Real Salt Lake-FC Dallas Preview

FC Dallas hasn’t won its first three home games in seven years,

but a visit from short-handed Real Salt Lake might give it a prime

chance to pull off that feat.

Dallas will also try to remain unbeaten in 12 all-time home

matches against Salt Lake when the Western Conference teams meet

for the first time this season Saturday night.

FC Dallas (2-1-0) bounced back from a 3-1 loss at Chivas USA on

March 10 with another one-goal win at home Sunday. Kenny Cooper

scored in the 90th minute to give his team a 3-2 victory over rival

Houston after it blew a two-goal lead.

Dallas will now seek its best start at home since it won four

straight there to begin the 2006 season, and facing Real Salt Lake

(1-1-1) might provide an ideal matchup. RSL is 0-9-2 all-time in


Salt Lake will also have five players off on international duty.

Goalkeeper Nick Rimando, midfielder Kyle Beckerman and defender

Tony Beltran are with the United States team. Forward Alvaro

Saborio is with Costa Rica and midfielder Abdoulie Mansally is with

the Gambian squad.

Veteran defender Nat Borchers, however, could make his season

debut following quad surgery.

“It’s definitely good to have Nat back. He’s a big asset to our

team. I’m looking forward to playing with him again,” defender

Chris Schuler said.

Josh Saunders, who helped lead Los Angeles to back-to-back MLS

titles, will likely take over for Rimando and make his debut for

Salt Lake.

Saborio has scored all three of RSL’s goals this season and his

tally in the 80th minute last Saturday forced a 1-all tie with

visiting Colorado. Salt Lake split its first two games on the


“It is difficult with new faces but (coach Jason Kreis) does a

good job of preparing us,” Schuler said.

Saborio also scored a tying goal in the 76th minute in his

team’s most recent matchup with FC Dallas on Aug. 18 in Utah, but

David Ferreira found the net in stoppage time. The 2-1 victory

snapped Dallas’ five-game winless streak in the series.

The teams have tied in their past two games in Dallas, and the

home club won’t have goalkeeper Raul Fernandez (Peru), forward Blas

Perez (Panama) and midfielder Je-Vaughn Watson (Jamaica) available

due to international duty. Former RSL netminder Chris Seitz is

slated to take Fernandez’s spot, but he’s also awaiting the birth

of a child.

Perez, the team’s leading goal scorer in 2012, had returned from

a two-game suspension Sunday.

“For us, our goals and our mindset doesn’t change,” Seitz said.

“We’re going to go out there and try to continue to progress.”

FC Dallas is unbeaten in its last six league home games and is

5-1-6 in its past 12.