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Seattle, Dallas battle for position in the West

FC Dallas hosts Seattle Sounders FC on Saturday with both teams coming off of impressive midweek wins in the CONCACAF Champions League.

Seattle earned a 4-1 home win against Guatemalan club Comunicaciones on Tuesday, while Dallas made history by becoming the first MLS team to win a competitive match on Mexican soil, defeating Pumas 1-0 on Wednesday.

Dallas head coach Schellas Hyndman hopes that more MLS teams can emulate what his side have achieved.

"For us, for the first team to beat a good Mexican team in Mexico, I hope that more MLS teams will have the same courage to play good soccer and I hope that we continue to find success here," Hyndman said.

Seattle, meanwhile, showed a tremendous amount of grit to pull off an astounding 4-1 win over Comunicaciones. The Sounders conceded the first goal of the game, and then went down a man after Lamar Neagle was sent off in the 55th minute. They scored three goals while playing with 10 men to seal the victory.

"I thought our team showed a lot of character to come back again from 1-0," Sounders head coach Sigi Schmid said. "Being 1-1 and having a player ejected and playing a man down and being able to score two goals showed a little bit more. I thought we did a good job attacking. ... I was pleased with our ability to finish our chances today."

Both teams are also coming off deadlocks in MLS regular season play last weekend, as Seattle played to a 0-0 draw with Chivas USA and Dallas tied the Philadelphia Union 2-2.

Seattle and Dallas will be fighting for position in the playoffs as the clubs are neck-and-neck in the Western Conference. The Sounders sit in third place in the West with 42 points on the season, just one point behind second-place Dallas with 43.

Balancing CONCACAF Champions League matches with MLS regular season fixtures could prove to be a difficult task down the stretch, but FC Dallas goalkeeper Kevin Hartman recognizes that the measures his club will have to take in order to emerge from the congested schedule in a favorable position.

"It's certainly an important time of the season; we have a big number of games. We had eight games last month and we'll have eight games this month," Hartman said. "It's fatiguing and we have to make sure that we're responsible with our bodies and use the depth of our bench and go out there with the right attitude to persevere through some difficult circumstances."

With a start against Seattle, Hartman can become the MLS leader in career games played. He would pass Steve Ralston with his 379th appearance.

Dallas has already defeated Seattle this year, winning 1-0 on May 25th behind a Brek Shea goal in the 17th minute. But since that match, the Sounders have gone 7-1-4 in 12 MLS games.