The two point leaders in MLS last year face off Friday night as FC Dallas heads to New Jersey to face the New York Red Bulls. FC Dallas is looking to rebound from a tough game in Vancouver last week while New York is coming off a much needed win after losing four straight. This will be another game where FC Dallas faces a talented team desperate for a win, so they will be tested for sure. Luckily, we have an old friend returning.
The Return of Mauro Diaz
The return of Mauro Diaz appears imminent this weekend and I cannot wait to see how we look with him back in the lineup. This will be nothing but a good thing for a team coming off a 3-0 loss. Just seeing him in uniform last week was gave me an immense reassuring vibe even though the game was lost. I would expect his reinsertion into the lineup will open the passing lanes more and bring it back to the fast pace style we're accustomed to. Even though he has had some injury issues throughout his career, he has started nearly all the games he's been in the lineup going back to last season.
He is a very integral part to FC Dallas and how the offense flows throughout a game. This will bring an added comfort level on the road which is exactly what a team rebounding off a loss needs.
How FCD Responds Against Another Team Hungry For a Win
Most of FCD's road games this year have come against teams hungry for a win or having something to prove. This will also be the case this week, as the Red Bull's look to reverse their rough start to the season and continue winning and hitting their stride as some believe. As we've seen in road games past, getting an early goal is a huge key to road success. FC Dallas will need to come out and impose their will on the game from the opening whistle.
The Red Bull's may well be just finding their form, and they know how important this game is to getting back on the right track. Eliminating their crowd and spirit early will go a long way in them getting three points.
Bounce Back Team
This season FC Dallas has responded quite well going unbeaten over six games after their loss in Houston. Last season FCD lost back to back games four times, going 4-4-1 after a loss. FC Dallas' role of a being a bounce back team this season must continue with Supporter's Shield aspirations in sight. What better time to prove that against the team that beat you out for that trophy last year on goal differential.