Match Preview: FC Dallas at DC United
Dallas lead the all-time regular-season series with a 15-13-6 record
7 pm CT; FSSW Plus, MLS Direct Kick, MatchDay Live
Two of this season’s slow starters meet at RFK having moved along
diametrically different paths since their previous meeting, a 1-0 Dallas
home win in early May.
Both teams stumbled out of the gate with long winless streaks this
spring, but FCD righted the ship, climbed the standings and now look like a
sure playoff contender with 30 points. United have scarcely lifted their
heads out of the MLS basement in the three months since that loss.
Can anyone find the net for the Black-and-Red?
United have scored twice in their last seven games and interim coach
Ben Olsen desperately needs someone to step up. Striker Chris Pontius is doubtful for Saturday due to
hamstring tightness, which may hand an opportunity to Danny Allsopp, Jaime Moreno or, if he’s back to full fitness
after his recent surgery, Adam Cristman.
“You’ve got to remember why you play the game,” said veteran
goalkeeper Troy Perkins this week,
urging his downtrodden side to return to the basics. "It is a game –
granted, it’s our job and it’s our livelihood, but we play the game
because love it and we enjoy it. So you have to get back to that. It
can’t get any worse.”
Unbeaten in nine games, FC Dallas are doggedly stalking the Western
Conference leaders and should view a trip to the league’s bottom side as
three points for the taking, even with imposing center back Ugo Ihemelu likely to miss out with a head
Coach Schellas Hyndman has built a steady defensive corps that has
yet to allow more than two goals in a match this season – with the
exception of April’s 4-2 US Open Cup qualifying loss to United, that is.
Heroes & Villains
Jeff Cunningham vs.
Jaime Moreno -- The league’s all-time goal wizards are perched side
by side at the top of the MLS career scoring chart with 132 and 127
tallies, respectively. Cunningham is gaining ground quickly as Moreno’s
strike rate has slowed this season, but the Bolivian remains United’s
classiest finisher and Olsen may turn to his old friend to help end the
team’s scoring drought.
Stat that makes you go “Hmm..."
May 20 was the last time FC Dallas tasted defeat.