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Match Preview: FCD at RSL

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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