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Behind Enemy Lines: Scouting Sporting Kansas City

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Another draw for FC Dallas?

MLS: Colorado Rapids at Sporting KC Peter G. Aiken-USA TODAY Sports

FC Dallas will take on Sporting Kansas City at home this Saturday. Dallas have won both games at Toyota Stadium this year, but SKC are coming off of an impressive 1-0 victory over the Portland Timbers. Also, SKC and Dallas are the last two teams in the MLS without a loss.

No Goals? No Problem

The high powered attack featuring Dom Dwyer, Benny Feilhaber, and Graham Zusi have been relatively quiet this season. It’s been SKC’s defense that have won them games. SKC are currently on a streak of four consecutive away shutouts, which doesn’t bode well for Dallas’ struggling attack.

Ike Opara hardly put a foot wrong last week and he’ll look to continue his solid play in the heart of SKC’s backline next to Matt Besler. Graham Zusi has also modified his game to fit the right back role, where he has made all of his appearances this year.

Potential SKC lineup

SKC have avoided any major injuries this year, their only one being a torn ACL to reserve striker, Diego Rubio. So SKC should be at full strength for Saturday’s game, so expect the same lineup that beat the Timbers last week.

Key Matchup

Dom Dwyer vs the FC Dallas backline

Dom Dwyer has scored two goals in his last two games and he’s been involved in the last three Sporting Kansas City goals. He is the man to shut down if Dallas wants to win this game. Whether its Atiba Harris, Hernan Grana, Ryan Hollingshead, or even Reggie Cannon, whoever is at right back has to clean it up this game or there’s going to be a lot of bleeding coming from that side. Dwyer is quick and opportunistic and will happily put it in the back of the goal if an SKC player can get a ball into him after beating Dallas’ fullbacks.

Keys to the Match

Dallas’ Morale

It’s never easy to lose a game late, but Dallas must overcome last week’s drama to get a good result for this crucial early season game. SKC has all the momentum in the world after upsetting the Timbers and Dallas must reverse the tides this game or their season could begin to side.

Finding a spark

Whether it is Maxi Urruti, Kellyn Acosta, Javier Morales or one of the struggling winger, Dallas has to find some composure and confidence on the ball. Someone has to be able to create chances for the team. Without Mauro Diaz, crossing is more crucial than ever and Dallas have not been clinical with their chances from wide positions this year. Someone is going to have to get this team fired up with the ability to spring their teammates if Dallas wants to continue their unbeaten streak at home this year.