Week one is in the books as we all know. FC Dallas got off to a good start with three points in the pocket against San Jose last weekend. Now they turn their sights to a new conference rival in Sporting Kansas City.
FC Dallas has not beaten SKC at home since 2010 and the two clubs have traded draws each of the last two seasons.
FC Dallas notes:
Out: Coy Craft (shoulder), Stephen Keel (right foot)
Alejandro Zendejas - U17 national team
Level terms. FC Dallas and Sporting Kansas City have played to draws each of the last two seasons, including a 1‐1 result last year at Sporting Park. The teams are back in the same conference for the first time since 2004. They met in the Western Conference semifinals all the way back in 1996, the first playoff series for both clubs.
2014 mark already match. Even though FCD had a franchise‐record eight game win streak at Toyota Stadium in 2014, FCD shut out only one opponent at home in the entire season. The home shutout did not occur until the 20th game of the season. This season, FC Dallas shut out the San Jose Earthquakes on opening number of shutouts at Toyota Stadium in 2014. Boom, totals matched.
Key player for FCD: Fabian Castillo. The young Colombian showed his speed and technical ability last weekend against SJ. With Sporting missing several key defenders this weekend, it will be a good chance for Castillo to open his goal scoring account on the season.
Biggest question: Does Oscar Pareja mix up the lineups any?
The 4-4-2 last weekend was a bit of a gamble but in the end it paid off with three points. Sporting is a team that plays rather directly in a 4-3-3 system, which means there will be space on the wings for FCD to open this game up. Sticking to the 4-4-2 may be a good move for Pareja, especially if he uses the speed that he has on the wings. The bigger question may actually be, who starts in goal this time around?
I like FCD's chances in this one to improve to 2-0-0 here. SKC didn't look particularly great in their season opener against New York and with Matt Besler out due to a red card suspension, it only increases the chances. The key will be making sure Dom Dwyer doesn't get too much room to run at the Dallas defense or that Benny Feilhaber doesn't have a lot of time on the ball to create. If FCD does well at those two things while creating plenty of chances on goal, I see no reason to think why they can't escape this one with three points.
FCD 2, SKC1
How to watch
Match date/time: Saturday 3/7, 7:30 PM
Venue: Toyota Stadium, Frisco, TX
TV: TXA 21
Online: MLS Live
Look out for our game thread, which will go up an hour before today's game kicks off.