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Match Preview: FCD at Chivas USA

The Basics

Chivas USA (3-8-1, 8th in the West) vs. FC Dallas (3-2-6, 7th in the West)

All-time Record: Dallas holds a slight edge with a 6-5-4 record against the Goats

TV Info

Fox Sports Southwest Plus; Direct Kick, Matchday Live (click here)

Watch the FC Dallas video preview.

What’s at Stake?

Chivas USA is in the midst of a five-game losing streak that the team cannot afford to extend. The Goats are in desperate need of points against Dallas in order to start digging themselves out of a five-point hole at the bottom of the Western Conference. It won't be easy though, especially now that playmaker Sacha Kljestan has departed for Belgium. The addition of holding midfielder Paulo Nagamura helps in the center but who will drive the attack?

A win for Dallas, who have been up and down all season, could help the team leapfrog in-state rivals Houston and jump into fourth place. The key will be getting Jeff Cunningham, last year's Golden Boot winner, into a groove. He has only four goals so far this year.

Last Meeting

Chivas USA started the 2009 season on a tear, winning five of their first seven matches. The streak included two separate victories over Dallas, the second of which came on April 25th in Carson. The Red-and-White went ahead in the 68th minute through Atiba Harris, and they iced the game in the 90th with a strike from Alecko Eskandarian.

Remember When?

Atiba Harris played for Chivas USA and Marcelo Saragosa played for FC Dallas? The two were swapped on July 17th of last year, and have stayed with their new clubs this season. This game will be the first time that each faces his former team, so expect plenty of motivation from each to prove his worth to his old side.

Heroes & Villains

Brek Shea vs. Jorge Flores. These two youngsters were teammates on the USA U-20 National Team last summer at the 2009 FIFA U-20 World Cup. Since returning home, both have become important pieces of their club sides, though Shea's star of late has been on a faster trajectory than Flores'. They could square up against each other on the flank.

Jeff Cunningham vs. Michael Umaña. With Jonathan Bornstein still away at The World Cup, Umaña has become something of a leader in the center of the Chivas USA defense. The Costa Rican international will have his hands full with Cunningham on Saturday. The 34-year-old veteran is second on the all-time MLS goalscoring list with 121 strikes and has already notched four this season.

Stat that makes you go “Hm…”

There isn’t one player on the Chivas USA roster who has scored on Dallas in the last 12 months. Chivas USA scored four goals on FC Dallas in 2009, recording 2-0 victories against the Texans on both March 29th and April 25th. The goals were scored by Atiba Harris, Alecko Eskandarian, Bojan Stepanovic, and Eduardo Lillingston, none of whom are currently listed on the Chivas USA roster.

He Said It

“We’re focused on our skills right now; we’re not thinking about Dallas. They’re a good team, but in our recent games, we didn’t get any points because of our own mistakes. We’re just trying to fix those mistakes and to be sharp with the ball. If we’re able to do that, we’re going to have a lot of chances to win games.” — Chivas USA defender Mariano Trujillo