MLS Preview: FC Dallas at Seattle Sounders

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This one is a biggy, there’s no getting away from it.

FC Dallas will roll into Seattle with the weight of expectation on their shoulders. How they deal with that will give a pretty good indication, as to whether or not they can remain at the summit of the Western conference until the end of the season.

We’re watching you, FCD.

As for the home side, they’re finding their feet again after early season struggles. The Sounders are still 8th in the West but with last weekends 4-0 win over San Jose still fresh, Sigi Schmid’s charges will be full of confidence heading into this one.

A packed house in Seattle will be cheering on the Rave Green as they aim to make it three wins in a row and six games unbeaten. But Dallas have only lost once all season and aren’t about to start handing out points willy-nilly.

Schellas Hyndman’s side are solid defensively, have got plenty of options going forward and, most importantly, they’re keeping everyone fit. David Ferreira is pulling the strings and Jackson, Eric Hassli, Kenny Cooper and Blas Perez will cause problems for any defense.

This match has the potential to go either way. It could be a goal-fest with both times going hell for leather and putting on a real spectacle at CenturyLink. Or it could be a damp squib. With both teams content to settle for a point and extend their unbeaten streaks. I’m hoping for the former.

(More: Best week for Seattle since… hmmmm)

With Obafemi Martins nearing full-fitness for Seattle, here we have the difference maker. He is the DP that the Sounders waited so long to get and already he’s shown glimpses of what he can bring to the table.

He is a clinical finisher and if he get’s the chance, he will score.

Meanwhile Dallas just doesn’t know who to put out there. Which is a delightful problem for Hyndman to have after the injury struggles of the past two seasons. Schellas is spoiled for choice.

While Sounders head coach Schmid certainly believes they’re up against a top team. “This is our first game with them and it becomes a really good measuring stick for us,” Schmid said. “They’re a good team, they’re an exciting team, they score goals, they’ve played a good amount of games at home at this stage, as well, so us catching them here is good for us.”

(More: A “good” three points for league-leading FC Dallas)

Dallas will be hoping to grab a win and send out yet another message to the league that they’re the team to beat this season. Can they do it? I think not.

Yes, FC Dallas have lost just once and look the real deal this season. However, only four of their 11 games have been away from home. Those have all come against struggling teams: Chivas USA, New England, Toronto and Vancouver. Saturday’s game is their first huge test on the road this season.

(More: Watch Mauro Rosales’ incredible free kick goal)

Seattle are on a roll, confidence is high and the goals are flowing. But in the past the Sounders have been prone to over confidence. That said, I expect them to record a big win against Dallas to reinforce their status as one of the best sides in the West. (Saturday, 10:30pm ET, Watch live on MLSsoccer.com via Free stream of the week)