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Sounders intend to jump over Hoops

Sat., Aug. 3, 2013

Seattle has gained ground on visitors

The last time FC Dallas came to Seattle, the Hoops were 7-1-3 and riding atop the Major League Soccer standings.

Sounders FC coach Sigi Schmid also pegged them as a team about to tumble.

He was right, as the Sounders put a 4-2 whooping on the visitors. And as Dallas returns to CenturyLink Field tonight, the Hoops are on an eight-game winless streak that has dropped them to sixth place in the Western Conference.

This week, Schmid was asked what he saw back in May when he predicted Dallas was destined to fall back into the pack.

“They were a team that got off to a good roll,” Schmid said. “They had a lot of games at home in the early part of the season, which usually happens with Dallas because (of the climate) they tend to get more home games at the beginning of the season. They were on a good roll, and it’s a streaky league. Eventually everybody goes into a streak, and when they hit that streak it takes some guys longer or shorter to get out of it. And Dallas, historically now when you look at them over the last few years, they’ve had pretty much long streaks. So it’s just happened that way. But they’re still a very, very talented team.”

Now the timing could be right for Dallas’ streaky season to turn again, as the club is back close to full strength.

“(David) Ferreira was in and out during that period of time when they were going into that losing streak,” Schmid said. “They had some injuries, as well. Jackson, I think, was out with a concussion for a little bit. There was a yellow-card situation with some players. George John was in and out of the team; (Matt) Hedges was out for a while, so they were playing rotating center backs. So, I think all that had an impact at the time. But obviously we expect them to be pretty healthy on Saturday.”

Seattle also is creeping closer to full strength. Forward Eddie Johnson is back from duty with the Gold Cup champion United States national team and rookie defender DeAndre Yedlin is expected to be available after playing 24 minutes in the All-Star game.

Seattle’s two-game unbeaten streak has combined with Dallas’ eight-game winless streak to move the Sounders within four points of the Hoops and also within four points of the Vancouver Whitecaps, who open the weekend in the fifth and final Western Conference playoff spot.

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