FC Dallas-Rapids Preview
While a scoring surge has FC Dallas back on track, the footing could be less than ideal Saturday night when it looks to move past the Colorado Rapids in the Western Conference standings.
Dallas has a chance to move into playoff position with a win in what could be soggy conditions, though that will require dealing the Rapids their first home loss in nearly three months.
Despite massive flooding in the Commerce City area, this match is set to take place as scheduled. According to the Rapids' official website, Dick's Sporting Goods Park and the surrounding parking lots have not suffered any damage.
Following a dreadful 0-5-6 stretch, Dallas (10-7-10) has regrouped by going 2-0-1 in its last three matches and is sixth in the West with 40 points.
Portland and Colorado are tied for the final two playoff spots in the West with 42 points, but Dallas can jump ahead of the Rapids (11-8-9) with a victory in Colorado.
"I think obviously it's going to be a good game," Dallas coach Schellas Hyndman said. "They're at home with the altitude. They're playing well. For us, we just have to stick to the game plan and get into our attack. We'll get our opportunities and we just have to be better at finishing them."
Since getting shut out in five straight matches from July 4-Aug. 3, Dallas has turned things around with 12 goals over its last five. Mauro Diaz and Jair Benitez scored in the final five minutes to lift Dallas to a 3-1 win over Vancouver last Saturday.
Leading scorer Blas Perez and starting goalkeeper Raul Fernandez missed the contest due to international duty, though both are expected to return against the Rapids.
Perez, who has four goals in his last four matches, scored twice to help Dallas earn a 2-all draw in its last trip to Commerce City on June 1.
Dallas, however, could have a difficult time maintaining its recent scoring pace against a Colorado team that hasn't lost at home since June 15, with goalkeeper Clint Irwin posting four shutouts over that span.
Following its first loss overall since June 23, Colorado bounced back last Saturday when Edson Buddle scored the go-ahead tally in the 75th minute in a 1-0 victory at Los Angeles. Buddle has scored in three straight matches for the Rapids, who handed the Galaxy their first home loss since May 5.
"It's a huge, huge win,'' coach Oscar Pareja said. "At this point, you've got to get points, and (it's great) to get them, especially away, especially against L.A., a rival.''
Deshorn Brown leads Colorado with seven goals, while former Dallas midfielder Atiba Harris scored twice in the last meeting. The Rapids also are expected to get striker Gabriel Torres back from World Cup qualifying action.
Dallas, which topped the Rapids 1-0 in the season opener, is 3-0-1 in the last four meetings.