The Sounders are in Texas today preparing for their 5:30 p.m. Saturday match at FC Dallas. Here are some early club notes on the match:
Unbeaten in April Seattle extended its unbeaten streak in the month of April with its 4-4 road draw last Saturday against the Portland Timbers. Sounders FC is now unbeaten in its past 11 (6-0-5) April matches, dating back to April 2, 2011. Overall, Sounders FC is 9-4-7 all-time in 20 April games. With his three goals last Saturday, Clint Dempsey is now tied-sixth among active players with nine goals in April. Kenny Cooper added to his April total, ranking second with 18 goals (4th all-time).
Road Trip ContinuedSounders FC will continue its three-game road trip on Saturday at FC Dallas after beginning its 2014 road campaign unbeaten with a win and draw. Seattle's .750 road winning percentage is tied for the second-best in MLS this season, and the team leads the league with six goals away from home as both road contests resulted in multi-goal games. Seattle has historically been one of the top road teams in MLS, earning the second-most road points (30-28-25, 115 points) since 2009 (LA Galaxy, 120 points).Sounders FC will look to continue to pile up the road points over the next two weeks with matches at Dallas and Chivas USA.
On the AttackSaturday's match against FC Dallas will feature the two hottest offenses in MLS. Dallas leads the league with 13 goals scored and Seattle ranks second with nine goals. Both teams have scored in every game this season and both teams struck for four goals last weekend. Dallas has scored multiple goals in four of five matches this season, including three-straight multi-goal games. Seattle has scored the most goals (4) in the opening half hour of games and has also scored the second-most goals (3) in the final 15 minutes. Dallas has scored the most goals in the final 30 minutes (8) of the match while Seattle has allowed the second-fewest (1) in that time span. Dallas also leads the league with a 28.3 scoring percentage.
Two Meetings in Four WeeksSaturday's match at FC Dallas marks the first of two meetings between the two sides over the next four weeks. Sounders FC will host Dallas on May 7 at CenturyLink Field. On two occasions over the past five seasons, Seattle played the same team twice in less than four weeks, winning all four games. On August 28, 2010, Sounders FC beat the Chicago Fire, 2-1 at CenturyLink Field, before winning again, 1-0, at Toyota Park on September 25. On July 7, 2012, Sounders FC downed the Colorado Rapids at home, 2-1, and won by the same score line at Dick's Sporting Goods Park on July 28. Following the Dallas meetings, Seattle will have two more instances this season when it plays the same team twice in less than four weeks: Real Salt Lake (August 16 and September 12) and LA Galaxy (October 19 and October 25).
Series NotesSounders FC holds a 6-2-4 record against FC Dallas in 12 all-time regular-season meetings, including a 2-1-3 record at Toyota Stadium. Seattle's lone road loss in the series came in its last visit, a 2-nil defeat on October 19, 2013. In the first two matches last season, Sounders FC outscored Dallas 7-2, winning both home contests. Seattle also ousted Dallas from the semifinals of the 2011 U.S. Open Cup with a 1-0 win at Starfire Stadium. The teams will meet again on May 7 at CenturyLink Field and will conclude the 2014 season series at Toyota Stadium on September 24.
* Sounders FC has outscored FC Dallas, 20-12, and has scored multiple goals in six of the 12 all-time meetings.
* The teams have combined for seven goals in the final 15 minutes of matches in the series.
* The two sides have never played to a scoreless draw. Seattle has posted three shutouts in the series while being held scoreless twice (both losses).
* Brad Evans is the active leader with four goals scored in the regular-season series. Michel leads FC Dallas with two goals and two assists in the series.
About FC DallasUnder the guidance of new head coach Oscar Pareja, FC Dallas has started the 2014 campaign as the league's top team. Dallas leads the league with 13 points, sitting atop the Western Conference and Supporters' Shield standings. With a record of 4-0-1, Dallas is one of two unbeaten teams (Real Salt Lake) and leads the league with four wins. Despite taking the second-fewest shots (46) and earning the fewest corner kicks (9), Dallas is the top scoring team with 13 goals, including four multi-goal games. The Dallas defense is yet to earn a shutout this season, ranking tied-seventh in MLS with a 1.20 goals against average.
FCD Notables The Dallas attack is led by Argentine midfielder Mauro Diaz, who has scored two goals with three assists (2nd in MLS) this season, including a goal and three assists in his past three outings. Je-Vaughn Watson leads the team with three goals, including two game-winners. Three other Dallas players have scored two goals this season: Michel, Blas Perez and Fabian Castillo. Defender Matt Hedges has added one goal and newcomer Hendry Thomas added one assist in his three starts. Hedges and Jair Benitez are the only field players to play all 450 minutes. Goalkeeper Chris Seitz has started all five matches, allowing six goals while making 21 saves (2nd in MLS).
Pair of Texas HomecomingsSaturday's match will mark a pair of homecomings for Seattle's goal scoring leaders, Clint Dempsey and Kenny Cooper. Dempsey was born in Nacogdoches, Texas, just over 160 miles outside of Dallas. He was a 2001 graduate of Nacogdoches High School, leading the team to a combined 54-2-3 record and three district championships over his last three seasons, scoring 55 goals with 23 assists. He was selected to the all-state team and nominated as an All-American as a senior. Dempsey was also the leading scorer and captain of the Dallas Texans club soccer program.
Born in Baltimore, Maryland, Cooper relocated to Dallas when his father joined the Dallas Tornado of the NASL. Cooper attended Jesuit College Preparatory School and played for the Dallas Solar Soccer Club, developing into one of the area's top players. Cooper started his MLS career with FC Dallas in 2006, scoring 40 goals with 10 assists over four seasons. Cooper re-joined Dallas in 2013 and scored six goals with one assist in 31 appearances. In three games against FC Dallas, Cooper has scored two goals in just 207 minutes.
Throw-insDjimi Traore will be eligible for selection after serving a one-game suspension for his red card ejection against the Columbus Crew...Sounders FC remained unbeaten in its new Pitch Black third kit, improving to 1-0-1...Sounders FC Reserves will host Seattle University on April 14. Kickoff is set for 4:30 p.m. at Starfire field #12.