Apr 5, 2012; Frisco, TX, USA; FC Dallas defender Zach Lloyd (17) congratulates defender Ugo Ihemelu (3) on scoring the game winning goal along with defender Herman Peruz (13) after the game against the New England Revolution at FC Dallas Stadium. FC Dallas beat the Revolution 1-0. Mandatory Credit: Tim Heitman-US PRESSWIRE
FC Dallas got a huge shot in the arm to their young season when captain Ugo Ihemelu headed that last-minute cross into the goal against New England, however, it will mean nothing if Dallas can't get three points against the Montreal Impact on Saturday night. The expansion Impact come to town with four points from six games, their lone win coming against a Toronto FC side that has yet to gain a point this season. For FC Dallas, it's a chance to get their first win streak of the season going and a chance to gain 6 out of 6 points from their two game homestand.
Lineup Changes Daniel Hernandez figures to slot back into the lineup in place of Ricardo Villar in the new 4-4-2 setup. It's not an ideal system and it will place a lot more emphasis on Fabian Castillo helping to create chances, however, there's not really a better option.
Does the back four change? Will Jair Benitez gain his spot back on the left, likely moving George John back to the bench, or does Schellas keep the same back four that shut out New England last Thursday? I say keep it the way it is, but we'll find out on Saturday.
Late Collapse Montreal have allowed five goals in the last 30 minutes of their six games this season while both teams have each scored one goal in the last half hour.
Keys to the game
Move the ball around early Schellas said as much in an interview on Friday and it's a huge point of emphasis. Montreal is a team that is going to want to muck things up in the midfield and make it an ugly game. For FC Dallas, establishing a tone of crisp passing early will help to keep the game open and likely give FCD the result they want.
Keep your head Dallas does struggle a bit against physical teams and not falling into the trap and fighting back will be very important. Guys like Blas Perez and Jair Benitez must keep their heads in this one and simply do the job.
Deny Nyassi Guys like Sanna Nyassi and Dane Richards, speedsters who are questionable at finishing but heavy on the pace, tend to give Dallas a lot of problems. Forcing Nyassi to receive the ball 40 yards out with his back to goal rather than 30 yards from goal on the dead run forward will likely make Montreal a very toothless team on offense.
No Villar but reinforcements arriving (MLSSoccer.com)
When focused, Jackson has huge impact for FCD (3rd Degree)
Jair Benitez and Daniel Hernandez look good (3rd Degree)
Brek Shea Blog: I hate Mexican food (Goal.com)
Impact mindful of FC Dallas attack (MLSSoccer.com)
Schellas Hyndman pleased FCD scoring from set pieces (Dallas Morning News)
Picks: FCD unanimous winners (MLSSoccer.com)
REFEREE: Ramon Hernandez.
SAR (bench): Chris Strickland; JAR (opposite): Claudio Badea;
4th: Ismail Elfath
Prediction(4-1 on the season)
I think a huge key to this one could be Daniel Hernandez having had last weekend off. I'm going to look for a dominating game from him in central midfield while Brek Shea hopefully continues his return to form. I'm not sure Montreal will be able to handle Blas Perez given their struggles to stop goals and FCD with more than a week rest typically wins. Perez scores early, Shea gets off the mark and Castillo rounds off the scoring.
3-1 FC Dallas