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FC Dallas vs Real Salt Lake: Preview and prediction

Both teams come into this match unbeaten in what feels like forever, so what will give tonight in Frisco?

Russ Isabella-USA TODAY Sports

A big Western Conference clash kicks off tonight as FC Dallas plays host to conference leaders Real Salt Lake.

Both teams come into this match on a good unbeaten run, as FC Dallas is up to nine games in league play while RSL is on a six-game unbeaten run of their own.

FCD trails Real by just three points in the division, who lead the West and are tied atop the MLS overall table after knocking off previous leader Seattle Sounders FC 2-1 at home last weekend, running their undefeated skein to six matches.

FC Dallas Notes:

Injury report:

Out: George John (knee), Hendry Thomas (ACL tear), Chris Seitz (quad strain), Walker Zimmerman (hamstring), Stephen Keel (foot)

Questionable: Moises Hernandez (foot), Mauro Diaz (hamstring), Adam Moffat (hamstring),

Going streaking. Dallas' last win stretched its unbeaten streak to nine games, the longest active streak in MLS and second‐longest in MLS this season behind Real Salt Lake (12 games). It matched a nine‐game unbeaten streak from last season (3/17/13 - 5/08/13) and the 2011 season (4/23/11 - 6/04/11). Dallas had an MLS record 19‐game unbeaten streak during the 2010 season.

Castillo rolling. Including Dallas' U.S. Open Cup games against San Antonio, Houston, Carolina and Philadelphia, Castillo has recorded a goal or an assist in each of his last 10 matches (nine goals and six assists).

Points per game. According to the club's game notes, FC Dallas (11‐7‐6, 39 points) is ahead of its point‐per‐game total from the past two seasons. By the 24th game last season, FC Dallas had 33 points. In 2012, FC Dallas only had 23 points. Dallas had 42 points by the 24th match in 2011 (the franchise's last playoff appearance) but backed into playoffs with a record of 3‐6‐1 over the last 10 matches.

Quick Notes:

REFEREE: Ismail Elfath. AR1 (bench): Eric Boria; AR2 (opposite): James Conlee; 4th: Armando Villarreal
MLS Career: 34 games; FC/gm: 25.4; Y/gm: 3.1; R: 9; pens: 11

SUSPENDED: none
WARNINGS:
SUSPENDED NEXT YELLOW CARD: DAL: Matt Hedges, Michel ... RSL: Olmes Garcia, Javier Morales
SUSPENDED AFTER TWO YELLOW CARDS: DAL: Fabian Castillo, Blas Perez, Je-Vaughn Watson, Victor Ulloa,
Adam Moffat ... RSL: Nat Borchers, Alvaro Saborio, Chris Schuler, Luke Mulholland, Kyle Beckerman
DISABLED LIST: DAL: Hendry Thomas (season-ending injury)
INTERNATIONAL ABSENCES: none

HEAD-TO-HEAD
ALL-TIME (27 meetings): FC Dallas 13 wins, 38 goals ... Real 9 wins, 35 goals ... Ties 5
AT SALT LAKE (12 meetings): FC Dallas 9 wins, 21 goals ... Real 1 win, 9 goals ... Ties 2
FUTURE MATCH: 9/6: Real Salt Lake vs. FC Dallas, 8 p.m. MT

Coaches record: Oscar Pareja vs. RSL: P7 W2 L2 T3 ... Jeff Cassar vs. DAL: P1 W0 L0 T1

Prediction:

The response last week in San Jose was a big one but this game tonight starts the biggest test of the season for FCD. Win this game and continue the unbeaten run and everyone will finally take note. While the 5-0 scoreline did a good job of grabbing people's attention last week, a big result against a team like RSL will speak more volumes. RSL not having Javier Morales is pretty big but they are hot right now more so because of Joao Plata and having Kyle Beckerman back. If FCD can expose the wings of RSL and continue to feed Castillo in open space, good things will happen.

I'll continue to harp on it because at this point in the season it means just a little more but I don't care who FCD is playing right now, they win their home games no matter what. I expect a close one tonight but FCD should manage to pull it out.

FC Dallas 2, RSL 1

What is your prediction for tonight's game? Let's hear it below.