Arabe Unido vs. FC Dallas | 2016-17 CCL Quarterfinal Preview, 2nd Leg
Arabe Unido vs. FC Dallas
2016-17 CONCACAF Champions League Quarterfinals, 2nd Leg
Estadio Armando Dely Valdes - Colon, Panama
Wednesday, March 1 - 8 pm ET
WATCH: Univision Deportes Network in USA; Facebook Live
After a 4-0 demolition of their opponents in the first leg of this aggregate goals series, FC Dallas will look to formalize their passage to the CCL semifinals in a Wednesday evening trip to Panama. The Panamanian side were expected to be a formidable foe for FCD after going 4-0-0 in the group stage and eliminating Mexican outfit Monterrey, but FC Dallas ensured there would be no repeat heroics when the sides met in Texas last week.
Newcomer Cristian Colman got on the scoresheet, but it was midfielder Kellyn Acosta who stole the show with a pair of goals. Recent Dallas signees Hernan Grana, Roland Lamah and Javier Morales also showed well in the first leg.
Last Thursday's 4-0 win for Dallas was the first-ever meeting between these two teams.
With such a healthy lead, FCD head coach Oscar Pareja faces an interesting, though not unpleasant dilemma. Continue to play the starters and see the series out comfortably, or rest some starters and increase the risk of Arabe finding a way back in early stages of the game? We've penciled in Dallas' lineup from last week below, but don't be surprised to see Pareja hand the likes of Morales and Tesho Akindele, who featured as subs in the first leg, a full start with FCD turning around to fly to their season opener against the LA Galaxy on Saturday.
Yellow-card accumulation warnings will reset after the quarterfinals, but that shouldn't be much of a factor for Pareja in setting out his lineup. Of the three players currently on a warning, only left back Maynor Figueroa could miss out on the first leg of the semifinal should he see yellow in Panama. The others are reserve goalkeeper Jesse Gonzalez and the injured Mauro Diaz.
Projected starting XI (4-4-1-1): Chris Seitz — Hernan Grana, Walker Zimmerman, Matt Hedges, Maynor Figueroa — Michael Barrios, Kellyn Acosta, Carlos Gruezo, Roland Lamah — Maximiliano Urruti — Cristian Colman
- Suspended: None
- Int'l Duty: MF Coy Craft (US U-20s)
- Injury Report: MF Mauro Diaz (Achilles)
Notes: Dallas have played in Panama once before in this tournament – they dropped a 5-3 result to Tauro FC in the group stage of the 2011-12 CONCACAF Champions League.
Despite the heavy deficit, Arabe have belief that they can turn things around at home. It's an unlikely ask for a team that is not only in a four-goal hole, but has gotten off to a sputtering start in its domestic season. If they are to complete a miracle comeback, they will have to do it without veteran defender Fidel Caesar, who will miss out on the game due to caution accumulation.
Projected starting XI (4-1-2-1-2): Miguel Lloyd — Rigoberto Niño, Rolando Algandona, Roberto Chen, Daniel Ortiz — Leslie Heraldez, Renan Addles, Josimar Gomez, Amilcar Henriquez — Enrico Small, Jose Gonzalez
- Suspended: Fidel Caesar (caution accumulation)
- Int'l Duty: Aldo Ciel, Chamell Asprilla (Panama U-20s)
- Injury Report: N/A
Notes: Despite reaching the stage for the third time, Arabe Unido have never won a game in a CONCACAF Champions League quarterfinal series. Heading into leg two of this series, they are 0-4-1.