The all important second leg of the CONCACAF Champions League semifinal is nearly here for FC Dallas. Tomorrow night they will be in Mexico to take on Pachuca with the winner advancing to the final round later this month.
FC Dallas holds a 2-1 advantage on goals but as we all know, those leads can disappear in an instant in this competition.
FC Dallas notes:
Injury update. The injury situation for FCD has been improving these last couple of weeks. The only player actually listed as ‘out’ will still be Mauro Diaz as he recovers from his Achilles injury. Ryan Hollingshead, Victor Ulloa and Anibal Chala all trained with the club in Mexico over the last week and are available for selection.
Winning in Mexico. MLS sides have struggled away from home in this competition over the years but FC Dallas does have one advantage to their belt, a win back in 2011 on the road in Mexico. It was a different time and a different group, but the foundation for success is still there with Oscar Pareja at the helm.
Yellow card watch. Three players for FCD sit on a yellow card warning going into tomorrow’s game. Matt Hedges, Carlos Gruezo and Hernan Grana all have yellow cards to their name and should the club advance and any of them pick up another yellow against Pachuca on Tuesday, they will miss the first leg of the finals.
Key player for FCD: Maxi Urruti. While I would normally pick out a defender for a game like this one, I think the notion will be to defend like crazy and counter when possible. That should leave Urruti open for some chances in the box and so far the Argentine has been good to finish his chances this season. A goal on the road would be big for the chances of advancing.
Biggest question: Will FCD be able to withstand the storm?
We know road games in this tournament are brutal to watch. Either from the play of the field to how they are officiated. As long as FCD can keep a level head about themselves and not give up an early goal, they should be fine. This one will really be all about how well Dallas defends on both sides of the field. A shutout would be excellent but even a 1-1 draw would be lovely to see too.
Key player for Pachuca: Chucky Lozano. Their main attacker in the midfield is back from injury and could be the perfect player for Pachuca to get back in this series.
How to watch
Match date/time: Tuesday, 4/4, 9:00PM
Venue: Estadio Hidalgo, Pachuca, MX
Weather Forecast: Clear, 67 degrees
Look out for our game thread, which will go up an hour before kick off.