Union-FC Dallas Preview

In its first game against the expansion Philadelphia Union, FC

Dallas settled for a draw after allowing a goal deep into stoppage

time.

Since then – and especially lately – Dallas has been very stingy

on defense.

Dallas looks to continue its strong defensive play and extend

its unbeaten streak to nine games when it hosts the Union on

Sunday.

Leading 1-0 heading into stoppage time in Philadelphia on May

15, it appeared Dallas (6-2-9) would win its third straight game.

The Union kept the pressure on, though, and rookie Danny Mwanga

scored an unassisted goal in the 94th minute just before time

expired.

While it was a devastating way to lose two points, it also may

have served as a wakeup call. Since then, Dallas has yielded six

goals in nine games with only two coming after halftime and none

after the 61st minute.

“We have been focused, we’ve been playing as a team and that has

carried over into our next game,” forward Atiba Harris said after

last Saturday’s 1-all draw in Colorado.

Philadelphia (4-9-3) hasn’t been as sound defensively

recently.

The Union, 1-2-2 since July 3, lost to Columbus 2-1 on Thursday,

as the Crew’s Steven Lenhart scored his second goal of the game in

the 51st minute. Four of the last five goals Philadelphia has

allowed have come in the second half with three coming after 70

minutes.

“We need to be sharper in defense as a unit,” midfielder Stefani

Miglioranzi told the Union’s official website. “We have been

dominating games and then allowing limited chances to the other

team and it seems that however many they get they put in.”

Sebastien Le Toux provided Philadelphia’s only offense against

Columbus, scoring on a penalty kick in the third minute of

first-half stoppage time. Le Toux leads the team with nine goals,

and has scored in three straight games.

Dallas managed to keep its unbeaten streak intact last weekend,

despite failing to score. Rapids defender Julien Baudet put the

ball into his own net in the 22nd minute.

Dallas, 4-0-4 since a losing to Los Angeles on May 20, has been

its best at home, outscoring its opponents 5-0 in winning its last

three at Pizza Hut Park.

Philadelphia has been outscored 5-2 in going 0-2-1 in its last

three road games.

Dallas goalkeeper Kevin Hartman is expected to start in this

match after resting in Thursday’s 2-all tie against defending UEFA

Champions League winners Inter Milan.

Hartman has allowed one goal or fewer in each of his last 12

games, while posting five shutouts. He made a season-high six saves

against the Union in May.