The club on a 12-game unbeaten streak takes on Dallas, which is on an eight-game winless streak.
After a summer of wheeling and dealing, the Sounders feel they have the 30-man roster that gives them the best chance of repeating as Major League Soccer champions.
The MLS roster deadline came and went Friday without the Sounders making any meaningful additions or subtractions to a team riding a club record 12-game unbeaten streak. The Sounders will see that decision to hold tight put to an immediate test Saturday when they visit FC Dallas in a Western Conference showdown with possible playoff implications.
“We’re pretty familiar with them,” Sounders coach Brian Schmetzer said. “It’s a really deep squad, good squad … a motivated team. They haven’t been in a great run of form, but Oscar (Pareja) is a great coach, and he’s going to get them ready to go.”
Sounders @ FC Dallas, 5 p.m., JOEtv
Not too long ago, the Dallas side was being viewed as a top threat to knock the Sounders off as Western Conference champs and deny them a return trip to the MLS Cup. But then came the league’s longest winless streak this season, with Dallas 0-5-3 its last eight matches and having been drilled 3-0 by Atlanta United its previous contest.
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That’s knocked Dallas down to sixth in the conference, six points behind the third place Sounders. But this is the first of two matches the teams will play in the final six Sounders regular-season games, meaning things can shift in a hurry.
For the Sounders, their own winless streak is at three after consecutive 1-1 draws against Vancouver, Portland and Los Angeles last Sunday. Though they remain just a point behind the first-place Whitecaps and Timbers, they’ve seemingly hit a bit of a rut as the season nears its finishing kick.
“I think this team has a higher ceiling,’’ Schmetzer said. “I think we can play better.’’
And if they do, it will be with Will Bruin at striker for most if not all of the remaining season to go. Bruin takes over up top from Jordan Morris, who badly strained his hamstring in Sunday’s game and will be out for several weeks.
For Bruin, playing Dallas was always a big deal while with the archrival Houston Dynamo in each of his first six MLS seasons. The Sounders don’t have as intense a rivalry, but have played some memorable contests against Dallas — including a…