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September Outlook: Can FC Dallas survive another road-heavy month?

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Another six-game month that sees FC Dallas on the road a bunch could determine whether or not this is a playoff team in 2021.

MLS: FC Dallas at Austin FC Erich Schlegel-USA TODAY Sports

The focus of the 2021 season now turns the final stretch for FC Dallas as we head into September. The summer is slowly fading away as we head into fall.

Once again we have six games on the schedule ahead of us this month, with four of them on the road. FC Dallas will have two of their longest road trips as they head to the east coast for the first time in 2021 and then all the way to Western Canada.

Let’s dive into this month’s schedule to see where the points will come from for FC Dallas.

Real Salt Lake - away - September 4

First up is this weekend’s road clash in Utah that closes out a three-game road trip. RSL is in a funky place at the moment as they’ve just seen their head coach Freddy Juarez depart for an assistant job in Seattle. Typically coaching changes in MLS does give teams a bit of a bump when there is an interim involved. That wasn’t the case over the weekend as RSL got dismantled in Vancouver 4-1. FCD has played well in Salt Lake in recent years, and if they want to continue their climb into the playoff picture, this six-pointer is starting to look like a must-win.

San Jose Earthquakes - home - September 11

San Jose has been such a tricky side to figure out under Matias Almeyda. Being that this is one of two home games this month and that it is against a team that is right in the thick of things with you in the standings, it is definitely a must-win game. This will be the first game back potentially for the collective of players that have gone off on national team duty too.

New York City FC - away - September 14

A Tuesday night game in New York City is never easy and given how the Cityzens are doing this season, it won’t be easy this time out either. This will be the second and final game during the regular season against an Eastern Conference foe. FC Dallas fared well against the last one (New England), so maybe the luck will continue here.

Houston Dynamo - away - September 18

The second to last Copa Tejas game of the season sees FCD head back to Houston for the second time in a month. The last trip was a rather dull 2-2 draw that followed another dull 1-1 draw that started things off back in the early stages of the season. Something has to give in this final meeting of the season. The big question we’ll have going into it will be whether or not Houston will still be on their current winless rut or if that will have ended.

Vancouver Whitecaps - away - September 25

The final road trip of the month and of this three-game spell sees FCD head to Canada for the first time since 2019. The Caps are also in the thick of things in the Western Conference standings right now but like RSL has recently made a coaching change of their own. We’ll certainly know more about where that puts this side and whether or not they’ve made a hire by then. Still, this won’t be an easy trip.

Sporting Kansas City - home September 29

The last game of the month is a mid-week game against what is turning out to be the toughest rival right now for FCD. SKC came into town last month and found a way to get by FCD in Toyota Stadium after Luchi Gonzalez and company had figured out a way to go up to Kansas and do the same just a couple of weeks before that. Again, it is a home game. You have to find a way to win this one.

Outlook

Let’s be honest, this month is kind of brutal. We thought going into August that ten or 12 points were doable, and it turned out we only got eight. This stretch is truly make-or-break for the playoff push, even more so than the last two months before it. The next two are the preverbal six-pointers. The last two are as well in some ways. Then you throw in a rivalry game in the middle of it and we could really see what this group is actually made of here.

I think when the dust settles if FCD can find a way to get at least 11 points from this that we’ll be in a decent spot going into October, a month that largely keeps the team in Frisco.

What do you think? Can FCD escape this month with enough points to remain in the playoff hunt or even above the red line in the standings? Let us know below.