2024 Season

FC Dallas Begins Daunting Two-Week Stretch against First-Place Real Salt Lake


FC Dallas survived and advanced in the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup Wednesday night, just in time to embark on one of the toughest stretches of its MLS season.

Dallas begins a two-week run that includes hosting Western Conference front-runners Real Salt Lake Saturday in Frisco, before traveling to the West Coast to take on both Los Angeles clubs – currently ninth and 10th in the overall MLS table – three days apart. One week later, FCD heads north to face red-hot Minnesota United, the second-placed team in the West with four wins and a draw from its last five games.

It's a run that could make or break FC Dallas’ season despite being just over a third of the way through the 2024 campaign.

“It's a tough stretch, very tough stretch but it is what it is, that’s the schedule we have,” said head coach Nico Estévez after his team’s 2-1 victory over the Tampa Bay Rowdies in the Open Cup. “We always say, ‘we go one game at a time’ and we had this game in Tampa, we advanced and we’re happy. Tomorrow we recover, travel to Dallas, train Friday, play again Saturday.”

Nico Estévez speaks to his team at Tampa Bay's Al Lang Stadium

With five games over an 18-day span between late May and early June, Dallas’ squad depth will be truly tested for the first time this year. Unfortunately, FCD’s squad is shallower than usual with typical starters Alan Velasco, Geovane Jesus, Paxton Pomykal all unavailable with long term injuries. There’s also the question of Jesús Ferreira, the team’s central attacking figure, who departed Wednesday night’s game in the first half. Estévez says they’ll have to wait a few days to know whether Ferreira only suffered a cramp or something more serious.

With or without Ferreira, Dallas will have to face a Real Salt Lake team with three extra days’ rest in their legs. Many of FCD’s available starters played 70-90 minutes Wednesday night while RSL last played on Saturday, May 18.

“I think this league is difficult every time, but having three away games coming up, it's really tough," Estévez said. "And then having the game against RSL, they are fresh and ready to go. While we just played this game here in the east, it’s long trip. But it is what it is. This is why I always say that there are things to review on how we make rosters in the league. How we can increase the number of senior spots to have better rosters, to have more players and then we can have those games. I love to play every three days. Trust me, I think it's good. It's good for everyone. I understand everyone wants to play but in order to have better games, more quality games, you have to change things. And I think that is important.”

With MLS’s roster parameters unlikely to change in the next few weeks, Estévez will have to manage his depleted roster through a busy and difficult schedule – one that may define FCD’s early season.

Night At The Museum

Night At The Museum

Join us for a night of culture when Dallas hosts Real Salt Lake on Saturday, May 25. Stick around after the match for a post-match drone show featuring iconic works from the art world’s most famous artists. Fans will be able to relax to a symphony of music while enjoying the 500 drone display of some historical works of art.