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FC Dallas vs Montreal Impact: Preview and Prediction

It all starts here. FC Dallas begins the new season against Montreal on Saturday.

USA TODAY Sports

It feels like forever since we last did a game preview. Soccer is back as FC Dallas kicks off a new season Saturday evening as they host the Montreal Impact at Toyota Stadium.

The Oscar Pareja era kicks off as the club welcomes a new captain (Andrew Jacobson) and a slew of new players to the team.

FC Dallas Notes:

Oh captain my captain - Like we've mentioned a couple times on here today, Andrew Jacobson is the new FC Dallas captain for this season. While that could change down the road when players like George John get healthy, AJ is a quality choice to start things off.

Injury notes - FCD will likely be without Raul Fernandez (hip), John (hamstring), London Woodberry (just placed on the IR with a hamstring issue), Zach Loyd, Walker Zimmerman (hamstring) and Stephen Keel. All were dealing with injuries through the preseason. Only Loyd and Keel have a chance at seeing the bench this weekend however.

Unbeaten against Impact - In all-time meetings, FCD is 1-0-1 against Montreal.

Keys to three points:

The Impact are by all accounts a decent team in MLS. They have the right players in the right spots. Depth is certainly an issue for new manager Frank Klopas though. Going into the start of the season, Klopas will be without his key attacker in Marco Di Vaio, who is suspended for this match alongside defender Nelson Rivas and midfielder Andres Romero.

Those losses along with potentially captain Patrice Bernier (injury/fitness) could play a major factor in what the Impact bring the table in this game. Montreal only made three moves this offseason, including one to sign former FC Dallas defender Health Pearce. The lack of moves on the defense end should be a concerning thing for Impact fans, though I have had a couple of them tell me that they got better somehow.

FC Dallas comes into this match with injury issues of their own but that shouldn't stop the offense from doing their thing in this game. Blas Perez is the main man up front for FCD and Mauro Diaz should have the green light to pull all the strings in the middle of the attack.

The key in this game will be how much FCD spreads out the Impact. Just like in seasons past, when FCD goes wide, good things will follow. The Impact lack the speed on the outside to keep up with Dallas in this one too. Fabian Castillo had a strong preseason and should continue that form in this one if he is given the chances to. The additions of Hendry Thomas in the midfield and Adam Moffat (when he gets into the game) should help keep the pressure off the back four, who will be without George John.

This game should be won in the midfield with smart possession and well taken chances, both at which FCD should excel at under Pareja.

Prediction:

This game should be a win for FC Dallas given the players missing from the Impact this weekend. I do see some struggles early on in this one from both sides as they get their legs from underneath them but in the end FCD should come away with the three points.

FC Dallas 3, Montreal 1