The Month Ahead: Mapping Out April

Apr 5, 2012; Frisco, TX, USA; FC Dallas defender Zach Lloyd (17) kicks a free kick in the 94th minute of the game while New England Revolution defenders (left to right) Lee Nguyen (24) and Stephen McCarthy (26) and Jose Moreno (9) and Kelyn Rose (11) attempt to block the shot at FC Dallas Stadium. FC Dallas beat the Revolution 1-0. Mandatory Credit: Tim Heitman-US PRESSWIRE

Back from a day off, sometimes you need a little time to recharge the batteries.

Saturday turned out to be a pretty good night for FC Dallas. With three points in the bag from Thursday's dramatic win, FCD could sit back this weekend and watch the games, or even get engaged as Chris Seitz did today down in Austin(congratulations!).

That goal from the head of Ugo Ihemelu has ended up pulling FC Dallas two points farther ahead of LA and Portland while also gaining points on Colorado, Vancouver and Seattle who all failed to win this evening. Any weekend where you can gain points on 5 of your 8 competitors in the Western Conference is a good one.

We said that 6 points would be acceptable and anything beyond that a nice result from the month of March, well they only got four points which is frustrating, but things are starting to look up.

The month of April, which is one game old already, sees an end to the four game run against Eastern Conference opponents and begins a crucial stretch of five games in a row against in-conference foes from the west. Let's take a look at the four remaining games in the month of April

Saturday, April 14 vs Montreal Impact 7:30 PM FC Dallas Stadium (Fox Sports Southwest+)

FCD's next opponent will be their first ever game against the Montreal Impact. Montreal scored their first ever MLS win on Saturday against an awful Toronto FC side, but other than that they have struggled mightily. 12 goals allowed in 6 games just isn't going to cut it and with FCD having 9 days in between games, this is one you've simply got to win, no excuses.

The schedule gets serious after this one, the three games left in April after the jump

Saturday, April 21 at Vancouver Whitecaps 9:00 PM BC Place (TXA-21)

Dallas travels to Canada for the first time in 2012 as they'll take on the Vancouver Whitecaps in two weeks time. For FC Dallas, this is going to be a tricky trip up to the northwest to face a Vancouver team that has yet to allow a goal in two home games. Dallas will get a small bit lucky as they'll face a Whitecaps team that will be just three days removed from a tough game against Kansas City, but the trip to Vancouver is a long one and this will be a very very tough game.

Wednesday, April 25 vs Real Salt Lake 7:30 PM FC Dallas Stadium (Fox Sports Southwest+)

You would think FC Dallas gets pretty unlucky that an enormous game against Real Salt Lake falls just four days after the longest road trip of the season to Vancouver, but RSL will be coming from a game in San Jose the same night, so there's really no advantage for either team. Every time they come here, we have to remind people that RSL have never won a game at FC Dallas Stadium(or the Cotton Bowl), and should FCD go on a little bit of a run, this one could be a huge early-season Western Conference game. Let's hope so.

Saturday, April 28 at LA Galaxy 9:30 PM Home Depot Center (Fox Sports Southwest+)

The month closes out with a bang for the always-entertaining trip to play the LA Galaxy. You wouldn't have thought a month ago that this would be a game to get points from, but with the troubles Los Angeles has had, perhaps it's not crazy to think FCD could sneak a win. Still, after the week FCD will have had with traveling from Vancouver to Dallas and on to LA in seven days, this one could be tough.

Expectations

A very tough month for FC Dallas, no doubt about it, which is what makes Ugo's goal so massive. I don't anticipate Dallas having too many problems with Montreal, but after that it will be difficult. I'm going to say Dallas gets three points from one of those three other games and that's about it. That would make it 9 points in 5 games for April which would be very acceptable, though 7 or 8 wouldn't be a disaster. You'd love to grab a win over Montreal, RSL and a draw at either Vancouver or LA. We'll know a lot more about this team after April, that's for sure.

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