It is a new day and a new month in Major League Soccer for FC Dallas. The club returns home following their exit in the CONCACAF Champions League on Tuesday to Pachuca as they host expansion side Minnesota United FC for the first time.
Minnesota is coming off their first win in MLS last week, a 4-2 win over a struggling Real Salt Lake side.
FC Dallas notes:
Injury update. The injury report has started to lighten a bit for the club as Mauro Diaz (Achilles) and Anibal Chala (sports hernia) are the only two listed as out for this one. I would toss out Ryan Hollingshead as well as he is only really in his second full week of training after his neck injury.
Suspended. Maynor Figueroa picked up a retro-active red for his tackle in the New England game last month. He’ll be out of action tomorrow against Minnesota.
Run of play defense. According to the club’s game notes, through three MLS matches this season, Dallas has not allowed a goal during the run of play. FCD’s only goals against have come from the penalty spot, one versus the LA Galaxy on March 4 and another against Sporting KC on March 18 – Dallas recovered from the calls to prevail, 2‐1, in both matches.
Against expansion teams. FC Dallas is 6‐4‐2 all time in the first meeting against MLS expansion teams. That record improves to 3‐0‐1 in matches played in Dallas. FCD has outscored expansion sides 8‐3 in home matches.
Key player for FCD: Michael Barrios. I’ve been a bit unimpressed by Mikey’s play this season but it is certainly still early before we make a decision on him. This is the kind of game and defense that could really allow him to open up and be more of himself on the wings.
Biggest question: Will there be any sort of CCL hangover?
I asked this last time FCD played a MLS game and I will continue to ask it here. We know MLS teams tend to struggle following their CCL runs but this FCD team does appear to have the depth to withstand that sort of hangover. Not to mention, getting a poor defensive team like Minnesota right away, may be the fix they need.
Key player for MNUFC: Christian Ramirez. Right now, the one bright spot for this team has been Ramirez and his team-high four goals. If Dallas is able to stop him from getting the ball around the 18-yard box, they’ll stand a good chance at stopping this team.
Goals given up. Right now Minnesota’s defense is giving up goals at an alarming rate. In five games, they’ve conceded 20 goals, for a 4.0 goals a game average. Yikes.
Out: Bernardo Anor (L Lower Leg Injury), Thomas De Villardi (L Achilles)
Questionable: John Alvbage (L Knee Injury), Patrick McLain (Concussion)
How to watch
Match date/time: Saturday, 4/8, 7:00PM
Venue: Toyota Stadium, Frisco, TX
Online: MLS Live, FCDallas.com (DFW only)
Radio: 100.7 FM (English), 1270 AM (Spanish)
Weather Forecast: Clear, 74 degrees
Look out for our game thread, which will go up an hour before kick off.