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Game 18: FC Dallas vs Philadelphia Union

While you wouldn't know it if you went to the team website, FC Dallas hosts Philly today on a steamy afternoon in North Texas. Unfortunately, time does not allow for a full preview of the game today, but 3 points is a must today for Dallas.

There's no excuse for not winning this game against a Philly team that fought tooth and nail against Columbus on Thursday only to lose a heartbreaking 2-1 decision.

Some pre-game links to pass the time after the jump

Lots of great stuff from Steve Hunt at He writes Schellas Hyndman thinks Philly will melt in the heat.

"They’ll play hard, come after us and try to impose their style," Hyndman said. "But I think the weather will keep them from doing it for the full 90. What we have to do is play soccer. We’re a team that’s pretty resilient. If things don’t go our way, we still believe they will go our way. I think we’re a team that’s playing well."

FCD gave up a late equalizer at Philly earlier in the season, but those problems have been fixed.

"You could use the word revenge because any time you give up a goal like that in stoppage time, it leaves a bitter taste in your mouth and nobody likes that," defender Heath Pearce said. "You fight so long and get so close, literally a minute or two from getting three points."

Eric Avila's hoping to get another start this afternoon.

"I thought he did very well," Hyndman said. "He defended as hard as he attacked. Big game. It was a great opportunity and he embraced it. The thing is now, can he grow from it?" "Hopefully things turn out well and I do get the nod to come out and start," he said. "If I do, I’ll be ready. I feel good to go, know my role and everything."

Judah Devine writes a great preview for Philly's site

The Philadelphia Union (4-9-3) will square off against FC Dallas (6-2-9) Sunday (6:00pm, FSC/FSE), the quickest turnaround in the club's inaugural MLS season. After dropping a hard-fought match at home to the Columbus Crew on ESPN2’s Game of the Week, the Union will face another of the league’s toughest opponents on just two days rest.

Jordan Harvey of the Union says it's 3 points or bust for Philly today.

"We need this game Sunday and we all know it," said defender Jordan Harvey. "We need three points as much as possible from here on out. I think we're a confident team and we're going on the road with a plan in mind."

Andy Friedlander at the Dallas Morning News has a story up about Kevin Hartman.

"He's been sensational," FCD coach Schellas Hyndman said. "We rate players every game. When I go back and look at my ratings, he's one of our top two or three this year. He and David Ferreira are the two players we don't know what to do without.

"He's been a difference-maker when our defenders get beat. ... But I think our defense has become better, too. They're more relaxed because they know they have a great keeper behind them."

My prediction for the game: FC Dallas 3 Philly Union 1

Feel free to discuss the game here if you're not idiotically braving the heat like me.