Sounders aim to stay hot versus first-place FC Dallas

The Seattle Sounders have had a few miraculous finishes on their way to back-to-back Western Conference championships.

Just reaching the playoffs required second-half comebacks after slow starts to the season. And they became the first MLS team to rally from a three-goal deficit and win a game in regulation last summer.

But last weekend in Minnesota ranks right up there.

The Sounders scored twice in second-half stoppage time for a 2-1 victory, extending their unbeaten streak to seven straight matches (5-0-2).

Nicolas Lodeiro scored on a penalty kick in the first minute of extra time and Will Bruin chipped a shot over Minnesota United FC goalkeeper Bobby Shuttleworth in the sixth and final minute.

“It’s a big game and everyone is pulling in the right direction because we are winning because everyone feels it, in the locker room after the game everyone felt that,” Sounders coach Brian Schmetzer said. “That was a big win.”

The Sounders (8-9-5, 29 points), who have clawed their way back into playoff contention, take on conference-leading FC Dallas on Sunday night at CenturyLink Field.

Dallas (12-4-6, 42 points) entered the weekend as the only team in the conference with a winning record on the road.

But it never has had much success at CenturyLink Field, going 1-1-8 with seven straight losses. FCD hasn’t won on the Sounders’ home turf since 2011 and hasn’t scored there in regular-season play since 2014, being outscored 12-0 in its past three trips.

“Away games are very hard, especially in this league. It really tests the chemistry of the team. Everybody comes together and that’s something that you just need to grind out a win,” said forward

Dominique Badji, who could make his Dallas debut Sunday. “It’s not going to be pretty for sure, but I’ve seen this team play and we’re very capable of pulling off a win up there.”

FC Dallas is 5-3-2 on the road, its most wins away from home since 2011.

But FCD is coming off its first home loss of the season, a 3-1 defeat to last-place San Jose.

“You can lose to the worst team in the league sometimes and that doesn’t make us the worst team in the league. It happens,” Dallas defender Reggie Cannon said. “We were sleeping and it kind of slapped us in the face twice to wake us up.”

Dallas forward Santiago Mosquera (strained left hamstring) is listed as out for Sunday’s match, while Seattle midfielders Victor Rodriguez (strained right hamstring) and Handwalla Bwana (sprained right foot) are questionable.

The Sounders hold an 11-6-6 lead in the all-time series.

–Field Level Media

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