FC Dallas has started the year hotter than anyone else in the league as they're the only team with the full six points so far. The team now heads east for their first road match of the year against Philadelphia Union. Here's what to watch for Friday night.
Not in Frisco Anymore
For as well as FC Dallas played at home last season, they were equally lackluster on the road, only taking 17 of 51 possible points (4-5-8). If FCD wants to compete for the supporters shield, they'll have to improve their road play. FC Dallas should look to rely on their set piece talent if open play fails on the road. The Union have given up three goals this year and they've all been on set pieces; look for the team to take advantage of that.
Tale of Two Games
The first two games of the year from a passing standpoint were very different. The team controlled 11% less of the possession in the SKC game than the SJ game, while also having a 10% lower passing percentage. The most glaring difference might've been the drop from 61% to 47% final third passing. FCD needs to look to be more accurate on final third passes and maintain more possession. If this team gets too much on their heels on the road, success will be much harder to maintain.
Quality, Not Quantity
Something that FC Dallas has done well thus far is taking quality shots. The team has the second-best ratio of shots to shots on goal in the league (10 of 22). FC Dallas didn't take many shots last season either, the third fewest, but they also didn't put a ton of them on frame. If this team can continue to work towards making quality shots and not throw away a ton of possession with bad shots, the team can continue to fair very well offensively. This will surely play a factor as the Union only allowed two shots in their only home game against Colorado two weeks ago.
That's all I've got for this game. I hope you tune in and we'll see if FCD can move to three wins in as many games.