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The Hat Trick, Week 18: Can FC Dallas down New England?

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FC Dallas has an up and down week of MLS and Open Cup play. What does it all mean?

Matthew Emmons-USA TODAY Sports

A 2-0 win over the rival Dynamo last Saturday was somewhat diluted by the team's 6-2 loss to Kansas City in the 5th round of the U.S. Open Cup. Here are three thoughts as we turn our attention to the July 4th game.

F.C. Phone Home

There's nothing to cure road woes like some home cooking, right? After the long, stressful and downright miserable road trip, FC Dallas treated fans to a complete performance in a 2-0 defeat of the Houston Dynamo. The home win was much needed to give the team some breathing room.While the 6-2 loss in Kansas City on Wednesday did not help things, we at least now know that the team will have it's sole focus on the MLS Cup — I know, that's a crappy silver lining.

Fabi-lous

We assumed earlier in the year that Mauro Diaz has the most influence on the team and that as he goes, the team goes. Now, it seems that the core of the team has moved over to Fabian Castillo. His importance and impact on the team is seen in both of the last two games. In one, he's stellar, playing a major role in both goals. On Wednesday, he doesn't play and we see the team struggle to challenge the Kansas City net. Fabian's durability is going to be tested because it's clear that this team needs him in order to make them the team we all think they're capable of being.

May The Fourth Be With You

Saturday night marks the 11th consecutive year that FC Dallas has played an Independence Day game at home, with all but three of those games falling exactly on the 4th. FC Dallas has been incredibly successful in those games, going 5-4-1. The team hasn't lost a July 4th game since 2006, when they lost 1-0 to DC United. Last year, the team beat Philadelphia 2-1 in front of 21,000+ fans.

If FC Dallas can continue their winning ways on the Fourth, this might help erase the memories of a rough stretch for the team, and start the second half of summer right.