FCD will look to end their skid against their rivals to the south today as the Dynamo and their orange fans invade Pizza Hut park. Dallas has won just once in their last 8 games in all competitions while Houston has been an absolute disaster on the road at 0-6-9 in 15 games. 3PM kickoff on Telefutura and FS Southwest+
Battle for El Capitan With the first leg ending 2-2, Dallas is in the driver's seat for El Capitan. It would take a Houston win to see the cannon leave Frisco. This trophy is important to all FC Dallas supporters and it would be unacceptable to lose this game and El Capitan.
Where will the goals come from? Dallas has scored one goal in the last four games and has looked generally clueless going forward in the last couple of games. Houston is a team that allows a fair amount of goals, especially late in games and they haven't shut a team out in MLS play in 11 games.
The goal is a shutout For Dallas today, one of the big goals will be putting a 0 next to the Dynamo on the scoreboard. It's been 6 games since Dallas pitched a league shutout and with everyone available and healthy defensively, there's really no excuse to not produce a good performance.
Playoff implications Today is arguably a bigger game, playoff-wise, for Houston than Dallas. The Dynamo sit #9 overall 3 points ahead of New York but 4 points ahead of a DC team that has three games in hand on them. Dallas sits 5 points behind Seattle and 5 points ahead of Colorado, likely locked into that #4 seed.
Keys to the game
Maicon Santos As Maicon goes, so will Dallas go today. Had he finished one of those first half chances against New York, the game would've likely been much different and his ability to finish chances should decide Dallas' fate in this one.
Don't give Davis chances Brad Davis has arguably the best free kick and flank service in the league and Dallas needs to closely watch where they give away free kicks and corners. A cheap corner could lead to Dallas giving up a goal and we all know how much Houston players dive.
Emotional intelligence It's going to get heated, that much is certain. Guys like Daniel Cruz and Jackson must watch how the react to incidents with guys like Ching, Boswell and Costly. A red card would be a disaster.
REFEREE: Ricardo Salazar.
SAR (bench): Craig Lowry; JAR (opposite): Peter Manikowski;
4th: Armando Villarreal
It's time for Brek Shea to break out of his funk. Dallas is due for a breakout game and who better than Houston for it to come against. Just win.
FC Dallas: Kevin Hartman, Jair Benitez, Ugo Ihemelu, George John, Zach Loyd, Jackson Goncavles, Brek Shea, Andrew Jacobson, Daniel Hernandez, Ricardo Villar and Maicon Santos
Bench: Fabian Castillo, Chris Seitz, Marvin Chavez, Daniel Cruz, Jeremy Hall, Jack Stewart, Bobby Warshaw
Houston Dynamo: Tally Hall, Andre Hainault, Bobby Boswell, Geoff Cameron, Corey Ashe, Adam Moffat, Luiz Camargo, Brad Davis, Brian Ching, Calen Carr, and Danny Cruz
Bench: Tyler Deric, Will Bruin, Colin Clark, Carlo Costly, Hunter Freeman, Jermaine Taylor, Je-Vaughn Watson