Sounders’ depth will be put to the test vs. Dallas

Aug 31, 2012, 10:12 AM | Updated: 2:58 pm

A deep and talented Seattle Sounders roster gets a supreme test on Sunday with another key Western Conference battle in Frisco, Texas.

The challenge has been the journey to get there.

The Sounders are coming off a difficult 4,341-mile trek to Trinidad and Tobago. It was worth the effort as Seattle whipped Caledonia 3-1 to remain unbeaten in group play of the CONCACAF Champions League.

Coach Sigi Schmid told me in our Coach’s Corner visit that he’s very proud of his players overcoming obstacles.

“The guys basically had very little sleep on Monday night because we had to be at the airport at 4 or 4:30 [a.m.], something ridiculous like that,” he said. “It’s tough to sleep on planes, and then our flights were delayed and we didn’t get in until well after midnight.”

The wet grass playing surface in Port of Spain was less than desirable, but the Sounders were able to get three points and rest some of their key starters like Mauro Rosales, Eddie Johnson, Leo Gonzalez and Jeff Parke.

Newcomer Mario Martinez showed flashes of skill which earned him a spot on the Honduras Olympic team. Sammy Ochoa was dangerous at forward in place of Johnson.

Now the Sounders jump back into MLS competition with another key battle in the Lone Star State. Seattle is currently tied for second place in the Western Conference table, and could still catch first-place San Jose. FC Dallas, at 32 points, is in sixth place, just out of playoff position.

In early May Seattle produced a 2-nil victory at Dallas thanks to a pair of second-half goals from Fredy Montero. FC Dallas was on a hot streak in August, but lost last Sunday 2-nil to the Los Angeles Galaxy.

Speedy Dallas attackers are what worries Schmid the most.

“They have Brek Shea and Fabian Castillo has a lot of speed,” Schmid said. “They’re a team that’s a little bit hard to play against because they’re very aggressive offensively. They’re a quality team and we have to be on our game.”

Matt Johnson hosts the pregame show at 3:30 p.m. Sunday, with Ross Fletcher and Kasey Keller calling the action at 4 on 97.3 KIRO FM.

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