Sounders vs. FC Dallas

This should be a memorable day in soccer history, for reasons that have nothing to do with tonight’s clash between FC Dallas and the Sounders. The World Cup final (Netherlands vs. Spain means there will be an eighth name on the FIFA World Cup Trophy) kicks off at 11:30 a.m., so you can hit Kells or Fado before walking over to Qwest for this revenge match. Back in April, the Sounders had a 2-1 road victory nearly in hand when Dallas forward Jason Yeisley took a dive in front of Seattle's goal. The ref bought the flop, resulting in a penalty-kick equalizer. After last year’s initial success, the Sounders are flailing through a difficult second season, with just four victories in 15 matches and a mere 16 goals to date. But there’s some hope for the season's second half. Late June saw the return, from an abdominal injury, of 6-foot-3 target man Nate Jaqua, who scored a career-high nine goals in 2009. And on July 15, Blaise Nkufo, a starter for Switzerland in the World Cup, becomes eligible for Seattle. At 35, he’s a big (6-2, 185), strong veteran with a proven international record, having tallied more than 200 goals in 17 seasons with quality Swiss, German, and Dutch sides. So the offense should improve in the remaining 14 regular-season games (six at home)—and next Sunday’s friendly against Glasgow’s Celtic Football Club. MICHAEL MAHONEY

Sun., July 11, 7:30 p.m., 2010

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