FC Dallas will close out their current five-game, 42 day road swing on Friday night against the Colorado Rapids at Dick’s Sporting Goods Park. The two sides have met twice already this season with the Rapids taking the lone match in Frisco on April 10, 4-0, and playing to a 1-1 draw on April 24 in Colorado.
Reversing the Trend
Both Dallas and Colorado come into Friday’s match looking to break their current respective streaks. FC Dallas is winless in its last five matches, including a 0-2-2 record on their current road trip, while Colorado has just one win in the last nine games and has won just once all season at home. Both teams, however, come into their third and final meeting off of 4-1 wins in the Fourth Round of the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open on Tuesday – Dallas over Oklahoma City (USL) and Colorado over Colorado Springs (USL).
Key Player for Colorado
Gabriel Torres – The Rapids’ leading scorer already has a goal and an assist in the two previous meetings this season, and leads current Rapids with two goals in six contests against FCD. Torres is the only player on Colorado’s roster that has scored multiple times in 2015, accounting for four of the teams’ eleven goals on the season.
Fabian Castillo vs. Michael Harrington – Castillo scored the lone FCD goal in the last meeting with Colorado and his speed down the left side was on display on Tuesday – only building on a strong first-half performance in Seattle over the weekend. After limited playing time in the prior two weeks, the Colombian appears to be returning to form. Harrington returns to the Rapids’ lineup well rested after Colorado’s weekend off last week and missing the team’s Open Cup game on Tuesday after the birth of his first child earlier in the day.
Victor Ulloa vs. Dillon Powers – Powers has been the primary set-up man for Colorado this season with five assists in 2015. In the first meeting between the two sides, the Plano-native scored a goal and added an assist. Ulloa is FC Dallas’ go-to guy in the defensive midfield position and will look to prevent a repeat performance on Friday.
Goalkeeper: Clint Irwin; Defenders: Marc Burch, Drew Moor, Bobby Burling, James Riley; Midfielders: Lucas Pittinari, Sam Cronin, Kevin Doyle, Dillon Powers, Gabriel Torres; Forward: Luis Solignac
Keys to three points
FC Dallas undoubtedly doesn’t want to end the road swing without a win, but cannot overlook a Colorado team at the bottom of the Western Conference. If the team can carry the offensive breakthrough performance that they had on Tuesday in their Open Cup match into Dick’s Sporting Goods Park, then three points should follow.