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Behind Enemy Lines: Scouting Real Salt Lake

FC Dallas meets up with Real Salt Lake for the second time in the team's last three games. This time though, FCD doesn't hold an unbeaten streak.

Russ Isabella-USA TODAY Sports

FC Dallas saw their unbeaten streak snapped last Saturday in Chicago.

This week FCD will try to find their way back to the winning side of things, but will have to do it at the hands of Western Conference rival Real Salt Lake Saturday.

Injury Report

Although RSL will be without a handful of players, they will still field a solid 11 and bench.

Out - F Jordan Allen (knee), D Rich Balchan (abductor), M John Stertzer (R tibia).

Doubtful - F Alvaro Saborio

International Duty

Goalkeeper Nick Rimando makes it back to the field after picking up a cap for USA in Wednesday's friendly with Czech Republic. However, RSL will be without defender Carlos Salcedo, who will be at the Mexico U-21 camp. Joao Plata is also out with Ecuador.

Probable Lineup

RSL head coach Jeff Cassar has seen his men most successful in the 4-3-1-2 formation with Javier Morales playing just behind his two strikers up top. The lineup will be very similar to RSL's match against San Jose last Saturday with Wingert possibly making his return to the starting 11 over Abdoulie Mansally.

GK: Nick Rimando; RB: Tony Beltran; CB: Chris Schuler, Nat Borchers; LB: Chris Wingert; CDM: Kyle Beckerman; RM: Luke Mulholland; LM: Ned Grabavoy; CAM: Javier Morales; RF: Olmes Garcia; LF: Robbie Findley

Key Matchup

Michel and Victor Ulloa vs. Beckerman - The Hoops' offense only forced Chicago's goalkeeper Sean Johnson was only forced to make two saves. Michel finds his way back to the lineup after missing last week's game due to suspension. His performance will be critical to FCD against a steady Beckerman just above his backline. The two will have to work the midfield and find good passes to their two forwards while having to fight off the dreaded - figuratively and literally - defensive mid.

Keys to Three Points

Score. Obvious, yes, but FCD saw a shutout performance for their offense for the first time since June 29 in Columbus, and it was the first time since May 4 that a scoreless performance led them to a loss. Tesho Akindele and Fabian Castillo will have to shake off last week's performance and find the back of the net early. It'll be tough against the USMNT star Rimando, but Dallas did it at home with ten men, the Hoops surely should be able to do it with 11. FCD needs to take early shots and take advantage of any free space in the attacking third.

Messing with the maestro. Dallas was fortunate enough to not have to deal with Javier Morales in the teams' last meeting August 22. The Hoops won't get the same luck this time around. The center attacking mid will make the start and will be sure to trouble the FCD back four. Morales leads RSL scorers with eight goals, most recently converting a penalty kick against San Jose last week. Dallas can't afford to concede another red card or a penalty to RSL, a team who has seen its opposition go down a man or been given a penalty in 12 of their last 15 matches. Moreover, Morales has connected all four of his penalty kicks this season.

Overcoming RSL's revenge. Momentum lies with RSL in this one. Not only are they looking for sweet revenge against a conference foe, but RSL is also seeking to return to the top of the Western Conference. The team went from first to fifth in just a week. This time around, the ball is in their field, Rio Tinto Stadium. RSL is 7-1-5 on the season at home and holds a 83-17-28 all-time record at home. The team tacked another sellout to extend their streak to 10. It won't be easy for FCD, but they'll have to rid any mental disadvantages if they want to return with three points in hand.