Know Your Enemy: 5/29 Sporting KC
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Know Your Enemy: 5/29 at Sporting KC

FC Dallas will look to bounce back from Saturday’s defeat in Montreal as the team travels to the heartland to take on Sporting KC on Friday night. Sporting comes into Friday’s match fresh off of a 4-2 win over New England and a 0-0 draw against Seattle last week.

Heating Up

FC Dallas continues their franchise-long five game road swing on Friday night against Sporting KC coming off their first loss in six weeks – a 2-1 defeat to Montreal. Sporting opens up a three-game home stand at Sporting Park against Dallas on Friday – and there’s no place like home. SKC is unbeaten so far this season in Kansas City, earning three wins and three draws. Sporting also brings a five-game unbeaten streak into Friday’s contest and has only lost once in the 10 games since they visited Frisco on March 14 – a game FCD took, 3-1.  FC Dallas sits atop the Western Conference with 21 points, while Sporting currently sits in fifth in the conference, just three points back with 18.

Injury Watch

Sporting has been bit hard by the injury bug this season. Ike Opara, Chance Myers, Bernardo Anor, Seth Sinovic and Erik Palmer-Brown have all been out long-term for Sporting, while Roger Espinoza, Paulo Nagamura and Marcel de Jong were game-time decisions heading into last week’s game, but all were held out.  Dom Dwyer was a last-minute scratch on Saturday after sustaining a minor injury in warmups and is expected to miss Friday's match, as well as Jacob Peterson, who left Saturday's contest with a hamstring injury.

Key Player for Sporting KC

Benny Feilhaber – The Brazilian midfielder leads MLS in assists with seven, and is the key piece of the Sporting offense – owning five assists more than his next closest teammate. In 12 appearances this season, he has scored three goals, one shy of a career-high four tallies in 2011 and 2014.  Feilhaber not only distributes the ball with precision, but also is a strong defensive player as well. In Saturday’s game against the Sounders, Feilhaber made 15 recoveries – the most of any player in MLS on the weekend.


Key Matchups

Blas Perez vs. Matt Besler – After missing the first meeting between the two sides, Sporting captain Matt Besler will be tasked with shutting down El Raton. Blas Perez scored two goals in the 3-1 FCD victory at Toyota Stadium and will undoubtedly be a focal point for the SKC defensive line.

Matt Hedges vs. Krisztian Nemeth – Krisztian Nemeth, a rookie out of Hungary, has taken little time adjusting to MLS – leading Kansas City in scoring with five goals in just 10 games played. Coupled with his attacking partner in Dom Dwyer and the distribution of Feilhaber, FC Dallas will have their hands full with an offensively rich Sporting lineup.

Projected Lineup

Goalkeeper: Tim Melia; Defenders: Amadou Dia, Jalil Anibaba, Kevin Ellis, Matt Besler; Midfielders: Benny Feilhaber, Jacob Peterson, Sevando Carrasco, Soni Mustivar; Forward: Dom Dwyer, Krisztian Nemeth

Keys to three points

Sporting KC has been able to gather points in recent weeks, despite mounting injuries. Friday’s match will see two thriving offenses square off – with both teams averaging almost 1.5 goals per game.  FC Dallas stumbled last week in Montreal, but if the team can take their performance from the final 30 minutes north of the border and apply it to a full 90 minutes in Kansas, they should be able to get back into their winning ways.