FC Dallas notes:
Blue kits. With the Fire being a team that wears red at home, FC Dallas will be donning their road blue kits this weekend. FC Dallas is 2‐0‐2 this season in matches that the team wears its blue kits.
Quality in shots. According to the game notes, FC Dallas currently ranks 16th among MLS teams in shots, it is currently third in goals scored (32). Dallas' opponent Sunday, Chicago, is quite the contrast ranking fourth overall in shots but 18th in goals scored.
One goal games. FC Dallas leads MLS with a 4‐1‐0 record in matches decided by a single goal. Last season, FC Dallas played in the most games decided by a single goal (19) but finished the season with just a .526 winning percentage (10‐9‐0).
Playing the kids. 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 inMLS again this season with 3,872 minutes (18.6%) played by Homegrownplayers Victor Ulloa, Moises Hernandez, Kellyn Acosta and Alejandro Zendejas. The LA Galaxy rank second with 2,857 minutes played. Dallas'Homegrowns have logged 1,000 more minutes than any other team.
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 9-1-2 on the season with a goals against average of just 0.583. FCD has eight shutouts in those games as well.
Key player for FCD: Mauro Diaz. The midfield has been the key for Dallas over the last month and a half, partly due to how well Diaz has been playing on offense. Chicago is a team that remains fairly compact in the back and if Diaz can spread out the Fire's midfield and defense with his passes, it will open up the game more in the attack like Dallas was able to do in the second half against Portland last week.
Biggest question: Will this be a game the club takes a stumble in with the bye week ahead?
I'm always a little leery of a pending bye week on the calendar and with FC Dallas getting their first one of the season next week, I do wonder if the club will go into that break with another win or if they will overlook this Fire team and stumble on the road.
I'm still fairly confident that this team will rise to the occasion and pick up points this weekend on the road. Chicago isn't nearly on the same level as Dallas but they do have some talent that can be dangerous if FCD lets them hang around. I think getting the likes of Blas Perez and Je-Vaughn Watson back into the mix will be part of how Dallas leaves Chicago not only with a win but with the Brimstone Cup.
FCD 2, Chicago 1
How to watch
Match date/time: Sunday, 8/2, 6:00PM
Venue: Toyota Park, Bridgeview, IL
TV: Fox Sports 1
Online: Fox Sports 2 Go
Look out for our game thread, which will go up an hour before kick off.