(9-2-10, 37 pts., 3rd in Western Conference) vs. Toronto FC (7-8-6, 27 pts., 3rd in Eastern Conference)
All-time Series: FCD lead 3-2-2; the Hoops also have a 2-0-1 record against the Reds at Pizza Hut Park
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Two clubs with playoff aspirations square off in Frisco, and both arrive fresh off draws against the last two league titleholders. TFC hosted reigning MLS Cup champions Real Salt Lake last Saturday at BMO Field and played RSL to a 0-0 draw. FCD, meanwhile, played the 2008 champion Columbus Crew to an identical score line at Crew Stadium and extended their franchise-best unbeaten streak to 12 games.
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FCD's draw with the Crew gave the club a new MLS record with a 10-game road unbeaten streak. Schellas Hyndman’s club has been just as tough at home, where they're 6-1-3 this season and winners of their last four. Hyndman will be without starting right mid and captain , as both got their fifth yellow cards of the season last weekend. Rookie Jackson Gonçalves could replace Harris on the right and could spell Hernandez in the middle of the park.
These clubs met in Toronto back on July 24 and played to a 1-1 draw. Since then, the Reds have gone 1-3-1 overall and are 0-2-0 on the road. TFC are tied with D.C. United, Houston and New England for the fewest road wins in MLS, and this one will be tough to steal. Three crucial components of the Reds' system – Dwayne De Rosario, Julian de Guzman and Nana Attakora – are on international duty with the Canadian National Team.
Heroes & Villains
Toronto FC vs. FCD back line: Hyndman’s club has conceded just 17 goals all year, with seven of those coming in Frisco. If Toronto hope to earn a win at Pizza Hut Park, they'll need to crack a proven defensive group that has allowed just one goal at Pizza Hut Park since May 20. Youngster Zach Loyd – who made a goal-line stop to preserve the scoreless draw in Columbus – could earn the start in place of injured (concussion).
Stat that makes you go “Hmmm”
If Hyndman decides to go with Jackson in place of Harris, FCD could have three MLS rookies in the starting lineup on Saturday.