By Money Mike
The Seattle Sounders are off their best start in franchise history and they will look to continue their hot start tomorrow night on the road against FC Dallas. Last week, the Sounders got their first home win against the LA Galaxy with a 2-0 win and followed it up with a 1-0 win over the Philadelphia Union for their fourth straight win. Tomorrow night, they face a short-handed FC Dallas side who will be without a few of their key players. Last Sunday, Dallas we're reduced to nine players in the first half of their match against the Colorado Rapids. Daniel Hernandez was sent off after picking up two yellow cards and a couple minutes later, Blas Perez who is tied with Brek Shea for the team lead in goals scored with three goals was given a straight red card after his studs caught Drew Moor in the thigh while he was challenging for the ball. So both of them will be out for Dallas and there's also a chance they'll be without Brek Shea as well.
Some people were complaining about the Perez challenge, saying that it was unintentional and shouldn't have been a red card, but for challenges like that, you have to give a red card regardless of whether or not it was intentional. I saw the video of the red card and I believe the referee got the decision right. The law states that "Any player who lunges at an opponent in challenging for the ball from the front, from the side or from behind using one or both legs, with excessive force and endangering the safety of an opponent is guilty of serious foul play."
In six meetings against FC Dallas, Seattle is 2-1-3. Last time these two met in league play, the Sounders came away with a 1-0 road win at FC Dallas Stadium last August. Unlike last year, Dallas have stuggled to produce so far and are currently stitting on a four match winless streak which has hurt them in the standings in this early part of the season while the Sounders are riding high with a four game winning streak and are only three points back of the San Jose Earthquakes and Real Salt Lake who they will face this Saturday at CenturyLink Field.
Seattle Sounders FC - For the Sounders, Josh Ford, Michael Tetteh, Steve Zakuani, Babayele Sodade and Michael Gspurning of course are out. Alvaro Fernandez is fully recovered from a quad strain that kept him for a couple weeks, however Sigi will decide whether to play him tomorrow, or save him for Saturday's big match.
FC Dallas - For the Hoops, David Ferreira has been out since April 2011. Believe it or not folks, in case you didn't know by now, the day after Zakuani suffered a broken leg, Ferreira suffered a broken ankle in Dallas's match against Vancouver. He's been out ever since. Ricardo Villar, Andrew Wiedeman, Carlos Rodriguez, Bobby Warshaw and Ugo Ihemelu are out as well and as I mentioned earlier, Brek Shea could be out as well due to a turf toe on his left foot. Right now Shea is listed as Questionable.
Seattle Sounders FC - Leo Gonzalez was just penalized by the MLS Disciplinary Committee for stomping on Sheanon Williams last match against the Philadelphia Union, so he'll be suspended for this match.
FC Dallas - As I mentioned earlier, Blas Perez and Daniel Hernandez are suspended for tomorrow nights match after they each picked up a red card in their match against Colorado.
Alot to play for in this early part of the season for the Seattle Sounders as they hope to inch closer to the top spot in the Western Conference standings or maybe even take over the top spot. Depending on the outcome of this match, Saturdays match against Real Salt Lake could turn out to be a battle for first place in the West. I understand it's early in the season, but when you're in a tight race in the standings, every game feels like a must win. The Sounders have two games in hand with the San Jose Earthquakes and three games in hand with Real Salt Lake and it's important that they take advantage of the games in hand, which they've been able to do so far and they should feel confident having gotten off to a 6-1-1 start.