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Behind Enemy Lines: Scouting Sporting Kansas City

Zusi, Dwyer in, Besler out. What does Kansas City bring to Frisco?

John Rieger-USA TODAY Sports

After a late game-winner to San Jose last week in the teams' season opener, FC Dallas turns its attention to Sporting Kansas City.

Sporting KC enters Toyota Stadium following its season opening draw to New York Red Bulls. FCD has not beaten SKC at home since 2010.

Injury and Suspension Report

Not making the trip to Frisco - at least not to play - are defenders Chance Myers and Matt Besler. Myers is suffering from an injury to his left Achilles. Besler was dismissed with a red card in last week's game and will serve a one-game suspension.

Probable Lineup

Last week Sporting KC played with two defensive midfielders. Kansas City could transition that to one while continuing to play with five midfielders.

GK: Luis Marin;  LB: Seth Sinovic; CB: Jalil Anibaba, Ike Opara; RB: Amadou Dia; DM: Benny Feilhaber; LM: Bernardo Anor; CM: Roger Espinoza, Krisztian Nemeth; RM: Graham Zusi; F: Dom Dwyer

Key Matchup

Fabian Castillo vs. Zusi. A battle of two well skilled outside midfielders will be on display Saturday. Castillo had a slow start last week before he began to really take off. While Moises Hernandez will support Castillo in containing Zusi's early crosses, Castillo will have to find a way to control the width and get past Zusi to set up one-on-ones with Dia.

Keys to Three Points

Exposing the centerbacks. Besler out of the game is a huge advantage for the Hoops. FCD needs to make the most of being matched up with a defense already down one before the first whistle. In last week's win, Dallas barely had cracks at goal. The Hoops combined for only five shots on goal with three from Blas Perez and only one from Tesho Akindele. That has to be fixed between now and Saturday's kickoff.

Contain KC's crosses. Kansas City was successful on 38 percent of its crosses last week. A small percentage on paper, but the number is high for a key component of the game. With the talent KC has on the wings and the ability for any man to step on either side of the cross, this could be a concern for Dallas. Sporting KC's lone goal last week came off a cross in the 50th minute to an unmarked Opara. Dallas can't afford to be on the defeating end of a cross.

Develop plays. Dallas struggled in quality buildups last week which is surprising for a team filled with talent down the wings and in the midfield. The Hoops need to do better working the wings and providing good takes on goal. FCD likes to bring the outside backs up, but if they are going to do this, it needs to be worth it. Hernandez provided great opportunities when he pushed up, but Harris didn't prove to be dangerous when he streaked down the side. Dallas barely scraped by on possession battle to San Jose, 52.1-47.9. Dallas can do a better job this week.