TUKWILA, Wash. – Quick turnarounds and midweek games are often viewed as burdens over the long grind of an MLS season. For the Sounders, though, there are a few reasons tonight’s 7 p.m. game against FC Dallas, which caps a three- game home- stand, isn’t so bad.
First off, first-place Seattle is playing the best soccer in MLS, boasting four straight wins, a five-game unbeaten streak and the league’s most lethal attack. Constant action is a good way to stay in rhythm.
Secondly, the game allows the Sounders more time with their U.S. national team stars. Clint Dempsey, Brad Evans and perhaps DeAndre Yedlin are set to depart for a pre-World Cup training camp starting May 14.
Lastly, the turnaround isn’t nearly as bad as what Dallas is facing, having played Sunday afternoon in the scorching Texas heat while down a player for 80 minutes. Seattle, on the other hand, played a day earlier and doesn’t have to travel 1,600 miles and two time zones.
“It was a tough draw for them,” Sounders coach Sigi Schmid said.
And if playing the hottest team in the league on short rest wasn’t enough, Dallas is also dealing with a potentially serious knee injury to standout midfielder Mauro Diaz and the one-game suspension of another of its co-leading scorers, midfielder Je-Vaughn Watson, due to a red card Sunday.
Consider it a prime opportunity for the Sounders to edge further from the pack in the Western Conference before international call-ups hit hard.
“It’s a big game,” said defender Djimi Traore.