FC Dallas will take on the Colorado Rapids this Saturday in their final regular-season road match. FC Dallas currently sits in fourth place, trailing third place Real Salt Lake by one point. These final two games could very well give FCD the chance to jump RSL and avoid the knockout round, but neither game will be gimmies.
Here's what to watch for in this one:
Don't Sleep on the Rapids
We're all pretty aware of how bad the last part of the season has gone for the Rapids. They haven't won a game Since July 25th, a 3-0 win against Chivas USA. They've also only taken two points from their last 12 games. All of the numbers point to how easy this thing should be to win, and get the full nine points from them this year, but it is paramount that this team does not look ahead to a more difficult season-ender against Portland.
The Rapids have taken the second-most shots (460) and have put the fifth-most on frame (160) so we know they're getting opportunities. Deshorn Brown will take a lot of shots, and he's scored 10 goals, so we know he's capable. Dillon Powers creates chances and has nine assists to show for it. Be on the lookout for a team with nothing to lose to give FC Dallas a fight.
3 Points Is a Must
With each team now playing their final two games on these last two weekends, it's much easier to see what needs to happen to get certain playoff scenarios. For FC Dallas, they have to be focused on taking all of these final six points.
Real Salt Lake has games at Portland Friday, and then their home finale against Chivas. There's a very good chance that Portland can win that game, being at home and fighting for their playoff lives. If that were to happen, or even if RSL tied, FC Dallas would take over the third spot (barring all six points), regardless of RSL's result against Chivas.
Now, that's a lot of ifs, so for now let's just focus on getting the full 3 points against Colorado, and being major Portland fans when they face RSL.
Share the Wealth
Finally, one mark of this year's FC Dallas team has been the sharing of scoring. The team only has a combined 20 goals from its top two scorers, yet the team is fourth in the league with 54 goals. This is because on any given night, any player could step up and knock one in.
Among the 11 outfield players with the most minutes played, only three of them haven't scored this year. To add, there are eight players on the team's roster that have scored at least three goals. The ability for almost anyone to score, in any way, in any game, is a great tool because defenses can't just look for one guy to lock down.
That's what you should watch for in tomorrow's game. Be sure to tune into NBCSN at 2:00 for the team's final road match. DTID!