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Things to watch for as FC Dallas takes on D.C. United

Here are three key items to watch for tonight.

MLS: CONCACAF Champions League-Queretaro at D.C. United Brad Mills-USA TODAY Sports

FC Dallas goes into Washington, DC seeking their first road win of the season against DC United in a game that will surely test their depth as a number of key players are on international duty. Saturday will prove to be yet another intriguing matchup to start the season, here are some of the things you should look for.

MLS: Toronto FC at FC Dallas Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports

Next Man Up

While the midfield and attack is expected to remain the same come game time, there will certainly be changes to the defense as Kellyn Acosta, Walker Zimmerman, Atiba Harris, and Maynor Figueroa have been called to their respective international sides. Not to mention Jesse Gonzalez and Tesho Akindele. Needless to say, FC Dallas will have to rely on their depth to get three points at RFK.

Hedges and Hollingshead will likely return to the Starting XI but look for Zach Loyd to make his first appearance this season and possibly the MLS debut of Homegrown defender Aaron Guillen. It will be interesting to watch how he meshes with the established chemistry of the veteran defenders.

The biggest change to the lineup will be in goal as Chris Seitz will start his first game since April 19th of last year against Toronto FC. Seitz started the first 7 games last year going 4-2-1 allowing 1 goal in the first four games with 3 clean sheets, while also allowing 9 goals over his next three starts last year. Which Seitz will we see this weekend?

MLS: Philadelphia Union at FC Dallas Tim Heitman-USA TODAY Sports

FC Dallas Attack vs Short Handed DC Defense

If FC Dallas are going to get their first road win of the season, this could be a great opportunity to do so. DC United doesn’t have nearly the amount of players out for the international break, but they will be missing star defenseman Steve Birnbaum. FCD will look to exploit this weakness with their lethal front four and hopefully get off to a quick start to ensure their home form continues on the road. The Argentinian Connection appears to be going just swimmingly ever since Maxi Urruti and Mauro Diaz have been united, and both will be key to controlling the tempo early on in the game and prevent another terrible start.

FC Dallas v DC United Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images

Can FC Dallas Right The Ship On The Road?

When you look at DC United you see that they are very much a home team, similar to FC Dallas. This may make it difficult for FC Dallas to develop some road momentum as DCU will have plenty to prove, just like the Dynamo did two weeks ago. Not only that, the last two trips to the Capitol City have resulted in 4-1 losses. The lessons learned from Houston should help FC Dallas to come out aggressive and play with a high sense of urgency against a good team eager for their first win. As Nat Borcher’s once said, "You make your money on the road in this league.", and if FC Dallas wants to hold themselves to a championship-level standard they have to get it together on the road.