FRISCO - FC Dallas continues their September new stadium tour on Saturday with a trip to TCF Bank Stadium, the temporary home of newcomers Minnesota United FC. Dallas (9-8-11) is coming off a scoreless stalemate against Seattle last weekend at home, a match in which they tied the league-high for draws this season with their eleventh. Minnesota (8-15-5) will not see the postseason in their inaugural year, but have turned around a near record-pace poor start to the season, including a 3-2 win over Montreal last week. FCD took the inaugural meeting between the clubs, 2-0, on April 8 in Frisco.
Minnesota earned their first win on the year when allowing the first goal last week over Montreal. The Loons have now allowed the first goal in three straight matches, with a 1-13-4 record when allowing the first goal in 2017. Over the last eleven matches, Dallas has failed to score the first goal in nine of those with the other two ending in 0-0 draws. The club is undefeated (6-0-3) in games in which it strikes first.
Walker Zimmerman vs. Christian Ramirez - With defender Matt Hedges suspended on yellow card accumulation for the weekend, Zimmerman will look to lead a Dallas back line that rebounded with a clean sheet last weekend. Ramirez, a holdover from Minnesota’s NASL days, has led the Loons with 12 goals and one assist in 2017 and is looking to return to form after a month-long injury absence.
Maxi Urruti vs. Francisco Calvo - The Costa Rican has been the anchor of Minnesota’s back line that has allowed a league-worst 58 goals this year - a number inflated by a slow start to the year, but still averaging nearly two goals per game over the last eleven matches. Urruti and the Dallas attack will look to get things moving after being held off the board in two straight contests.
Last Time Out
(4-2-3-1): Bobby Shuttleworth; Marc Burch, Francisco Calvo, Michael Boxall, Jerome Thiesson; Ibson, Colin Martin; Miguel Ibarra, Kevin Molino, Ethan Finlay; Christian Ramirez.
Keys to Three Points
As Dallas enters the last six games of their schedule, they have - at least on paper - the most favorable calendar remaining with five of their next six opponents sitting well outside the playoff hunt. If the defense can maintain their improvements from last week up north without Matt Hedges, while taking advantage of a Loons defense that has been exposed on multiple occasions, the club can swim out of their current hole in the Land of 10,000 Lakes.