FC Dallas hopes to extend their winning streak to three games in league play this weekend as they visit Orlando City SC for the first meeting in the two club's history.
FC Dallas notes:
Blas Pere (Panama), Tesho Akindele and Kyle Bekker (Canada), Moises Hernandez (Guatemala), Je-Vaughn Watson (Jamaica), Coy Craft (US U-18s)
Diaz heating up. According to the club's game notes, Mauro Diaz scored a goal and added an assist in the win against the Revolution, the second time this season and the fourth time in his career he's been involved in multiple goals in the same MLS game. Diaz has a goal and two assists in the last two matches.
No penalties. FC Dallas is one of two clubs in MLS (Columbus being the other) that have yet to earn a penalty kick this season. Orlando on the other hand leads the league with five penalties earned.
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.
Homegrown depth. Dallas' Homegrown players logged a league high 4,607 minutes or 14% of the team's total minutes in 2014 (61GP, 50GS). Dallas is leading the charge in MLS again this season with 2,937 minutes (18.54%) played by Homegrown players Victor Ulloa, Moises Hernandez, Kellyn Acosta, Coy Craft and Alejandro Zendejas. The LA Galaxyrank second with 2,550 minutes played.
Atiba at right back. You may not like to hear this but since acquiring Atiba Harris in the Re-Entry Draft and converting him to a right back, FCD is 6-1-2 on the season with a goals against average of just 0.55. FCD has seven shutouts in those games as well.
Key player(s) for FCD: Mauro Diaz and Fabian Castillo. Normally I pick one player out for this but I'm cheating a bit with these two given their current hot streaks. These two are the reason why this club has bounced back after a six-game winless streak in May and June. For FCD to get through this tough patch of games ahead on the calendar, these two have to continue to lead the way in the attack. Given all of Orlando's absences this weekend, they should have a big night in Florida.
Biggest question: Will the turf cause too many issues?
FCD may have trained on turf for most of the week in Frisco but going on the road to play of turf is always a tricky subject to deal with. Given how Orlando is projected to start a very weak back four with injuries listed for Brek Shea and Aurellien Collin, I think once the game settles in and Dallas begins to control the tempo and possession of the game, the turf will be a pretty non-factor.
I look at what Orlando will be missing with Kaka out and Cyle Larin gone to the Gold Cup along with the other injuries and I have to think this game FCD can come away with a result from.
FCD 2, ORL 1
How to watch
Match date/time: Saturday, 7/11, 6:30PM
Venue: Citrus Bowl, Orlando, FL
Online: MLS Live
Look out for our game thread, which will go up an hour before kick off.