This evening, FC Dallas will head North to the Windy City to take on the Chicago Fire it what can unofficially be called the “Battle for Toyota.” The Fire has shown to be a formidable opponent at Toyota Park, going undefeated in their six matches this season.
The month of May hasn’t been too kind to FC Dallas this year. After losing their unbeaten record last week against San Jose, FC Dallas has fallen to 1-1-1 on the month.
With Bastian Schweinsteiger and the red-hot Chicago Fire up next in Chi-town, can FC Dallas get back on track?
- FC Dallas is 2-2-0 on the road this season
- FC Dallas has only conceded two goals on the road this season, best in the MLS
- Chicago Fire has the third-most points per game in the league (1.75)
- FC Dallas has the second-most points per game in the league and most in the Western Conference (1.9)
- Chicago Fire are undefeated at home, sporting an impressive 5-1-0 record
- In their only meeting last season, FC Dallas won 3-1 at home
Three Things to Watch For:
1. Attitude of the Team
This match will mark the first time in the MLS this year that FC Dallas will have to rebound from a loss. Now, FC Dallas has rebounded in the past well following a loss in the CONCACAF Champions League.
Expect to see more of the same from Oscar Pareja’s side tonight. FC Dallas only lost by one goal in San Jose, a tough place to play, and Pareja spoke positively about the team. Confidence should still be high for the ‘Boys in Red.’
2. Can FC Dallas Slow Down Chicago’s Midfield?
After being dreadful in the midfield a year ago, Chicago has revamped their center of the park. With former Red Bulls’ captain Dax McCarty and World Cup winner Bastian Schweinsteiger in the team now, Chicago is running wild against teams. Despite their success this season, the Fire midfield has struggled against high-pressure teams who have a strong midfield (ex: New York Red Bulls.)
FC Dallas has a solid midfield in themselves and loves to take hold of the game physically. If FC Dallas can stay true to their identity, then they should be able to wreak havoc for the Fire while poaching a couple of goals on the counter.
3. FC Dallas’ Backline vs. Chicago’s Nikolic and Accam
Despite not being the most famous strikers in the MLS, Nemanja Nikolic and David Accam make up one of the better strike forces in the league. With the Hungarian’s finishing and the Ghanaian’s speed, the duo has made life difficult for the opposing backlines, especially at Toyota Park.
FC Dallas does enter into to this fight with the least goals conceded on the year. Therefore, it should be an exciting dogfight to see if Matt Hedges and Walker Zimmerman can hold Nikolic and Accam at bay.
FC Dallas 1 - 1 Chicago Fire
Goals by Urruti (FCD) & McCarty (CHI)