September Outlook: FC Dallas In Crunch Time For Points

USA TODAY Sports

Four big matches could determine playoff fate.

The last three months have been tough for anyone watching FC Dallas. June and July gave the club just five points in eight games while August saw some slight improvement with five points in five games.

We said last month that getting at least a minimum of six points on the month. The team came up just short of that unfortunately.

But hey, everyone knows that in MLS, the big months for determining playoff positioning are September and October. Given how nearly everyone in the league (expect for three clubs) are still in contention, all is still to play for in the month ahead.

Vancouver Whitecaps (September 7, 7:30pm, home)

Right off the bat we have a big one. Vancouver and Dallas had two physical games earlier in the season and you have to count on this one being even more intense as both clubs are currently on the outside looking in, when it comes to playoff standings. The Whitecaps aren't a great road team this season by any measure either so this is certainly another must-win for FCD.

I should also point out that this game comes around a FIFA date for World Cup qualifying. The Whitecaps could lose a couple players to call-ups. Dallas will likely be without a couple key players of their own as well.

Colorado Rapids (September 14, 8:00pm, away)

The final match with Oscar Pareja's bunch this season. They've played Dallas very well this season with the last trip to the Mile High City ending in a draw thanks to two goals from Blas Perez. The Rapids are arguably a much better team than that last version Dallas faced back at the start of summer. Not to mention, they're getting healthy.

New York Red Bulls (September 22, 4:00pm, away)

Who really knows what to make of the Red Bulls. They typically play better at home though and we all know how Dallas has been on the road this season. New York can be pretty inconsistent about their level of play here. They'll beat a team like Sporting KC or Real Salt Lake but follow it up with a loss to Chivas or a draw with Toronto.

It will be fun to see FCD North though as Dax McCarty, Heath Pearce, Eric Alexander and Kevin Hartman all play for the Red Bulls.

Columbus Crew (September 29, 7:30pm, home)

Another must-win game. The Crew may be out of playoff contention by this point anyways so they may be in the spoiler role for this one. The Crew are wildly inconsistent though on the season. They'll look good for a couple games and then dreadful for the next three or four. Federico Higuain is still a force to deal with however so he could instantly change this game if Dallas isn't careful.

Final Outlook:

Time to get real serious here. This is a month where Dallas has to put up or shut up about their playoff dreams. Six points are an absolute minimum here with the two home games. They have to win those without question. I say that each month that the home games are all must-wins. You don't lose your home games!

I think it is possible for at least one draw out of the two road games but even two draws isn't that unlikely either.

What do you think is realistic for the month of September? Eight points? Six points? Something more or less? Let's hear it.

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