Seattle, WA (SportsNetwork.com) - Two teams heading in opposite directions will square off at CenturyLink Field on Wednesday as Seattle Sounders FC prepares to host FC Dallas.
The Sounders are the in-form team in MLS at the moment, winning their last four matches to climb to the top of the overall league table with 19 points from nine games.
FC Dallas, meanwhile, has dropped two straight by a combined score of 5-1.
The club was forced to finish both of its most recent matches short-handed as Zach Loyd was sent off in its 4-1 loss at D.C. United while Je-Vaughn Watson was issued a straight red card in just the 10th minute of Sunday's 1-0 loss to Red Bull New York.
Dallas nearly managed to take the lead early in the second half of its match against New York when Danny Garcia, making his MLS debut, earned a penalty kick, but Luis Robles denied Blas Perez on the ensuing attempt.
Still, Garcia garnered rave reviews despite the club's defeat.
"I thought Danny was fantastic," FCD midfielder Andrew Jacobson told the club's official website. "We know him because we train with him every day. That is what he does. That is what we expect out of him. That is his game. He was not playing above himself. That is just what he does. He got his opportunity and took it."
Dallas head coach Oscar Pareja was full of praise for Garcia - and the rest of the team - for performing so admirably in such an adverse situation.
"I saw a group of young men that were battling and playing with such personality," Pareja said after the match. "What Danny Garcia proved today in his first game playing against the New York Red Bulls was incredible."
Dallas will face a stern test against a surging Seattle team. The Sounders, who will enjoy a third straight home match on Wednesday, had their winning streak tested on Saturday as an own goal from Brad Evans granted the Philadelphia Union a first-half lead, but Evans ultimately made amends by setting up Obafemi Martins for the winner six minutes from time.
Sounders head coach Sigi Schmid praised the versatility offered by Evans, who started the match on the right side of midfield before moving to the left side of defense to cover for Dylan Remick's injury.
"I thought he did well. That's Brad's thing is versatility," Schmid said. "That's part of what we need him to do."
Seattle's upcoming challenge is managing a dense fixture list. Not only will the club host Dallas on Wednesday, but it will follow up that clash with a cross-country trip to Gillette Stadium to face the New England Revolution on Sunday.
That may force Schmid to rotate the squad, something that could test the club's winning run.