The marathon is becoming a sprint. Just ten games remain in the 2015 MLS Regular Season and that means every single game carries massive importance.
For FC Dallas, things are pretty simple. Despite a three-game losing streak, Oscar Pareja's side is still in very solid shape to make the playoffs and even slide into a high seed given the fact that they have games in hand on nearly every team above them.
Prior to last Saturday's loss to Los Angeles, FCD had gained a full three points in six out of seven home games and with five left in the season, a tally of between 10 and 15 points is certainly attainable. That has to start with three points against RSL and a win against Jeff Cassar's side would effectively put them in the rear view for FCD. There's no doubt Dallas aims to finish in one of the top two seeds to avoid the wild card round game, and three points in this one leaves Dallas within striking distance.
For Real Salt Lake, the situation is quite a bit more urgent. A huge 2-0 win against Seattle breathed some life into an RSL team headed for 2015 oblivion, but it won't mean a whole lot if they can't follow that up with a win on Saturday. They have just eight games left in the season and with a win could even pull even for the last playoff spot while a loss could leave them as many as six points below the red line with just seven games left. Additionally, losing to Dallas would leave them nine points behind FCD with two more games played, effectively ruining any chances of catching their Western Conference rivals.
Last season after a goalless draw early in the year, FCD and RSL played two contentious, controversial and memorable matches with FCD topping RSL 2-1 in Frisco after Blas Perez was controversially sent off in the first half of the match. The red card seemed to only enliven the Toyota Stadium crowd and the victory was one of the most memorable of the year as Dallas marched to a 2014 playoff appearance. The return leg at Rio Tinto Stadium saw Alvaro Saborio score a game-winning goal just seconds after coming into the game.
What will happen in 2015? You'd better make your plans to join us at Toyota Stadium on Saturday night. Just ten games are left in the run to the MLS Cup Playoffs.