FC Dallas vs Columbus Crew: Preview and Prediction

Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports

FC Dallas returns to MLS action as they look to start off the second half of the season with a win.

Crew Stadium has been a house of horrors over the years to FC Dallas. Only one win in 18 previous trips to the Ohio capital. Thankfully for FCD, the Columbus Crew are entering this match off back-to-back draws and only one win in their last 12 games.

FC Dallas Notes:

Injury report:

Out: Kellyn Acosta (knee), Mauro Diaz (knee), George John (knee)

Questionable: Michel (hamstring) Matt Hedges (hamstring), Walker Zimmerman (hamstring), Hendry Thomas (muscle tear)

Youthful back four. According to the game notes, FC Dallas started its youngest back four of the season versus RSL on May 24. The grouping of Moises Hernandez (22), Matt Hedges (24), Walker Zimmerman (21) and Zach Loyd (26) allowed only one shot on goal. With an average age of 23.25, the group was the youngest this season by 1.25 years. Through 16 games, FC Dallas has allowed an average of 4.65 shots on goal per game this season.

Run of play goals. FC Dallas began the season with a slew of goals from Michel and Mauro Diaz on set pieces. The superior service helped set pieces account for eight of Dallas' first 12 goals. Without the duo (both were lost to injury during the month of May), FC Dallas has started to rely on goals from the run of play. FC Dallas has scored during the run of play on 12 of the team's last 13 goals.

Injuries and suspensions. Including Dallas' two matches in the U.S. Open Cup, the team has lost 98 games due to injury so far this season. Another six games have been lost due to suspensions. Eight players have been ejected through the first 17 matches this season. The club record for red cards in a season was seven, which occurred during the 2008 season.

Quick Notes:

REFEREE: Jair Marrufo. SAR (bench): Adam Garner; JAR (opposite): Corey Parker; 4th: Chris Penso MLS Career: 164 games; FC/gm: 23.6; Y/gm: 2.9; R: 33; pens: 48

SUSPENDED: DAL: Moises Hernandez (through June 29); Blas Perez (through June 29); Fabian Castillo (through July 27)

WARNINGS:
SUSPENDED NEXT YELLOW CARD: CLB: Wil Trapp ... DAL: Fabian Castillo
SUSPENDED AFTER TWO YELLOW CARDS: CLB: Bernardo Anor, Tony Tchani ... DAL: Matt Hedges, Michel, Blas Perez, Je-Vaughn Watson, Victor Ulloa
DISABLED LIST: none
INTERNATIONAL ABSENCES: CLB: Waylon Francis, Giancarlo Gonzalez (CRC)

HEAD-TO-HEAD
ALL-TIME (42 meetings): Crew 18 wins (1 shootout), 60 goals ... FC Dallas 16 wins (1 shootout), 58 goals ... Ties 8
AT COLUMBUS (22 meetings): Crew 12 wins (0 shootout), 36 goals... FC Dallas 4 wins (0 shootout), 22 goals... Ties 6

Coaches record: Oscar Pareja vs. CLB: P2 W2 L0 T0 ... Gregg Berhalter vs. DAL: first game

Prediction:

Losing both Perez and Castillo to suspensions really hurt for this one. If FCD can hope that the hot feet of rookie Tesho Akindele and Colombian Andres Escobar, then maybe the offense has a shot. The Crew have been rather dreadful over the last couple of months after their quick start and if some of their key players like Federico Hugian are out injured for this one, it could tip the scales back towards FCD. I believe it all comes down to how much momentum FCD has from these last two USOC wins. Columbus isn't a friendly venue for this team so I think a draw is a fair result.

FC Dallas 1, Columbus 1

What is your prediction for tonight's game? Let's hear it below.

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