We're now getting into the thick of things in the summer months for FC Dallas. We've moved past the spring swoon and now we're heading straight towards a key part of the season that will likely be a big make-or-break period that could determine a lot of things with regards to the playoffs later this fall.
Why is this month such a big deal? When you have three out of four games at home, it means you absolutely should be gobbling up points left and right.
USOC: Sporting KC - away - July 1 (7:30 pm)
Out of the gate to start the month we have our next US Open Cup match in KC. Winning this match means that FCD will host the winner of Colorado-Houston later in the month on either July 21 or 22.
New England - home - July 4 (8:00 pm)
Once FCD gets done with SKC this week they will immediately have to turn their attention on New England, a team that has had some ups and downs this season of their own. They won just once in their last ten games but some how are still second in the Eastern Conference. They'll be without a couple key players for this one as Andrew Farrell picked up a red card in their last game. The Revs could give FCD fits but this should be a meeting that FCD can succeed in, even without some players that are gone for the Gold Cup.
Orlando City - away - July 11 (6:30 pm)
The first trip to Florida for FCD in MLS since the days of the Mutiny and the Fusion. Orlando is a totally different team at home than when they are on the road. Their turf at the Citrus Bowl isn't bad but it does complicate things a bit for players that aren't exactly used to it.
D.C. United - home - July 18 (8:00 pm)
Currently DCU is one of the best sides in MLS. Which continues to baffle me considering their roster isn't exactly deep with big names or anything. Ben Olsen just continues to find ways to plug players in and get results. Out of the four matches in league play this one, this one could arguably be the toughest.
Portland Timbers - home - July 25 (8:00 pm)
I honestly do not know what to make of the Timbers. In one week they'll get blown out by the Galaxy and then blow out the Sounders. On the road they aren't nearly as good as they are at home, which should fit well for FCD as the Hoops look to get a bit of revenge for dropping their final home game of 2014 to the Timbers.
To say that this is a 10 point or bust kind of month may be an understatement. I always say that you win your home games at almost any cost, and that needs to be the goal for the month. Win the three at home and pick up a point on the road in Orlando. The question becomes however, can FCD actually do it with the five players missing for the Gold Cup and with any other potential injuries or suspensions that may pop up during this time?
It is a tricky month too. While those home games should be wins, they are all no cake walks. Is six points too little to ask? The Portland game itself is a 'six-pointer'. So is it eight points? Time to discuss this below.