The final week of the regular season is here. FC Dallas needs just a single point in tomorrow’s game against the LA Galaxy to pick up the Supporters’ Shield trophy. Winning the Shield would be FCD’s second trophy of 2016, after the club won the US Open Cup in September.
The Galaxy enter Sunday’s game with third place locked up in the Western Conference going into the playoffs.
FC Dallas notes:
Injury update. For the first time in ages the injury report is a bit crowded. Zach Loyd remains out with a concussion while Mauro Diaz (Achilles) joins him. Kellyn Acosta and Carlos Ruiz are both questionable as well for this one.
Life without Mauro. According to the club’s game notes, Diaz has missed 37 regular‐season games since arriving in Dallas in the middle of the 2013 season. In 2014, FCD's record was 6‐7‐4 in games that Diaz missed. In 2015, the mark was 4‐5‐1. This season Dallas went 3‐1‐2 without Diaz.
Playing on shuffle. Over the first 33 games of the MLS regular season, Oscar Pareja has utilized 29 different lineups. In 41 games across all competitions in 2016, FC Dallas has used 35 unique lineups.
Key player for FCD: Carlos Gruezo. Now that FCD is down to only one Designated Player healthy going into the post season, Gruezo has to be the man in the midfield that steps up to help keep the defense from being pressured and to help be the link to move the ball forward into the attack. He always did a remarkable job letting Diaz run free, now the pressure is on him a bit more.
Biggest question: Can FCD do enough to get a point?
Tiebreakers are in FCD’s favor going into this game as they only need a draw to beat the Rapids for the Shield. But as we’ve seen this season, nothing is easy on the road. I do think Thursday’s performance in Guatemala showed that this group can ban together and shine when they need to though.
Injury update: Out – Gyasi Zardes (foot) Questionable – Robbie Keane (hip), Steven Gerrard (hamstring)
Key player for LA: Giovani dos Santos. While there is some debate as to whether or not Bruce Arena rests some key guys like dos Santos for this game. The fact remains, if he is one the field, he is the most dangerous guy for the Galaxy this season.
How to watch
Match date/time: Sunday, 10/23, 3:00PM
Venue: Stub Hub Center, Carson, CA
Online: Fox Sports to Go
Weather Forecast: Sunny, 74 degrees
Look out for our game thread, which will go up an hour before kick off.