FC Dallas is now unbeaten in their last six MLS matches and travels north to take on a Sporting KC team that is hoping to pick up their first win in the month of April. By all accounts, Dallas should expect to return home with three points in this one. However, recent history on the road makes this one a bit more unsure than most fans might hope.
Kansas City’s Rocky Start
There’s not really a more pleasant way to put this, Kansas City is bad right now. They’ve allowed 14 goals in 9 games and are averaging .78 points per game this season. This means, according to math, if you’re playing KC you should expect to score at least once and probably come away with a win. Numbers don’t tell the whole story though. So why exactly is KC off to such a cold start?
Injuries have caused manager Peter Vermes to start a different lineup in every single game that KC has played this season. Most notable, forward Alan Pulido is out for the season which explains the team’s extreme lack of scoring. Sporting has 6 goals through 9 games which is tied for the worst in the West and second-worst in the league. And the news didn’t get any better for KC this week as they found out that midfielder Gadi Kinda would not be playing this season after having knee surgery. However, there are still plenty of players on this team that have a history with Dallas and can make a difference in this one.
Winger Johnny Russell, goalkeeper Tim Melia, and defender Graham Zusi are no strangers to games against FC Dallas. They all combine for 21 seasons with Sporting KC and have been on the field for some fantastic performances but that in itself may be the issue. Peter Vermes is reliant on his older veterans to carry the team but when faced with a youthful team that’s hot right now, their experience together may only take them so far.
THREE POINTS ON THE ROAD OR WE RIOT!
It’s a fun time to be an FC Dallas fan. The scorers are scoring. The defenders are defending. The keepers are keeping. The midfielders are…midfielding? Everything seems to be clicking into place week after week even when it doesn’t look like it’s going too early on. Yet, we still are lacking road success. After the abysmal performance on the road last season, it has to be priority number one for the team to pull away from Children’s Mercy Park with three points and peace of mind.
Although the unbeaten streak leaves plenty of cause for optimism, one could argue that FC Dallas has not had a truly dominant performance since the Portland game last month. Colorado finished with a nice scoreline but the team that came out in the first half would have certainly lost the game if they returned in the second half. We love to see Houston lose but I would bet good money that the late-game heroics were not exactly the pre-match game plan. The team is healthy and they’re playing a struggling opponent in a venue that they know well. Now is the perfect time to make a statement and put any doubt that FC Dallas is a true contender to rest.
I don’t really think Peter Vermes and the boys like us very much. Which is fair because I, and it seems many of my fellow FC Dallas fans, really don’t like them either. Injuries or not, Sporting is not going to want Dallas to walk in and blow them out with such an accomplished and respected group of veterans on the field. However, pride can only take you so far when you’re without a true scorer and you can’t seem to find a rhythm. KC goes scoreless again and FC Dallas finally gets their road win.
Prediction: FC Dallas 2-0 Sporting KC
How to Watch
Venue: Children’s Mercy Park, Kansas City, Kansas
Kickoff Time: Saturday, April 30th, 7:30 PM CST
Available TV: TXA 21 Dallas
Available Streaming: FCDallas.com, ESPN+
Available Radio: 1270AM, FCDallas.com/Radio