Match Preview: FC Dallas at KC Wizards

MLS' two hottest sides face off for playoff positioning

KC-preview2

Photo Credit: 
Ronald Martinez/Getty Images

The basics

Kansas City Wizards (9-9-6, 33 points, third in Eastern Conference) vs. FC Dallas (10-2-13, 43 points, third in Western Conference) at CommunityAmerica Ballpark in Kansas City, Kan.

The Wizards lead the all-time series 18-17-8; FCD won 1-0 at Pizza Hut Park on July 3

WATCH: FC Dallas vs. Kansas City video preview

TV info

7 p.m. CT: Fox Sports Southwest Plus, MLS DirectKick, MatchDay Live

Dallas-Fort Worth broadcast information:

DirecTV Ch. 652

Dish Network Ch. 448

U-Verse Ch. 754 (1754 HD)

Time Warner Ch. 960

Charter Ch. 300

Game intro

Los Angeles against New York may be the marquee matchup of the weekend, but there’s a very good chance it won’t be as competitive as this one. Kansas City are the hottest team in the league over the last 10 matches (6-1-3) while Dallas haven’t lost in 16 games. But while FCD is close to wrapping up a playoff berth, the Wizards are in a fight for their postseason lives, which should produce an intense matchup on all fronts.

Kansas City Wizards

The Wizards have just one loss in the last two months (at San Jose) and won an unbelievable match against Houston 4-3 on Wednesday night in which the team rallied back from 3-1 down to win on a last-second goal. And although they've already played twice in the last week – and won twice – they have no time for hangovers against Dallas.

A victory would pull manager Peter Vermes’ team even with Seattle for the eighth and final playoff spot while a loss would leave them with just two home games left to make up ground.

FC Dallas

Kevin Hartman won’t make his return to Kansas City between the pipes, but Dallas will still bring a confident team unaccustomed to losing at CommunityAmerica Ballpark. FCD will also be without Brek Shea, who is serving a suspension, but the team has shown they have talent waiting in the wings and won’t be ready to part just yet with their impressive unbeaten streak.

The visitors won’t exactly be rested either, having played in midweek, and could be content with hitting on the counter to take advantage of the small field and the Wizards desperate need for points.

Heroes & villains

Teal Bunbury vs. Jeff Cunningham: With the way things have been going for both sides, this game will most likely come down to the final 20 minutes, which is exactly where these two super subs come in. Bunbury and Cunningham both scored for their respective sides off the bench on Wednesday, and both Vermes and Schellas Hyndman will surely be looking for late game punch to help collect three vital points.

Stat that makes you go “Hmm"

FC Dallas have tied eight of their 12 road games this year, winning three and losing one to round out the rest of their results. Only two other teams (Real Salt Lake and Chicago) have that many draws overall.