Los Angeles FC-FC Dallas Preview

One third of the way into its 2018 season, FC Dallas has already cemented itself as one of the most balanced and solid teams in MLS.

The Huntsmen were unable to win their first meeting with the expansion Los Angeles Football Club last month and will looking to rectify that fact when the sides square off Saturday at Toyota Stadium in the north Dallas suburb of Frisco.

It will be the second meeting between FCD and LAFC, after expansion Los Angeles earned a 1-1 draw at home over the Huntsmen on May 5.

FC Dallas heads home on the heels of a 3-2 road victory over the LA Galaxy on Wednesday. It was the Huntsmen’s second consecutive 3-2 result over the Galaxy this season and garnered FCD its 100th all-time win on the road.

Dallas is the fifth team in MLS history to reach the century mark in road wins. FCD had 97 road victories coming into the season and reached the milestone with wins over the New England Revolution, Toronto FC and the Galaxy

“We were talking about that before the game,” FC Dallas coach Oscar Pareja said after the win. “That is a great number, so congratulations to club, congratulations to our fans, and I hope they enjoyed this victory. That is very sweet against a good side and a great effort from the players. To have this is great.”

Ryan Hollingshead put FCD on top in the 33rd minute off assists by Mauro Diaz and Kellyn Acosta. The Huntsmen added to their lead in the 40th minute as Cristian Colman scored after passes from Hollingshead and Diaz. Then Carlos Gruezo tallied an unassisted game-winning goal in the 66th minute.

The win also moved FCD (6-1-5, 23 points) into second place in the Western Conference standings, trailing Sporting Kansas City by two points with a game in hand.

“To be honest, we have been cruising in the last month since the league has started,” Pareja said. “I’d rather just let these guys grind and work and earn this stuff. Just putting ourselves in any ranking just makes us better.

“It’s a long journey, and what we’re going to do is just keep working. We have to get better and every day we will work.”

LAFC (6-3-3, 21 points) is right behind FCD in the Western Conference standings after a 1-1 draw last Saturday at home against D.C. United.

Los Angeles played the entire second half with 10 men after Dejan Jakovi was assessed a red card in stoppage time of the first half. Diego Rossi scored to put LAFC in front in the 39th minute and Los Angeles was in command until surrendering a goal in the 84th minute.

By then, LAFC was worn out.

Los Angeles is 1-1-3 over its past five matches, with just two points from its last three matches when they arguably could have taken maximum points in all three.

“The good news is that we’ve created a lot of good advantages, and we’re still improving on the execution, quality of the pass, and the movement,” LAFC coach Bob Bradley told MLS.com after the draw with D.C. United. “Sometimes it’s the idea, sometimes it’s the execution. It’s just part of our development as a team.

“If there’s 10 chances, there’s probably 10 answers. You’re constantly looking for advantages. If you play quickly, and the opportunity to go forward is there, you don’t want to miss it. Then, if you can’t get to (the) goal directly, there has got to be times where you connect passes and look for the next opportunity. We’ve worked on both sides of that.”