Frisco, TX (SportsNetwork.com) - Seattle Sounders FC will aim to snap a lengthy winless run on Saturday as the club tangles with FC Dallas at Toyota Stadium.
After a slow start, Seattle charged to the top of the Supporters' Shield standings on the strength of a run of eight wins in nine matches, but Sigi Schmid's club has faltered down the stretch, going winless in five consecutive matches.
Their latest setback came last week in a 1-0 away loss to Cascadia Cup rivals Portland Timbers at Jeld-Wen Field.
After a closely-played opening 40-plus minutes, Portland grabbed the only goal of the contest just before the break when Kalif Alhassan charged onto a missed clearance at the top of the box and rifled it past Seattle goalkeeper Marcus Hahnemann into the low left corner for his third goal of the season.
Seattle was dealt another blow in the second half as midfielder Osvaldo Alonso was sent off after an altercation with Portland's Will Johnson. Despite being down a man Seattle had a few more chances but failed to find an equalizer.
"I was proud of our team tonight. I thought we battled. I thought we competed," Schmid said. "We were unlucky. We hit the crossbar in the first half. We hit the crossbar in the second half even playing a man down. I didn't think we deserved to lose this game at all. We deserved to come away at least with a tie."
FC Dallas, meanwhile, is coming off a disappointing 3-2 home loss to the Chicago Fire and will be playing for pride after officially being eliminated from playoff contention.
The Fire raced out to a comfortable 3-0 lead before Kenny Cooper scored a second-half brace for FCD, but it wasn't enough as the result knocked the club out of playoff contention.
Saturday's clash will also be head coach Schellas Hyndman's final home match in charge as the long-time head coach announced on Friday that he will step away from his post at the conclusion of the 2013 season.
Hyndman amassed a 62-57-58 record and became the first FC Dallas head coach to be named Coach of the Year after his side reached the MLS Cup final in 2010.
"I truly appreciate the opportunity to be a part of the FC Dallas family for the last five years," Hyndman said. "After a lot of thought and consideration, I feel the time is right for me to step down as head coach of FC Dallas. I want to thank the Hunt family for their support and friendship, our players, coaches and front office for their dedication and effort during my time here, and especially the great FC Dallas fans."