Dallas is winless in their last 11 games and winless in their last 10 road games. In other something has to give tonight or else the odds on making the playoffs decrease even more.
Chivas has one win in their last 18 matches with only 10 goals scored in that span.
FC Dallas Notes:
Playing on August 21. Dallas is 2-1-0 in matches played on August 21. Oddly enough the two wins are against Chivas USA, the first in 2004 and the second in 2010.
Inside the box. Of Dallas' 31 goals this season, only two have come from outside the penalty box. Chivas has given up three goals from distance this season.
Yellow card warnings. Both Blas Perez and Je-Vaughn Watson are sitting on yellow card warnings for tonight. Each will be suspended for a game with their next yellow card. Obviously this note is bigger for Perez than it is for Watson.
The turnaround for Chivas USA this year hasn't gone nearly as planned. If it weren't for clubs like D.C. United or Toronto FC, the Goats would be the worst team in the league. Some would argue that right now they are clearly to bottom team in the league when you look at production on the field.
But whatever it may be, Chivas always tends to play well against FC Dallas. They beat Dallas in Los Angeles back in March by the tune of a 3-1 scoreline and they followed that up with a scoreless draw in Frisco back on July 4th. Chivas had the better of Dallas in that draw too, creating more chances on goal and testing Raul Fernandez more than Dallas tested Dan Kennedy.
Chivas loves to pressure the ball and play a tad reckless in the process. They're young, energetic and hungry to prove themselves as a collective unit. That is a dangerous combination to have at times but it also can be a double-edged sword that has costed them plenty of points this season with red cards, dumb fouls and unfortunate penalty kicks.
Chivas will be without Tristan Bowen and Gabriel Farfan for this game, both are suspended. Veteran defender Carlos Bocanegra is also said to be out for this one as well with an injury. That could help matters out for Dallas in the attack.
Jose Luis Real has shifted his formation a little more since the last time these two played one another. Instead of a 4-1-4-1 type of formation with a lone striker up top, he has opted for a more traditional set up with a 4-4-2 look. Newcomer Erick Torres seems to be the focal point in the attack now, in just four games with Chivas he has two goals and one assist.
Keys to Three Points:
Play smart. With that pressure that Chivas likes to bring, playing smart through the midfield will be vital for both sides of the ball tonight. Smart possession and possession with a purpose up the field will go a long way in getting three points for the first time since Memorial Day.
Take chances up front. I look for Schellas Hyndman to continue to re-work his formation and lineup with Erick and Mauro Diaz tonight. He's slowly shifting to a 4-4-2 thanks to those two, and because of that we need to see more risks taken up front. That means Blas Perez needs to do what he does best, which is run like crazy to help set up the attack and take plenty of shots. Jackson needs to pepper Kennedy with long range shots and the speed of Diaz, Fabian Castillo and others needs to find a way to keep the Chivas defense under pressure for 90 minutes.
Don't play down to the competition. One thing that can happen against a bad team is playing down to their level. Dallas is a far more experienced and talented team here, which means veteran players have to step up in this one and not allow the rest of the team to play at Chivas' level. That has gotten Dallas into trouble this season in the two previous meetings.
It goes without saying that Dallas has to win this one tonight. The playoff chances are looking dimmer and dimmer by the game. At some point these streaks have to end. I want to pick this team to win tonight but they still haven't given me enough to feel confident about them on the road just yet. Saying that though, I do see them getting a point out of this match. They should get more than that and with their backs up against the wall I do hope they fight their way out of it and turn to Dallas with some momentum ahead of this weekend's game with San Jose.
Dallas 1, Chivas 1
Do you think the streak will end tonight? Let's hear your thoughts below.