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Behind Enemy Lines: Scouting the Colorado Rapids

It feels like yesterday that we saw the Rapids.

MLS: Colorado Rapids at FC Dallas Tim Heitman-USA TODAY Sports

FC Dallas head to Colorado, just a week and a half after breaking their winless streak against the Rapids in Frisco.

Colo-redo

Colorado will feel like they were just not good enough last meeting. The team put up very little fight as Dallas cruised to their first win in a long time. That Colorado team looked woeful. No ideas going forward, and totally feeble at the back. This is an opportunity for Colorado to take a mulligan and put on a better performance in front of their home crowd.

Potential Lineup

Colorado will miss Michael Azira for this weeks rematch.

GK: Tim Howard; LB: Mekeil Williams; CB: Axel Sjoberg, Kortne Ford; RB: Mike Da Fonte; CM: Jared Watts, Mohammed Saied, Bismark Boateng; RW: Stefan Aigner; LW: Dillon Serna; FW: Dominic Badji.

Key Matchup

Mauro Diaz vs. Mohammed Saied. While the previous match was a story of Hernan Grana assists and late runs in the box, it seems likely that Colorado will have a better grasp on the Grana threat. The real issue will be stopping Diaz from controlling the game the way he can. Diaz has looked better every week, and with the team needing points, its Diaz time to shine. Saied has the unenviable task of stopping the magic unicorn. If he can’t this game is Dallas to win.

Keys to Three Points

Defensive Intelligence.

Colorado’s defense isn’t incredible, but it can certainly play better than it has this last couple weeks. A solid defensive performance will really test Dallas, who have often struggled to score this season. Frustrate Dallas, and their likelihood of scoring goes way down.

Taking Advantage.

Dallas will get chances Saturday night, the question is whether they take them. Dallas have had numerous games with several clear cut chances, that have ended scoreless this season. If the Hoops want to push for the playoffs, that has to stop. Put away the easy chances, it should be that simple for Dallas.

Manage the Game.

Dallas struggles have been long this season. Pareja did an excellent job of managing the game in Frisco. He slowed things down, brought on defensive subs, and let the clock run out. This team isn’t used to playing that way, but it will be important, especially if this game ends close. Oh, and submit a lineup that fulfills FIFA regulations…