After a much deserved weekend off, FC Dallas is back in action this weekend as they host the New England Revolution on Saturday at Toyota Stadium.
The Revs come into this match on a six-game losing streak, including a 5-1 loss on Wednesday night at the LA Galaxy. Defender AJ Soares was red carded in the loss while midfielder Richardson, Texas native, Lee Nguyen picked up the lone goal for the Revs.
New England is 3-5-1 in all-time regular season meetings in Frisco, with their last win coming in 2008. FC Dallas is unbeaten in their last four home matches with the Revs.
This is the lone meeting between the two sides this season. Last year FC Dallas surprised New England on their own turf with a late Blas Perez goal to win 1-0.
New England manager Jay Heaps really only has two players out right now with long-term injuries. Veteran midfielder Andy Dorman is out with a MCL sprain and Shalrie Joseph is currently battling a calf strain.
Tesho Akindele/Blas Perez vs Andrew Farrell/Jose Goncalves - The two FC Dallas forwards against the two center backs from New England. Lately the Revs have been getting torched in the back, mostly down the spine of their defense. With the loss of Soares and Dorman in front of these two, Akindele and Perez should find ways to continue to frustrate the New England defense.
Victor Ulloa vs Diego Fagundez - The battle of the Homegrown players here. Fagundez has struggled lately in form, which has caused the New England attack to dip in production. If Ulloa is able to bottle him up in the defensive end, it should keep the Revs from having any luck at creating chances.
Key Player for New England
Lee Nguyen - While the Revs really need some production out of Fagundez and rookie Patrick Mullins, the real heart of this team rests with the Texas-native. Nguyen is the type of player that can create chances almost out of nothing for his team. Dallas will want to make sure to keep him from getting wide too often as the bulk of the New England attack comes from the wings.
Heaps has had to re-work his lineup as of late with injuries and suspensions through this six-game losing streak. Expect him to stick with the 4-4-2 with a diamond midfield.
GK: Bobby Shuttleworth, RB: Darrius Barnes; CB: Andrew Farrell, Jose Goncalves; LB: Chris Tierney, DM: Scott Caldwell, RM: Kelyn Rowe, LM: Lee Nguyen, AM: Diego Fagundez; FW: Teal Bunbury, Patrick Mullins
Keys to three points
Anytime a team comes into a road match with a long losing streak like New England, you have to be sure to take them as serious as possible. Yes, they are struggling but this New England team has some heart and will push FC Dallas around if they aren’t careful.
One area FCD can expose the Revs with is that they are coming off short rest due to the west coast road trip, FC Dallas has to take full advantage of the rest they got last weekend and dominate the Revs in the possession game. Making New England chase this game in the Texas summer heat will go a long way in earning three more points.
New England struggled on Wednesday night in LA and in previous games when teams spread them out in the attack. FCD has the speed element that can be dangerous as well.
FC Dallas mainly just needs to manage the game the way they have been for the last month and a half during this current unbeaten run of seven games in all competitions. Find ways to involve Akidele and Perez early, spread the Revs out wide with Andres Escobar and Je-Vaughn Watson and remain disciplined on defense.