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August Outlook: Can FC Dallas build momentum towards a playoff run?

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Six more games are on tap for FC Dallas as they head into the most important stretch of the season.

MLS: Real Salt Lake at FC Dallas Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports

After a decent July that saw FC Dallas go 2-1-1 in league play, the month of August is going to be a potentially season-defining stretch of the schedule. Six games, yes six, stand in the way of FC Dallas and few fall games before the playoffs. If anything we know this month could show that FC Dallas is a playoff contender or on the outside looking in.

Orlando City SC - away - August 3 (6:30 pm)

Up first is our weekend trip to Disney. The team will join the six ASG and HGP game players tomorrow afternoon following their training in Frisco. Heading out there a day early to get more used to the heat and humidity will be good. Orlando right now sits seven points back of the playoffs in the Eastern Conference and are coming off a pretty ugly loss at New England. They’ve only won four games at home this season, so if there was another road game to pick up a win in, this would be it.

Minnesota United - home - August 10 (7:00 pm)

Dallas looked like the better team a couple weeks ago in Minnesota, so you know they’ll be geared up for this one. The Loons aren’t too much of a pushover on the road and they’re currently riding a six-game unbeaten run. This won’t be a give-me but it may very well be the start of a must-win stretch at home.

LA Galaxy - away - August 14 (9:30 pm)

Going to LA on the midweek following a tough home game is never an easy thing. The Galaxy have proven that they can be a tough out against anyone in this league but they’re also a team that you can catch defensively if you press hard enough (they’re currently sitting at a negative goal differential). A draw here would be huge for this squad.

Montreal Impact - away - August 17 (6:30 pm)

Shortly after that we see Luchi Gonzalez take his side up to Canada to battle Maxi Urruti and the Impact. Montreal is one of those teams that are really hard to figure out. When they have things going through Ignacio Piatti, they look very hard to breakdown. But when things aren’t flowing his way, they’re very beatable. Also, that defense doesn’t scare me, even at home.

Houston Dynamo - home - August 25 (7:00 pm)

After the rough week of travel, FCD is back at home for two straight games. The first is the second leg in the Texas Derby. Dallas struggled in the first leg earlier this season in Houston, losing 2-1. I can’t see a way that they don’t rebound in this game. It is too important for a number of reasons. Also, the Dynamo are largely terrible away from home this season (2-8-0).

FC Cincinnati - home - August 31 (7:00 pm)

Last up this month is a visit from the newcomers in the league this year. FCC has been the typical expansion team. Plenty of high moments but a lot of low ones as well. We’ll see some familiar faces in Roland Lamah and Victor Ulloa but outside of that this is a game that FCD absolutely has to find a way to dominate and win. No excuses.

Outlook

On paper you have three home games that you absolutely have to pick up maximum points in. Especially that last one against one of the league’s worst teams in Cincinnati. The three away games could be intriguing for points as Orlando has seen their fair share of struggles this season.

The real test is that week of three games in eight days again, going from Dallas to LA to Montreal in that time. That is a lot of travel in a short amount of time.

Still, six games with 18 available points on the table. Again, nine are a must right now with and I think if you can snag four points in those three road games, you’ve done yourself a favor.

What do you think is doable this August? Will this stretch help FCD jump up the standings any or will we see them begin to take a stumble below the red line?