Update: Sounders heading to Texas. FC Dallas takes 2-1 win over Vancouver. Mightly debatable handball/PK the difference in 84th minutes.
Sounders at Dallas in first leg of aggregate-score semis, 6 p.m. Sunday.
Pregame: The Sounders will learn their Western semifinal opponent tonight, as No. 5 Vancouver visits No. 4 Dallas for the single-game right to advance. That game starts as 6 p.m., and here's coverage from the MLS website.
Teams in this situation predictably don't really say who they hope to face, but in this case the Sounders sound pretty sincere. They went 2-1 vs. Dallas during the regular season, and 0-2-1 vs. Vancouver, but the Whitecaps never really saw the Sounders first 11, as DeAndre Yedlin missed all three matches. Here's some of what the Sounders had to say.
Chad Marshall:I think the two teams are pretty similar actually. They have a lot of good attacking quality little quick players who are good running at you. Good speed. Solid defensively. I think they both present different challenges at different parts of the field, but I think for the most part they’re very similar teams. It’s tough this year becaue we played them both away twice. It’s the playoffs, it’s going to be a tough series no matter who you get matched up with, but they’re definitely two good attacking teams that we have to be careful with.
DeAndre Yedlin:It’s always tough to defend against guys that are fast. So they’re technical players who are good with the ball, good in 1v1 situations, but they’re not as good defending. So what we have to do is try to push them back as much as we can and make them defend us, so we don’t have to defend them.
Sigi Schmid: It doesn’t matter. We lost to both of them last time we played them, so that’s good. I always rather play a team that we lost to the last time because I know my guys and I know their motivation and their character and their beliefs.That will get them motivation and get them ready to go. So whether it’s Vancouver or it’s Dallas that doesn’t matter to us. We know we’ve got to win the next series. ... Both teams have speed. They’re similar in that regard. But Dallas has more of a target forward in Blas Perez, somebody that holds up play up there. Every team has little nuances and little differences. They’re obviously very dangerous on set pieces, as well. But then Vancouver’s got their pace, and they can substitute pace out and bring on more pace. Whoever it is, we have to be ready and play well.
Regardless of which side emerges, the Sounders will travel for the first leg of the aggregate-score Western semifinal series at 6 p.m. Sunday. That series will resolve in Seattle on Nov. 10. Tickets for that game are now on sale.