The Sounders' sixth postseason in as many seasons begins tonight. Here is our preview story, and below some basics:
No. 1 SEATTLE SOUNDERS FC (20-10-4; 64 POINTS) AT No. 4 FC DALLAS (16-12-6; 54 POINTS)6 p.m., Toyota Stadium, Frisco, TexasTV: ESPN2. RADIO: 97.3 FMHEAD TO HEAD: Seattle leads 8-3-4 in all regular-season meetings and 3-2-3 at Dallas. The Sounders are 7-2-1 over the last 10 meetings. Seattle took this regular-season series 2-1. Seattle won 3-2 at Dallas on April 12 and 2-1 at home on May 7. Dallas won, 3-1, at home on Sept. 24. This is their first playoff pairing.NOTES: This Western Conference semifinal is a two-game, aggregate-score series. The second leg will be played at 7:30 p.m. Nov. 10 in Seattle. Road goals are the first tie-breaker. The advancing team will meet the winner of the Los Angeles-Real Salt Lake series in the Western final and for the right to go on to MLS Cup. … Seattle has made the playoffs each of its six seasons in MLS. Dallas is back in the postseason after a two-year absence. Dallas finished fourth in the Western Conference and advanced in the knockout game Wednesday with a 2-1 win over No. 5 Vancouver. … Dallas was 12-4-1 at home during the regular season; the Sounders were 8-6-3 away. … Seattle finished second in MLS with 65 goals in the regular season, while Dallas was third with 55. … Seattle allowed 50 goals over 34 games, while Dallas allowed 45. The Hoops led MLS in blocked shots. … Individually, Dallas was led by Blas Perez with 11 goals and six assists. Fabian Castillo added 10 goals, and Michel had five assists. No. 1 goalkeeper Chris Seitz had a 1.45 goals-against average and two shutouts. He was limited to 14 starts due to a quadriceps injury. This will be the first playoff appearance for Seattle goalkeeper Stefan Frei, who played his previous five season with Toronto. … Yellow cards were wiped clean at the start of the playoffs. However, Dallas’ Je-Vaughn Watson and Andres Escobar received cautions Wednesday. If either picks up another in this match, he will be ineligible for the final leg. … … Dallas midfielder Mauro Diaz is serving a one-game suspension for coming off the bench to join a scuffle against the Whitecaps. Seattle coach Sigi Schmid said Dallas often shifts from a 4-2-3-1 to a 4-4-2 formation when Diaz is out of the lineup. … Seattle midfielder Gonzalo Pineda did not train with the rest of the team Saturday due to illness. His status for the match is uncertain. … The referee is Allen Chapman.
QUOTE: “(Dallas is) really good on set pieces. Michel is one of the best guys on set pieces in the league, if not the best. We have to limit the silly free kicks, that’s for one; and they have some pace up top, obviously.” – FreiNEXT: The series resolves at 7:30 p.m. Nov. 10 at CenturyLink Field.