FC Dallas-Sporting Kansas City Preview
The home team has captured all three matchups between Sporting Kansas City and FC Dallas this year in decisive fashion, with Dom Dwyer scoring a club-record four goals in the last one.
Fortunately for Sporting Kansas City, they are at home for this one and will have Dwyer on the field after all.
Dwyer was sent off in his last game, but that red card has been rescinded and he will be available Friday night to face FC Dallas when Sporting Kansas City seeks to end a five-game winless run.
Sporting Kansas City (11-8-8) lost 3-1 at FC Dallas on March 14 before winning 4-0 at home May 29 with Dwyer out due to an injury. Graham Zusi had a goal and two assists in that contest as Dallas finished with 10 men.
That set the stage for a U.S. Open Cup matchup July 1 in which Dwyer turned in his huge effort and Krisztian Nemeth added the other two goals in a 6-2 victory.
Sporting, though, fell to 0-4-1 in its last five games with Sunday's 3-1 loss at Orlando City. Dwyer, tied for the team lead with Nemeth with nine goals, was sent off in the 87th minute.
Coach Peter Vermes said Kansas City would appeal the decision and it was successful, making Dwyer available.
Vermes is upset that his club has conceded 13 goals in this winless stretch.
"You cannot give up soft goals, because you can't keep chasing games," he told the league's official website. "And we're giving up soft goals. That's probably the simplest thing. You can't give up soft goals."
Goalkeeper Tim Melia is expected to return. He was rested after an eight-save effort in Wednesday's scoreless draw at Portland.
"He had a little bit of a strain in his quad," Vermes said, "and we didn't want to create a worse injury, so we thought it was best to give him a rest since we had two games so close to each other."
Kansas City hasn't gone winless in six straight since a 0-6-4 stretch in 2011.
FC Dallas (14-8-5) won its third straight, 2-1 over New York City FC on Saturday. Tesho Akindele scored his fifth goal on an assist by Michel, who added the other one in his first start since June 19.
"We are a team. We are a team that is made up of professionals who are contributing to a unit and they don't have individuals," coach Oscar Pareja said. "This team is made up of people who work to make things happen for a club they want to be in and Michel stepped up with a big performance from a player I respect a lot."
Dallas averages a league-best 1.74 points and trails Vancouver by one for the Western Conference lead, with one game in hand on the Whitecaps. Fabian Castillo has a team-high nine goals.
The club will try to slow down Benny Feilhaber, who is tied for the league lead with 14 assists. He has a goal and an assist in the two league meetings with Dallas.