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FC Dallas looks to clinch playoff spot with win over Colorado
After drawing six of their last seven games, FC Dallas has to get a win.
Saturday’s game with the Colorado Rapids is a simple one for FC Dallas: win, and you clinch a place in the MLS Cup Playoffs. Lose or draw, and you will have to push for it on Decsion Saturday in California next week against the LA Galaxy.
While FC Dallas hasn’t lost a game since late August, they’ve only won once in that same span of time. Fans, players and coaches are all a bit tired of the ‘good but not good enough’ play as of late as the team heads into their regular season home finale this weekend against the Rapids.
“I think we've done enough in a lot of games to get the three points, and this season has been in this way,” said head coach Nico Estevez. “We have to accept that, and we have to embrace it and work harder, you know, at the end of the day. The only way to change things is to work better and to work harder in order to change that situation.”
FC Dallas has managed to climb back in their last few games to earn a point. They have earned 18 points from losing positions this season, more than any other MLS team.
Colorado comes into Saturday’s game fresh off a 5-1 blowout loss in Houston last weekend. But the Rapids have won four out of the last five games against FC Dallas, though all four wins against them were at home, including the previous meeting this season that saw the Rapids win 2-1. FC Dallas managed to pick up a win in the Rapids’ last visit to Toyota Stadium last spring.
“I think we have to play with a lot of energy and be motivated because I think the reward is huge,” said Estevez. “We've been fighting the whole season to get in the in that point and to clinch the playoff, and we have to prepare well, trained well and, and make a really hard game for Colorado and get the three points that allow us to clinch the playoff.”
The Rapids will look to play spoilers on Saturday, as they’ve been eliminated from playoff contention for a couple of weeks now. As FC Dallas captain Paul Arriola explains, their players will have a different set of motivations on Saturday as some will be playing for a roster spot in 2024, and others will be looking to finish the season.
“It’s going to be about us kind of taking a template to them taking control of the game, and you know, getting the first goal can really hurt them,” explained Arriola. “So, they're going to be going off of the score specifically early on, hoping that they can try and get a goal or two. And hopefully, our job is going to be to go out there and score a few goals early on in the game and be able to control it.
“Obviously, if it doesn't go like that, it doesn't go like that, and we're gonna have to put a little more effort and break down a team that has nothing to play for us in terms of playoffs but also individually, they have a lot to play for.”
FC Dallas is hoping to add to the Rapids’ issues away from home, where they have lost 10 straight away matches in all competitions, being outscored 30-6 in those games.