A pair of teams aiming to regain the winning thread will go-head-to-head on Saturday as the Seattle Sounders travel to take on FC Dallas at Toyota Field (8.30pm ET; TV: Live on ESPN+). Can the hosts extend their impressive run of home wins? Or will the visitors be the first team to leave the Frisco venue this season with maximum points? This FCD vs Sounders preview, with its picks and betting predictions, aims to find out.
The start of the season made by FC Dallas has been a pleasing one. Saturday’s hosts arrive here sitting nicely in the Western Conference, and although they didn’t win last time out, despite leading with less than 15 on the clock, they are in great shape. Nico Estévez’s men are now unbeaten in eight games in all competitions, five of which they have won, while they are unbeaten at home this season.
There are lots of reasons as to why Dallas will approach this fixture feeling upbeat, and right now, the same cannot be said for the Seattle Sounders, who are without a win in four in all competitions, plus they’ve lost each of their last two Major League Soccer fixtures. As things stand, the visitors are down in 12th position, five points shy of the coveted play-off spots. Improvement is needed if Brian Schmetzer’s men are to be where they almost always are, and that’s fighting inside the top seven.
Hard to criticize at home
Very few holes can be picked in the FC Dallas home game this season. In their own backyard, they have turned on the style, winning four out of five, which makes them the joint-highest home point scorers in the Western Conference. Offensively, the hosts look just about as good as any team, notching 12 in total, scoring two or more in four out of five at Toyota Stadium, where they’ve conceded only four goals.
They also average a very healthy +0.89 average expected goal difference in front of their own fans. Only current conference leaders Los Angeles FC have done better in that respect.
Hurt by inconsistency
Consistency, or rather a lack of it, has been the issue for the Sounders during the early weeks of the campaign, while the fact that they’ve had the CONCACAF Champions League, the final of which they are in, to contend with hasn’t exactly helped in terms of building domestic rhythm.
Away from home, things have been particularly up and down, with Schmetzer’s men yet to pick up back-to-back wins, ties, or losses on the road. Their away form reads: loss, tie, win, loss. If nothing else, they have been consistent on their travels. Going forward, they have performed reasonably well, scoring six in four, but they’ve been poor at the other end, conceding seven, keeping no clean sheets. Therein lies the problem.
Dallas vs Sounders: Recent head-to-head record
The visitors may not be in great shape right now, and the hosts certainly have more momentum behind them, but the Sounders know how to get a result in this fixture, that’s for sure. When the pair last met, back in August of last year, it was Seattle who returned home victorious after winning by a goal to nil at Toyota Field, while they’ve now gone five games against FC Dallas without tasting defeat. An interesting fact is that no team has scored more than one goal in any of the last three renewals of this fixture.
Goals, goals, goals
From a betting point of view, nothing seems quite as viable as ‘Over 2.5 Goals’, which for this preview’s money, at odds of -115 with a couple of the top oddsmakers for Americans, is a must play. What FC Dallas and Seattle have in common is their offensive qualities. The hosts have scored no shortage of goals at home, while the visitors, for all they’ve not been great, have scored with regularity on their travels of late.
What’s more, they’ve both created lots, with Estévez’s men averaging a 1.88 expected goals per 90 minutes at home. The Sounders have produced an average of 1.52 xG on the road, while there has been an average of 3.82 expected goals in total when the visitors have played away from the comforts of Lumen Field this season. That’s an average that points towards goals arriving at Toyota Stadium on Saturday evening.
‘Both Teams to Score’ also stands out as an option ahead of this fixture. OK, the goals haven’t exactly flowed between these two in recent renewals of this fixture, but as touched on above, there’s lots to suggest that goals will be produced on Saturday. After all, in addition to the previously mentioned promising xG numbers, the hosts have scored in 100% of their home games this season, but have only kept one clean sheet, while Seattle are slowly but surely starting to score more freely on their travels, notching one, two, and three (in that order) in their last three on the road, each of which they conceded in.
More to come from Morris
A final possible selection for those looking for either player props or just something a bit juicier price-wise is ‘Jordan Morris to Score’. The explosive forward has notched a modest two goals so far this term, which doesn’t exactly point towards him being a major goal threat, but because of the busy continental schedule and USMNT commitments, he’s only made six appearances, starting just four times. Moreover, his performances have been strong, plus he’s averaging a chunky 0.40 xG per 90 minutes, a number that makes odds of +300 look a little too big.
So these are the betting predictions and picks for this FC Dallas vs Seattle Sounders MLS game preview: