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Behind Enemy Lines: Scouting Colorado Rapids

Can FC Dallas pull the big road upset here?

MLS: Sporting KC at Colorado Rapids Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports

FC Dallas head out to Colorado after their win against Houston to take on the Colorado Rapids for top of the west.

Unstoppable Force

Colorado have gone unbeaten since early April in the MLS, and their only defeat in that span has come to FC Dallas in Frisco during extra time of the Open Cup. They are unbeaten at home and currently favorites for the Supporter’s Shield. Dallas control their own destiny. It is crucial not to lose this game for Dallas, and a win would be a massive statement towards the Shield and the rest of the league.

Potential Lineup

Colorado will miss Sean St. Ledger and Dillon Serna, and may miss Jermaine Jones as well.

GK: Tim Howard; LB: Mikil Williams; CB: Axel Sjoberg, Jared Watts; RB: Eric Miller; CM: Sam Cronin, Michael Azira, Dillon Powers; RW: Marco Pappa; LW: Shkelzan Gashi; FW: Kevin Doyle.

Key Matchup

Maxi Urruti vs. Axel Sjoberg. Sjoberg is one of the best center-backs in the league and is part of the reason the Rapids have the best defense. Dallas have a lot of weapons up top, but it will be important for Urruti to do all the little things Saturday night. His pressure and runs could open up space between the defense. If Dallas have a chance at three points, it will be imperative that they force Colorado into some mistakes.

Keys to Three Points

Play the whole 90.

Colorado have become known for their late game-winners. Dallas have a similar quality this season. Both teams need to play to the whistle, because the last 15 minutes of this game might be the most important.

Attack Attack Attack.

Dallas has become increasingly more dangerous going forward, but they need to be more clinical and less wasteful against a smart Colorado. Better crosses and better finishing will be key for Dallas to acquire three points.

Tired Legs.

Dallas are coming off a humid win in Houston on Wednesday. The first team will have a few tired legs and may see some rotation. Oscar Pareja will need to make smart changes to the line-up and good substitutions during the match in order to keep the team fresh.

Prediction

Dallas takes a step towards the Shield with a massive win in Colorado.

My Prediction: 2-1 FC Dallas.