FC Dallas notes:
Sporting's form. Sporting saw its winless streak extended to five games with a fourth loss in that time, after a 3‐1 defeat by Orlando City SC on Sunday, Sept. 13 at the Citrus Bowl. Sporting has given up 16 goals in their last six matches.
Team scoring. According to the club's game notes, This is the first season since 2005 (Ruiz 11, Roberto Mina 7, Ronnie O'Brien 6, Ramon Nunez 5, Eddie Johnson 5) that FC Dallas has had five players with five or more goals (Fabian Castillo 9, Mauro Diaz 5, Tesho Akindele 5, Michael Barrios 5, Blas Perez 5).
First goal is key. FCD has a 13‐1‐2 record this season when scoring first. Dallas' only loss was a 2‐1 defeat to the LA Galaxy on Aug. 15.
Playing the kids and breaking records. 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 5,289 minutes (19.7%) played by Homegrown players Victor Ulloa, Moises Hernandez, Kellyn Acosta, Alejandro Zendejas, Coy Craft and Jesse Gonzalez. The New England Revolution rank second with 3,802 minutes played. Dallas' Homegrowns have logged 1,400+ more minutes than any other team in MLS this season.
Barrios heating up. Barrios has scored four goals and an assist in his last seven matches (630 minutes of action). In Barrios first 90‐minute appearance of the season, he netted a brace in a 4‐1 win against Portland on July 25. He hasn't come off the pitch since. He has played 90 minutes in each of the last seven games.
Key player for FCD: Matt Hedges. I haven't focused on the defense in a while but this will be a game that Dallas has to have some tough defense and it all starts with the captain. Hedges will be going up against an offense that has scored fairly well over the last couple of weeks (despite the losing streak). SKC may be in desperation mode in this one, so expect a lot of pace coming at FCD.
Biggest question: Can FCD handle the pace and energy SKC brings?
Let's face it, Dallas has struggled against teams that come at them with pace. SKC is not on top form but they are always dangerous at home and given how the last two trips to Kansas City went, Dallas cannot afford to come out relaxed in this one. If FCD can handle the early onslaught of energy and pace from SKC, they could find themselves leaving the midwest with some points.
Depending on who starts for FCD in this one, I think there will be some early struggles in this one that could yield to a goal being given up in the first half. Though, if this team can catch SKC on the counter like they would want to, I think a point is do-able in this one. Either way, this game screams draw to me.
FCD 1, SKC 1
How to watch
Match date/time: Friday, 9/18, 6:00PM
Venue: Sporting Park, Kansas City, KS
Online: Univision Deportes
Look out for our game thread, which will go up an hour before kick off.