It’s another busy week for FC Dallas as they travel to Kansas City on Wednesday for the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup Round of 16 match-up against Sporting KC. FCD took the first MLS meeting of the season in March, 3-1, while Sporting took the second meeting in decisive fashion, 4-0, in May.
How They Got Here
Dallas returns to LHUSOC play after a 2-0 win over the Houston Dynamo on Friday night. In their previous Open Cup appearance this season, FCD took down Sporting’s USL affiliate, OKC Energy FC, 4-1 on June 16. SKC advanced to the Round of 16 with a 1-0 victory over Saint Louis FC (USL). Kansas City is 6-0-1 in their last seven games at Sporting Park, including six shutouts.
Key Player for Sporting KC
Krisztian Nemeth – The rookie has taken over his team’s scoring lead and doesn’t show any signs of slowing down. Nemeth has scored on all seven of his shots on frame during his first year, setting MLS history as the first player to do so to start a season.
Matt Hedges vs. Krisztian Nemeth – The task of shutting down KC’s top scoring threat will fall to the captain on Wednesday. In his first start since early June on Friday, Hedges led the team in clearances and interceptions with six each – a performance he’ll need to replicate in Kansas City against Nemeth who thrives off of the cross. Hedges has led the team in the previous two matches with 16 clearances.
David Texeira vs. Matt Besler – The second-year forward had a break-out performance in FC Dallas’ first Open Cup appearance this season with two goals. After a solid 60 minutes of play on Friday night against the Dynamo, Texeira will look to continue his USOC dominance against Sporting KC.
Goalkeeper: Tim Melia; Defenders: Chance Myers, Kevin Ellis, Matt Besler, Marcel de Jong; Midfielders: Benny Feilhaber, Soni Mustivar, Roger Espinoza; Forwards: Graham Zusi, Dom Dwyer, Krisztian Nemeth
Keys to three points
FC Dallas will look to advance to the Quarterfinal round of the Open Cup for the second straight season on Wednesday. Sporting is a tough opponent to play at Sporting Park, but if Dallas can continue their high-pressure offensive performance on Friday, while maintaining the solid defensive play shown in recent weeks, FCD could punch their ticket to the next round.