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FC Dallas looks to make most of games in hand this week
Two home games in a row this week are key to FC Dallas' playoff chances.
The final push toward a playoff spot in 2023 is coming down to a busy week for FC Dallas. The club returns home for their last two home games of the season to wrap up a brutal seven games in a 21-day stretch when they host the Colorado Rapids on Wednesday and the San Jose Earthquakes on Saturday.
The six points on the line this week could be the difference of a couple of spots in the very crowded Western Conference standings. Currently, FC Dallas sits in the ninth and final playoff spot, but a couple of wins could drastically turn their fortune into hosting a first-round playoff series.
“We need three points, and we're at a position now where we could jump from ninth into a fourth or fifth, depending on goal differential,” explained defender Nkosi Tafari. “And that's the goal, playoffs, of course. I mean, yeah, we're in a playoff spot, but there's no type of peace of mind where we are right now. I'd like to be fourth or fifth and then maybe even get a home game if possible.”
The game against Colorado comes off the heels of an unbeaten month of September for FC Dallas that saw them draw five of their six games, including last week’s games in Philadelphia and Houston. With so much on the line, FC Dallas players know that they cannot afford to continue drawing games, especially at home.
“Just like any other game, points at home are crucial, like I mentioned, especially with it being the last three games,” said midfielder Paxton Pomykal. “So regardless of opponent, we need to come out flying and yeah, if it's Colorado, if it's someone else but the most important thing is come out battle compete and come away through points.”
The Rapids enter tomorrow’s game fresh off a 1-0 win over Austin FC over the weekend. Despite that result, Colorado is currently the only team in the Western Conference that has been eliminated from playoff contention, but FC Dallas players know that they can play the role of spoiler tomorrow night.
“Colorado's definitely always a tough one. I was actually looking at the schedule against them, and I believe in the last six games, they've won four and tied one and the last one against us,” said Tafari. “Granted, for them, the wins were home games, but it's a pretty unacceptable record. Certainly, if you look at where they are on the table, then it seems that we're possibly not taking certain opponents seriously enough. So we need to actually take it to them.”
Colorado got the best of FC Dallas in their lone 2023 meeting earlier this season back in July, when they won 2-1. While revenge is likely in the minds of most players, getting a result continues to be the message that is being preached up and down the roster.
“Yeah, obviously, when you lose to a team, you don't want to lose again,” said defender Ema Twumasi. “So, coming here on Wednesday, our main goal is to beat Colorado. Not necessarily a revenge game, but looking at how tight the playoffs line is and how big this will be for our team. Our main goal is to get a win.”
A win tomorrow night would help push FC Dallas up the standings but would also extend their unbeaten run to seven games.