As the team comes back from a week off, they jump right back into the heat of the Western Conference race as Los Angeles comes to town. What should we expect from the team? My three thoughts:
Big Game Players
This season, FC Dallas is 6-2-4 in games against current playoff teams, including wins against D.C. United and LA Galaxy and losing all four games on the road. The team still has seven games left against teams of that nature and if they want to challenge for a supporter's shield, they'll have to play well in those games, especially road match-ups.
The team has won three straight games against playoff teams, all coming at home, and they'll have to continue that trend against LA knowing that it's going to be much harder to get those same three points on the road.
There's a lot of speculation that this Saturday's game is going to be a sell-out, which would be the team's first of the year and first since July 4th, 2014. The attendance would be welcomed as the team's average attendance has dipped to second-lowest in the league and controversy has started floating around about the prices for season tickets next season.
The team is averaging 1,400 less fans per-game this season, despite an equally successful season. With that being said, attendance numbers figure to jump up in the final months as the playoffs loom and the games begin to count more.
Towards the end of the summer, FC Dallas added three players to the roster that would in theory help the team to a top playoff seed: Bakary Soumare, Rolando Escobar and Ezequiel Cirigliano. So far, only Escobar has seen the field for a total of 148 minutes, while the other two haven't made an appearance yet.
As of now, the team isn't really in dire need of any lineup or roster change, which of course bodes well for the team. These players were brought in to help the team as reinforcements, but so far, the season's original roster seems to being doing the job well enough. While many teams in the league were pushing to find that one missing piece, FC Dallas might already have all the pieces they need and to shake up the lineup would be to risk altering the balance that has the team third in the league in ppg, only .03 back of the leader.
There's no question tonight is a huge game and I hope you enjoy it!