One of the season’s biggest games looms tonight at FC Dallas Stadium as FCD welcomes RSL to Frisco. Dallas looks to snap a six-game unbeaten streak and with the full three points can move back into a tie for the top spot points-wise in the Western Conference table. It will be another four weeks before FCD plays a home game against an MLS opponent, so we can you make it out, but if not here are some numbers that we’ll be talking about on our TV broadcast on Time Warner Cable Sports Network(HD 148) at 8:00 PM.
2 goals for Fabian Castillo in the last two games vs. Real Salt Lake. Castillo has come down the favored left side for goals against RSL last August 18th in a dramatic road win at Rio Tinto and the game winner in FCD’s 2-0 victory at home against RSL on March 23, 2013. Real Salt Lake and Colorado are the only two teams the speedy Castillo has scored multiple goals against in his short career.
6 shots taken by FC Dallas last week at the LA Galaxy, the fewest in a game this season. FC Dallas will be looking to generate more offense against RSL’s #2 keeper Josh Saunders who has allowed two goals in each of his two starts this year, including one against FC Dallas. For the season, FCD averages 12.2 shots per match.
114 career games for left back Jair Benitez as his appearance last week against LA moved him into a tie for 10th place in franchise history in MLS games played. With his expected start against RSL, the 34-year old from Colombia will move past former Burn goalkeeper Matt Jordan, who coincidentally has a connection to FCD’s next opponent. Jordan is the Director of Soccer Operations for the Montreal Impact.
0 minutes led by FC Dallas during this current six-game winless streak. The run for FCD includes losses to LA and Portland and draws against Colorado, Sporting Kansas City, Philadelphia and Chivas USA where in each one of those games FCD never spent any time on the front foot of the game in terms of the scoreline. As we know, two of the games need late equalizers just to salvage a point - the 90th minute goal at home for Walker Zimmerman vs. SKC & the historically late game-tying goal for Blas Perez (97’) at Philly.
11 MLS games played by Real Salt Lake at FC Dallas without coming away with a full three points. In MLS games, RSL is 0-9-2 and also has lost an MLS playoff game here and a US Open Cup game. In the 11 MLS games RSL has played as the visitor to FC Dallas, they have been outscored 21-6. Also, RSL has never won at Houston so the nine-year-old franchise has not captured a win in any match in any competition played in Texas.
57 games this season from Real Salt Lake’s first choice XI missing due to Gold Cup duty alone on Saturday night. Goalkeeper Nick Rimando, defender Tony Beltran, midfielder Kyle Beckerman USMNT) and forward Alvaro Saborio (Costa Rica) are absent while playing in the CONCACAF competition. All four were involved in national team call-ups and also missed FCD’s 2-0 win in March. It’s a match-up advantage FC Dallas will be looking to exploit again as only Blas Perez is away for Gold Cup duty from the FC Dallas squad.
10 goals allowed this season in road matches for Real Salt Lake, the fewest in MLS Western Conference. In nine road games, RSL has allowed multiple goals only twice: the 2-0 loss at FC Dallas in March and a 3-2 defeat at the hands on Montreal on May 11th.
7 game unbeaten streak in league play for Real Salt Lake. Over that stretch, RSL has won five and drawn two to leap to the top of the table in the Western Conference and all of MLS with 34 points. FC Dallas is the only team within striking distance of catching RSL based on results from this weekend’s matches. Portland and Los Angeles are currently lurking four points back going into the weekend.
96:05 the time for Javier Morales’ equalizing penalty kick against Philadelphia on July 3rd, the last game for RSL. The goal was scored just 21 seconds earlier than the precise time of the Blas Perez dramatic game-tying goal a few days before for FC Dallas against the same Union. That was the latest-ever equalizing or game-winning goal for RSL and it should also be noted they were playing with 10 men at the time of drawing that penalty for hand ball in the box.
8 players with RSL who have at least five seasons of experience with the club. The continuity of RSL’s roster has contributed to the longest current streak of MLS Playoff appearances at five and counting plus three-straight seasons of 50 points. Even with some long-time key players like Will Johnson and Jamison Olave departed due to off-season trades, RSL can still boast Nick Rimando, Kyle Beckerman, Javier Morales, and now injured Chris Wingert, in their 7th season with the club. Defenders Nat Borchers and Tony Beltran are in their 6th seasons while midfielder Ned Grabavoy and forward Robbie Findley are marking their 5th season at RSL, although Findley’s time with the club was interrupted by a spell with English Championship side Nottingham Forest. Still, the continuity of RSL’s roster and long time coach and former Dallas Burn man Jason Kreis is proving to be of a large part of another successful season.