FRISCO — FC Dallas prepares for its only matchup in 2018 against Columbus Crew SC on Saturday. Both teams are coming into the match with 12 days of rest since their last games. FCD is coming off of a 4-2 win vs. the Houston Dynamo and Columbus had a 2-1 comeback win vs. NYCFC.
Columbus has been hot lately, recording a 4-1-1 record since July 21. They are currently sitting in fourth place in the Eastern Conference and are 10 points clear of the playoffs.
The Crew has five players, including four key starters, goalkeeper Zack Steffen, Wil Trapp, Gyasi Zardes and Harrison Aful, coming back from international duty this week.
Everybody Gets One
Columbus has scored eight goals in its last five games with goals coming from seven different players. This has been a theme for the team all season. Discounting Gyasi Zardes goals, Columbus' last 11 goals have come from 10 different guys and an own goal. This makes everyone on the team dangerous, but at the same time, other than Zardes, there is no one that Dallas will have to key on near the net.
Reto Ziegler vs. Gyasi Zardes — Zardes is clearly the most dangerous offensive threat for Columbus. His 15 goals are the fourth most in the league, and he is the only Crew player to score more than four goals this season.
Santiago Mosquera vs. Harrison Aful — The FCD offense has exploded with seven goals in its last two matches and Mosquera is a big reason why. He has scored three goals in the last two matches, including a goal against San Jose where he showed his tremendous work rate.
Projected Starting XI
Columbus Crew SC (4-5-1): Steffen; Valenzuela, Abubakar, Mensa, Afful; Artur, Trapp, Meram, Higuan, Santos; Zardes
Keys to Three Points
FCD must not have any mental mistakes on the backline. It is facing a Columbus team that struggles to find the back of the net. Columbus has the second-least goals per game in MLS and the least amount of road goals per game. With no mental errors, FCD has a chance to hold a clean sheet in this match.