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After Dark: Is the defense back?

Two clean sheets in two games has FC Dallas doing better. We go live tonight to break down the recent news out of Frisco.

MLS: LA Galaxy at FC Dallas Tim Heitman-USA TODAY Sports

Tonight at 9 PM CST/10 PM EST, Big D After Dark, our official video podcast, is live on Youtube, Facebook, and Twitter to talk about a turn of fortunes for FC Dallas. From a miserable winless run to two straight wins, one of which was at Real Salt Lake, Dallas looks to have woken from its summer slump. Will it last? How can the team build on these gritty results?

We have a lot to talk about, and of course, we take your questions and comments live.

Is the defense back?

A recurring theme in that winless stretch of eight games was FC Dallas’ defense taking a nose dive. Injuries didn’t help. Even without the injuries, Dallas couldn’t hang on to leads, giving up late goals that turned hard-fought games into gut punches.

You can’t drop points at home and expect to lock down a playoff spot.

The good news is that FC Dallas scrambled, fought, and kicked their way to two clean sheets in the most recent action. The first against Real Salt Lake came via a Jesus Ferreira counter-attack and a true team effort in a hostile environment. The second was back at home, a place where Dallas should be unbeatable, against an LA Galaxy side that generated some opportunities in the second half. Fans will take the positive news, as the six points do keep Dallas’ focus on postseason play.

Still, there is room for improvement. The Schon loan deal apparently fell through. The team is looking at options for a trade or two to bolster its squad. A veteran defender or midfielder could help this team. But hey, if Franco Jara can score a few more goals, maybe this team’s ceiling can be a bit higher.

Should we hold our breath going into a brutal week in the Pacific Northwest? Probably, but as Drew writes, an away point or two would keep Dallas moving forward.

North Texas also stopped the slump.

For the youngsters at Choctaw Stadium, the past few weeks have been tough for Pa-Modou Kah’s North Texas side with a three-game winless streak. On Sunday evening at home against Sporting Kansas City II (who thumped them earlier in the season), North Texas played their kind of ball and crushed the visitors 3-0. When these youngsters can sort out their defensive issues and play with their energy, they are one of the best squads in MLS Next Pro.

We like to give North Texas a slot in the show, because they can be the most joyful teams to watch in all of Texas.

I am still stoked at the thought of Collin Smith breaking into the senior team next season as he continues to build and show versatility and growth with North Texas.

See you tonight? Anything else you think we should cover? Post it in the comments below.