Ah, home. We'll see plenty of this place in the month of September. (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)
Daniel made the points very clear yesterday, the last couple of months have been brutal road stretches for FC Dallas. Crazy enough, FCD made it out of August alright considering how there was only a couple home matches to even sniff at.
Just to take a quick gander back at August, in all competitions FCD went 4-3-1, two losses to the Seattle Sounders and one to the Los Angeles Galaxy. Not bad. Not bat at all considering some of the wins came in Mexico, Canada and a crazy come-from-behind one here recently in Kansas City.
September is here now and the club should be able to set themselves up nicely for a good final push into the playoffs here.
(Read on to see what FCD has this month)
It is another busy month for FCD but out of the seven games overall, only two of them are on the road. One early in the month and one at the end. In other words, even with the extra games in the CONCACAF Champions League, Dallas has plenty of time to get healthy at home. Not on the road, at home.
Dallas has three regular season games, three CCL games and one friendly to deal with this month.
Major League Soccer schedule (2 home, 1 away):
New England Revolution (away, Sept. 10): At this point this match feels like ages away. And even more time between the last league match with KC and this one. But I'm not even complaining about that. Going to New England is never easy, they have the nasty turf to deal with and this Revs side is very tricky. Dealing with guys like Benny Feilhaber and Shalrie Joseph is always a tall task but their new DP Milton Caragilo seems to be fitting in nicely as well. This club will have had more time off between matches since their game got postponed last weekend due to Hurricane Irene so they will be ready to go for this one. A win should be expected but a point wouldn't be the worst thing out of this one either.
New York Red Bulls (home, Sept. 17): We know the club will probably hype the crap out of this one due to the Red Bulls having Thierry Henry and Rafa Marquez. This one could be tricky considering the time off the Red Bulls have had recently to get healthy and back on track. Next week's match for them will be really telling as to whether or not the Red Bulls we all expected to see at the beginning of the season will be back or if the Red Bulls we've been laughing at for the last few weeks are still here. Dallas has done very well against the Eastern Conference teams this season, a win here would be a very nice pickup.
Houston Dynamo (home, Sept. 24): The ol' Texas Derby. Throw out a lot of crap for this one as rivalry games always bring the best and worst out in each side. Dallas did well a while back to get a draw in Houston, but I fully expect them to control this match. The Dynamo have still yet to get a win away from home so the pressure will be mounting for this one if that streak is still going on. You know they'd love to get a win in Dallas as their first of the year if it comes to that. A win is big here in this one for a few reasons really.
Overall thoughts on September's league slate: Two of three at home sound very reasonable but to me this is one of those months where Dallas has to get full points. Especially this stage in the season. It isn't unreasonable to think that it will happen either. At worst Dallas should get five points in this month (a win and two draws). I'd be fine with that but not totally happy if it came to that.
CONCACAF Champions League schedule (2 home, 1 away):
Tauro FC (home, Sept. 14): FCD hopes to make it three-for-three in CCL play. A strong home effort seems logical against this side. Tauro struggled at home in a loss to Toronto to start the competition but they did manage a draw against Pumas. Dallas should get a win in this one as their defense has carried them very well so far in this competition.
Pumas UNAM (home, Sept. 21): We all expect Pumas to show up in a big way in this one with more of their first team players. They were embarrassed to be the first Mexican side to lose at home to a MLS club, you have to expect they'll want some sort of revenge in this one, especially if they have yet to register a win in group play at this point. Dallas will basically need a point from this one to clinch a knockout round birth but a win will certainly look good.
Tauro FC (away, Sept. 28): Another trip south. Hopefully, if Dallas is able to get to the 10 point mark or even the 12 point mark, this will be a chance for Schellas Hyndman to play some younger players and rest some starters for the October run. No need to get a few guys like Daniel Hernandez, Ugo Ihemelu, George John, Brek Shea or Marvin Chavez banged up from a game like this if their place in the knockout round is solid.
Overall thoughts on CCL slate: Of course these games complicate the MLS slate a bit but having two of them at home around the time that the club has two home games certainly helps things out. I keep mentioning that 10 point mark as a potential knockout round decider, in most years getting 10 points in the group stage is all you need to get out of the group. So far it seems that it will be the barrier again for the group Dallas is in.
Friendlies (1 home):
Tigres (home, Sept. 3): Second leg of the Rio Grande Plate series. Really this one is meaningless as far as everything else goes. We may see some starters early on but really this one is more about getting some reserves some action on the field and get them going for the stretch run.