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Behind Enemy Lines: Scouting Real Salt Lake

FC Dallas has two wins at Salt Lake since 2007.


FC Dallas remains on the road for another road test in the month of May. Up next is a trip to the Rocky Mountains against Real Salt Lake.

Saturday's contest between RSL and FC Dallas will be the first meeting between the sides in 2014. The Claret-and-Cobalt posted a 1-1-1 record against the Texas side last year.

RSL is currently the only unbeaten squad left in MLS in 2014, with a 6-0-5 record on the season.

Injury Report

I'll stick with the league's injury report for RSL here.

Out -  Jordan Allen

Questionable - Robbie Finley, Rich Balchan

International duty

Jeff Cassar's club is currently without three key players for international duty. United States midfielder Kyle Beckerman and goalkeeper Nick Rimando are gone along with Costa Rica forward Alvaro Saborio.

Projected Lineup

Cassar continues to use the same formation that Jason Kreis used, a 4-4-2 with a diamond midfield.

Goalkeeper: Jeff Attinella; RB: Tony Beltran; CB: Chris Schuler, Nat Borchers ; LB: Chris Wingert; RM: Luis Gil; DM: Cole Grossman; LM: Ned Grabavoy; AM Javier Morales; FW: Joao Plata, Devon Sandoval

Key Matchup

Adam Moffat/Victor Ulloa vs Javier Morales: This is one of those games that may require both midfielders to key in on the main guy for the other team. Morales is killer as we've talked about already on here. Basically saying, you stop Morales, you stand a good chance at stopping RSL.

Keys to Three Points

Spread them wide. Again this is one of those games against one of those teams that going wide will be key for FCD. RSL is a team that plays a little more narrow in the midfield and when you spread them out, you tend to open up channels for good passes. I think this is a game that Andres Escobar could have a coming out party as well if he is given the chance.

Limit Morales. Like I mentioned above, you stop Morales, you stop RSL. But it isn't nearly as simple as that. Moffat and Ulloa along with Matt Hedges and Stephen Keel all need to be on the same page in this one to limit what passing lanes Morales gives to Joao Plata and Devon Sandoval.

Keep watch on Plata. The shifty little forward is the type of player that will give Dallas fits. He has in the past and he will again if the defense isn't on their game. Hedges and Keel (or Walker Zimmerman) need to make sure not to lose their mark on Plata when they are marking him.

Finish the ball. It can't be said enough, but the chances that FCD has had in recent games have been there but the finishing has been horrible. At some point Fabian Castillo, Blas Perez or someone else has to find the back of the net. Given RSL's absences here for the World Cup, you have to think something good could come of it for FCD.