SKC enters this match after downing USL side St. Louis in the fourth round while FCD took care of business a couple weeks back in Fort Worth by beating Oklahoma City.
FC Dallas notes:
*Questionable: Rolando Escobar (hamstring)
Blas Perez (Panama), Tesho Akindele and Kyle Bekker (Canada)
Call ups. FC Dallas has lost a total of 25 player matches for MLS games this season due to international call‐ups. Across all competitions, Dallas has lost 29 player matches.
Shuffling lineups. Being that it is a midweek USOC game, we could see a mix of players out on the field tonight. I have a gut feeling though that Oscar Pareja will start a fairly strong lineup in this one as the USOC always tends to be something that the club sets as a priority each season.
Key player for FCD: Victor Ulloa. The FCD Homegrown was on the MLS Team of the Week for a good reason after the Houston game and he will have to be doubly big in this one against a good SKC team. If he can help shut down guys like Benny Feilhaber, FCD will have a good shot at controlling the tempo in this game.
Biggest question: Will legs be too tired for this one?
We know that the road has been very unkind to FCD as of late, including a trip to Kansas City that saw Sporting absolutely dominate FCD from start to finish. Both teams are coming off weekend results, so we could see some tired legs out of both sides that cause issues in this game. I do think having guys like Michael Barrios play more minutes in this one could help boost the chances that FCD has to escape this round.
Bonus question: How much will we get out of Mauro Diaz?
In games like this, I often wonder how much we'll actually get out of a guy like Diaz. If he starts, will he go the full 90? If he doesn't, will he come off the bench late in the game? Or will Pareja opt to save him for the weekend and focus on league games instead? Okay, that was definitely more than one question in the bonus round but it is something to really ponder for tonight.
My gut tells me that this won't be an easy one for FCD to get out of. SKC is a good team that also doesn't have a weekend game to deal with this week, so they are going to be able to put a better lineup out on the field than FC Dallas will. I think FCD will keep it close but I see SKC surviving this round and moving on to battle Houston later this month.
FCD 1, SKC 2
How to watch
Match date/time: Wednesday, 7/1, 7:30PM
Venue: Sporting Park, Kansas City, KS
Look out for our game thread, which will go up an hour before kick off.