Match Preview: FCD at RSL

Records on line as hottest teams in league collide

RSL-preview2

Photo Credit: 
Getty Images

The Basics

Real
Salt Lake
(14-4-10, 52 points, second place in Western Conference)
vs. FC
Dallas
(12-2-14, 50 points, third in West) at Rio Tinto Stadium in
Sandy, Utah.

FC Dallas lead the all-time series 11-5-1.

WATCH: FC Dallas preview feat. Bobby Rhine

TV Info

8 p.m. CT, FSSW Plus (local); MLS Direct Kick, Matchday Live.

DFW-area channels:

DirectTV: 680
U-Verse:754 (1754 HD)
Dish Network: 448
Time Warner: 300

Game Intro

These two teams have been unbeatable for most of the season. RSL
have just four losses and only one since April. That one defeat came at Dallas’ hands, and FCD have only lost two games all season.

“I think both teams buy into the concept that everybody needs to
defend, and everybody needs to attack,” RSL head coach Jason Kreis said.
“That’s the reason why both teams have gotten a fair amount of success
this season.”

These two teams will likely face each other in the opening round of
the playoffs, but this match will help determine the order of finish as
they are currently separated in the standings by just two points. 

Real Salt Lake

The defending champs are on the mend following their busiest stretch
in franchise history, with 14 games in 56 days. They are hopeful to be
completely rested and at full strength for this encounter. A tie against
New York last weekend, combined with the Galaxy's win at Philadelphia
last week, made RSL long shots for the Supporters’ Shield, but the team
remains hopeful.

“For a long time, we’ve been a team that believes in ourselves, and
believes in the possibilities when others don’t,” Kreis said. “So why
should that change now?”

RSL have turned Rio Tinto into a fortress over the last two seasons
with a 20-1-10 record there, including their current streak of 24 games
unbeaten at home.

FC Dallas

Dallas come into this match riding two audacious unbeaten streaks.
First, they matched the MLS record with 19 consecutive games without a
loss.  Over that stretch, they’ve also proven to be unbeatable on the
road, with 12 consecutive away games without a blemish.

However, coach Schellas Hyndman wants FCD to avoid the complacency
that he saw in last week’s match against Colorado, a 2-2 draw at Pizza
Hut Park.

“I think they had worked so hard to get there, now that they got
there, sometimes it’s a normal thing to back off a little bit,” he said.

Striker Jeff Cunningham also
comes into this match on the verge of taking sole possession of the
all-time MLS goal-scoring record. He is currently tied with D.C. United’s
Jaime Moreno with 132
career goals.

Heroes and villains

Javier Morales vs. David Ferreira: The
two central midfielders have some differences in their games, but they
mean similar things to their teams. Morales is silky smooth in the
midfield, adding to the overall buildup and possession for his team. But
he can also be deadly on set pieces.

Ferreira is a little more forceful on the attacking end, and does
well at setting up his teammates in promising positions. Whichever
player is able to force their will upon the game may prove to be the
difference for their club.

Stat that makes you go “Hmm…"

RSL and FCD have combined for a record of 25-2-20 since May 1 this
year.

WATCH: FC Dallas vs. RSL preview

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