With the season now headed into its fourth month, FC Dallas remains top of the table in MLS with 27 points. June starts with a challenging trip to Denver for a match with Colorado who is definitely a different looking squad than the team Dallas defeated 1-0 in the year's first match. Here's a peek at ten key stats heading into trip to the Mile High City(8PM Central, TWC Sports Channel 148 HD).
4.1 saves per match by FC Dallas goalkeeper Raul Fernandez which leads MLS heading into the weekend. Fernandez stopped six shots last week as FC Dallas withstood a throw-the-kitchen-sink-at-them effort in the last 15 minutes from San Jose. The effort by Fernandez was one of his best of the year with several big saves late to preserve the three points, now he and the FC Dallas defense will attempt to transfer that success to the road.
2.2 goals against average in road games for FC Dallas which is the highest in MLS. In 5 games away from FC Dallas stadium, opponents have scored 11 goals. FC Dallas' strong start has been aided by quality defense at home, but with the summer months tilting to a more road-weighted schedule they'll have to find a way for their solid defense to travel.
37 consecutive games played for FC Dallas defender Matt Hedges. A hamstring injury ended his consecutive start streak last week against the 'Quakes, but Hedges subbed on late for a three-minute appearance as FC Dallas needed to bolster their defense clinging to a one-goal lead. Hedges was fit enough to play 48 minutes in their Lamar Hunt US Open Cup win in Ft. Lauderdale on Tuesday and should be available Saturday to extend his streak which is currently tied for the 8th longest consecutive games played streak in FC Dallas history. David Ferreira is the record holder at 66.
4 combined goals and assists for Fabian Castillo last season against Colorado. The 20-year-old Colombian made a habit of showing out against countryman and former FC Dallas assistant, now Rapids head coach Oscar Pareja last year. Castillo had a goal and an assist in each of FCD's two wins against Colorado last season. Castillo made it ten career MLS goals with his winner against San Jose last week.
13 complete games for right back Zach Loyd this season. Loyd worked through a leg injury that limited his training last week, but didn't prevent him from playing the full 90 against San Jose. Loyd has been on the field for every minute in MLS this year for FCD, the only player to do so. Loyd was in the 18, but got a well deserved rest Tuesday when FC Dallas defeated the Strikers in the previously noted US Open Cup win.
5 different starters in the projected Colorado starting XI from the one that took the field at FC Dallas Stadium for the opener on March 2nd. Goalkeeper Clint Irwin, defender Chris Klute, forward Edson Buddle, and midfielders Nathan Sturgis and Martin Rivero were either subs, hurt, or out of the 18 when Colorado opened the season with a 1-0 loss at Dallas. Rivero did injure his foot last week against Chivas USA, so he is questionable for Saturday night's contest.
10 starts for Rapids 'keeper Clint Irwin, the first starts of his MLS career. Irwin has 5 shutouts joining former FC Dallas man Kevin Hartman and Henry Ring (once traded to but never played for Dallas) as the only keepers in MLS history to record five shutouts in their first ten starts. Steward Ceus made his only start of the season in the opener against FCD and veteran Matt Pickens lasted only two games before an injury put him on the shelf. Irwin has stepped up to lead a resurgent Rapids team. Irwin also has a history against FC Dallas as he was in net for the USL Pro Charlotte Eagles in their 3rd round shutout of FC Dallas in the 2012 Lamar Hunt US Open Cup.
0.77 goals against average as a team for Colorado, which, of course, is a big reason for the aforementioned resurgence for the Rapids. The ten goals allowed in 13 matches is only bettered by New England so far this season in MLS. Colorado has allowed two goals in a match only twice this season and and allowed just three total goals over the last eight games for the Rapids.
1 career goal for Nathan Sturgis of the Rapids before scoring in back-to-back matches against San Jose and Chivas USA. Sturgis has bounced around the league now on his fifth different team in eight seasons as a mostly part-time player in MLS. Sturgis was part of the Omar Cummings trade between Colorado and Houston in the off-season. Colorado has taken points in every game Sturgis has played this season including three wins and two draws in their five game unbeaten streak coming into this match with FC Dallas.
325 games played for Rapids midfielder Pablo Mastroeni, the leader amongst active field players in MLS appearances. Mastroeni was limited to only two games due to concussion issues last season. He has made seven appearances this year including one of his five starts in the opener at FC Dallas. Teammate Brian Mullan is second in MLS games among active field players at 319.