FC Dallas notes:
Castillo's form. According to the club's game notes, when Fabian Castillo has three or more shots, FC Dallas is 10‐2‐2. When he fails to log three or more in a match, FCD is 3‐7‐2. The 2015 MLS All‐Star scored his ninth goal of the season vs. RSL on Aug. 29.
First goal is key. FCD has a 13‐1‐2 record this season when scoring first. Dallas' only loss was a 2‐1 defeat to the LA Galaxy on Aug. 15.
Playing the kids. Dallas' Homegrown players logged a league high 4,607 minutes (14%) of the team's total minutes in 2014. Dallas is leading the charge in MLS again this season with 5,469 minutes (19.7%) played by Victor Ulloa, Moises Hernandez, Kellyn Acosta, Alejandro Zendejas, Coy Craft and Jesse Gonzalez. The Revolution rank second with 4,029 minutes played. Dallas' Homegrowns have logged 1,400+ more minutes than any other team in MLS.
Penalties. FC Dallas has had four penalties called against it in the last four matches for a total of nine this season - most in MLS in 2015 (tied with Real Salt Lake).
Key player for FCD: David Texeira. Say what you will about Tex, the guy has found ways this season to come up pretty good against teams like Houston. A lot will depend on how the wings play in this one but Texeira does a good job of putting himself in spots around the defense to make it difficult for the opposing team to clog up passing lanes up top. FCD will need him to work at his best in this one to secure three more points.
Biggest question: Can the Dallas defense regain its form?
The amount of goals given up lately is a bit of a concern. Six in two games is never a good thing but some slack can be given for them being on the road and with a banged up midfield in front of them. Going up against the likes of Will Bruin and Erick Torres, the back four will have to lock down the channels and not allow Houston to play direct in the way that they would like to.
Returning home seems to be the magic touch for FCD at the moment. They know this is a game they have to win to continue on with getting a good position in the playoffs. I think the speed on the outside with Castillo and Barrios plays a big factor in this one, while Diaz does his thing in the middle.
FCD 2, Houston 1
How to watch
Match date/time: Sunday, 10/4, 4:00PM
Venue: Toyota Stadium, Frisco, TX
TV: ESPN 2
Online: Watch ESPN
Look out for our game thread, which will go up an hour before kick off.