COMMERCE CITY, CO - OCTOBER 01: Daniel Hernandez #2 of the FC Dallas controls the ball against Sanna Nyassi #23 of the Colorado Rapids as Ugo Ihemelu #3 of the FC Dallas follows the play at Dick's Sporting Goods Park on October 1, 2011 in Commerce City, Colorado. (Photo by Doug Pensinger/Getty Images)
Old foes Colorado Rapids come to Frisco tonight to face an FC Dallas side that is undefeated at home. It's really an enormous game for Dallas who can move up into the #5 playoff spot with a win and potentially set up a game on Wednesday against Seattle that could see Dallas move up even more in the West. Conference games are always huge with the unbalanced schedule and tonight is no different.
Lineup changes? If Brek Shea does indeed start tonight's game on the bench, look for Scott Sealy to replace him on the right with Jackson moving into the center of the midfield. Schellas closed practice yesterday which generally means something is up, so we'll see if things are different tonight.
The return of Papi FC Dallas & Dallas Burn legend Oscar Pareja returns to Frisco tonight for the first time as the coach of Colorado Rapids. Jason Kreis has yet to win here and it will be interesting to see if Oscar Pareja suffers the same fate.
The Oven It's starting to get very hot in Dallas. Yesterday the heat index neared 100 degrees and while today is a bit cloudier, it's still pretty hot outside. With the game kicking off at 6, how both Dallas and Colorado deal with the heat is going to be a huge talking point tonight.
Home dominance FC Dallas is 3-0-2 at home this year and an amazing 18-5-4 at home against Colorado all-time.
Keys to the game, referee, form & prediction after the jump
Keys to the game
Jackson He's had a couple weeks now to get re-acclimated to Dallas and tonight he will play a huge role in this thing. Getting Jackson involved in the game early and often should reap some nice rewards for Dallas.
Manage the heat Generally theres 3 or 4 games a season that the heat plays a big part in with earlier kickoffs and this is probably one of them. I'm not so much worried in Dallas wilting as I'd like to see them keep some in reserve for the second half as I'm skeptical to how Colorado will handle it.
FC Dallas - W W L T T - 8 points from last 5 games
Colorado - L L L W L - 3 points from last 5 games
Another solid one
REFEREE: Mark Geiger.
SAR (bench): Steven Taylor; JAR (opposite): James Conlee;
4th: Armando Villarreal
Prediction 6-3 on the season
Dallas has never really had problems with Colorado in the regular season at home and I don't anticipate problems tonight either. May has started, the month where FC Dallas hits its stride and the only thing that can hold them back tonight that I see would be formation issues with players playing in unfamiliar spots. I just have a feeling like a blowout is on the cards tonight.