with another two goals against the Timbers, while Montero has also chipped in with four goals in his last four league games.
The former Colombia international scored a poacher’s goal early on last time out and curled in a fine second before half-time – two different finishes, each highlighting his quality in front of goal.
KEY OPTA FACTS
– Seattle are unbeaten in four straight matches against Dallas (W2 D2, including playoffs), though all four of those games were played in Seattle. The Sounders are winless in 10 straight visits to Dallas (D3 L7, including playoffs) dating back to 2014, which is their second-longest winless away run against a single opponent in MLS (11 straight at LA Galaxy from 2010 to 2015).
– FC Dallas saw their 18-match home unbeaten run come to an end in the loss to Sporting Kansas City. Dallas have not lost consecutive regular season home matches since September-October 2013.
– The Sounders’ six goals against Portland equalled the most they have ever scored in an away MLS match, level with their 6-2 win over Chivas USA in August 2012.
– Dallas have scored a joint-MLS low one headed goal this season (tied with Houston and LAFC) while Seattle are one of two teams (along with Colorado) yet to allow a headed goal this season.
– Ruidiaz and Montero each scored twice in Seattle’s win over Portland on Sunday. They are the third pair of Sounders team-mates to each score multiple goals in a single match after Ruidiaz and Joevin Jones against San Jose in September 2020 and Obafemi Martins and Andy Rose against Chivas USA in September 2014.