FC Dallas responded with a winless month of May with a much improved June that saw them come away with eight points across the five games they played in league play. Now we’re set to move further into summer as the importance of each game picks up and some focus will be put to test with friendlies and transfers set to happen.
D.C. United - home - Thursday, July 4 (8:00 pm)
Up first is our annual July 4th home game, this time around we get DCU. The Black and Red have been one of those teams in the Eastern Conference that looks great one week with Wayne Rooney leading the charge, only to have them stumble to a lesser-type team a week later. Right now, Ben Olsen’s club only has one win in their last seven games.
Club Tijuana - home - friendly - Sunday, July 7 (6:30 pm)
The second game this week sees FCD stay at home and host an international friendly against their old boss Oscar Pareja. The main hope of this one in my mind is to celebrate Pareja and his time here, while getting some of the younger portion of the roster some minutes. The tricky part is that North Texas SC also has a home game that night, so don’t expect a heavy NTSC look for FCD on this night.
Minnesota United - away - Saturday, July 13 (7:00 pm)
The following weekend sees FC Dallas head to Allianza Field for the first time. Dallas has done well in Minnesota over the years but the new home has certainly turned into a fortress for the Loons. They’re currently 4-1-3 at home this season, and they tend to score a lot of goals at home (including seven last weekend against FC Cincy).
Sevilla FC - home - friendly - Wednesday July 17 (7:00 pm)
FCD returns home after the trip north for another friendly this month. Why two friendlies you might ask? Simple, just look at this calendar and you’ll see a large gap between home games in league play and there is your answer. This one feels even more like a game that you don’t want to risk any key players more than you have to.
Sporting Kansas City - away - Saturday, July 20 (7:30 pm)
FCD then heads north again to a venue that they’ve struggled at over the years. SKC is also currently struggling as a club, being at the bottom of the Western Conference right now. Injuries have played a large factor in that this season for Peter Vermes’ club but just because they’re at the bottom of the standings, doesn’t mean you can take this game lightly.
Real Salt Lake - home - Saturday, July 27 (7:00 pm)
The last game of the month sees FCD return home again as they host RSL. Right now three points separate the two clubs in the standings, so you know this will be one will be a must-win. RSL is one of the more inconsistent teams in MLS. They’ll go unbeaten for a stretch, only to follow it up with a long losing streak.
Those two friendly could cause a wrinkle in the plans with players picking up injuries. If anything, you want those friendlies to be about getting your back portion of the roster more minutes and building some chemistry with any new players that come on board.
If you take the two friendlies out of the month, which you should in this case, you’re left with four rather important games in league play. With FCD’s only path to a title being the playoffs (let’s not kid ourselves, they’re not in the Supporters’ Shield race at this point in the season), gaining as many points as possible is key. You have to win those two home games and then find a way to get at least draws on the road. That is your path to the playoffs right now.
What do you feel is doable and realistic for FC Dallas in July?