For FC Dallas, it's about keeping the momentum going. For the Seattle Sounders, it's about getting back to basics.
Can you tell which team is atop the Western Conference and which is in 10th place?
Dallas (4-7-5, 17 points) takes a two-game winning streak into Wednesday night's matchup with the host Sounders (9-3-5, 32 points), who have lost two in a row -- both at home, no less. Seattle had lost just one of its previous 31 matches at Lumen Field, including playoff contests.
"Teams come here and they want to beat us," said Sounders forward Will Bruin, who returned to action in a 1-0 loss Saturday to the San Jose Earthquakes after missing the previous five matches with a knee injury. "That's their MLS Cup. That's the second week (in a row) I've heard teams chanting (in their locker room), and honestly it's kind of (ticking) me off.
"We need to get back to the basics of being hard to play against. We had the stingiest defense. Nobody could score on us. We need to get back to being hard to play against, hard-nosed and hit the refresh button."
Dallas won 2-1 at Sporting Kansas City last weekend, its first road victory of the season, after a 4-0 home victory over the Los Angeles Galaxy the previous week helped FCD escape the conference cellar.
"We know we are going into a hard stadium to play. Seattle is at top of the (conference) right now and we go in as we always go: trying to win the game," said Dallas forward Jesus Ferreira, who scored what turned out to be the decisive goal against SKC. "We just keep the momentum going from these past two games. These games don't count for nothing if we don't play good soccer and keep going."
Dallas' resurgence has been sparked by 18-year-old forward Ricardo Pepi, who is tied for fifth in Major League Soccer with eight goals.
The Sounders' Raul Ruidiaz leads the league with 11 goals. Seattle could get midfielder Cristian Roldan back from international duty after he helped the United States win the CONCACAF Gold Cup.
Dallas has just one win in 17 visits to Seattle (1-13-3), a 1-0 victory in 2011.
--Field Level Media