FC Dallas vs. DC United | 2017 MLS Match Preview
FC Dallas vs. D.C. United
2017 MLS Regular Season
Toyota Stadium – Frisco, Tex.
Tuesday, July 4 – 8:30 pm ET
WATCH: MLS LIVE
After FC Dallas beat Toronto FC on Saturday in a match some considered a potential MLS Cup 2017 preview, the Texan side faces the textbook definition of a trap game when D.C. United visit Frisco on Independence Day.
After a stretch of three losses in five games, FCD are back on course and are now unbeaten over a five-match span in all competitions. Meanwhile, the Black-and-Red continue to struggle in 2017 with three league losses in their last five and the worst goal differential in all of MLS (-15).
The July 4 match represents United's fourth straight away match between the league and U.S. Open Cup in 11 days, having lost the previous three, including US Open Cup elimination at the hands of New England. Plus, the Lonestar State has always been a bogey destination for D.C., who have won just six times during 22 seasons of visits to the Metroplex.
And this is where the danger lies for an FC Dallas side which has aspirations of another Supporters' Shield and deep playoff run. Although all signs point to another home win, Ben Olsen's D.C. side still has enough of a veteran guile to steal a result similar to their wins earlier this season in Vancouver and Atlanta.
FCD moved up to second place in the Western Conference after a 3-1 victory over visiting Toronto on Saturday that knocked the Reds off the perch of the Eastern Conference standings. And with two matches in hand, Dallas is earning fractionally more points per game than Western Conference leaders Sporting Kansas City (1.65 to 1.63).
While attacking players Maxi Urruti, Roland Lamah and Michael Barrios are enjoying a positive run of form and Mauro Diaz's return is already having an impact, manager Oscar Pareja will now have to do without versatile standout defender Maynor Figueroa (Honduras), who joins Kellyn Acosta (USA) and Matt Hedges (USA) in the continental tournament.
- Suspended: None
- Suspended next yellow card: DF Atiba Harris
- Int’l Duty: MF Kellyn Acosta, DF Matt Hedges (US), DF Maynor Figueroa (Honduras)
- Injury Report: OUT – DF Walker Zimmerman (left MCL strain)
Projected Starting XI (4-2-3-1, right to left): Jesse Gonzalez – Hernan Grana, Walker Hume, Atiba Harris, Ryan Hollingshead – Victor Ulloa, Carlos Gruezo – Michael Barrios, Mauro Diaz, Roland Lamah – Maxi Urruti
United may be in one of its worst offensive stretches in club history, but realistically there’s still plenty of time to replicate last year’s second-half charge into the postseason. D.C. have only earned three fewer points (18) than they did through the first 18 games of 2016 (21), before picking up 25 points over their last 16 matches to finish fourth in the East.
But that 2016 resurgence included a stretch of 33 goals scored over 13 matches. Of D.C’s attackers, only Luciano Acosta has come close to replicating his 2016 form. His four goals are actually one more than he scored last season, though the playmaker is well behind his total of 10 assists from a season ago.
As far as forwards go, Patrick Mullins has battled injuries and only played 401 minutes. Offseason addition Jose Guillermo Ortiz and June pickup Deshorn Brown haven’t proven a consistent threat yet, though Brown has only played in three matches.
- Suspended: None
- Suspended next yellow card: None
- Int’l Duty: GK Bill Hamid (United States)
- Injury Report: OUT: DF Bobby Boswell (groin injury), FW Patrick Mullins (knee); QUESTIONABLE: MF Rob Vincent (left knee meniscus), DF/MF Nick DeLeon (lower abdominal injury)
Projected Starting XI (4-2-3-1, right to left): Travis Worra – Chris Korb, Kofi Opare, Steven Birnbaum, Taylor Kemp – Ian Harkes, Jared Jeffrey – Lloyd Sam, Lucho Acosta, Patrick Nyarko – Jose Guillermo Ortiz
- Overall: FC Dallas 20 wins, 73 goals; D.C. United 15 wins, 75 goals; 8 draws
- At Dallas: FC Dallas 14 wins, 41 goals; D.C. United 6 wins, 28 goals; 3 draws
- Referee: David Gantar
- Assistant Referees: Adam Garner (bench side), Oscar Mitchell-Carvalho (far side)
- 4th Official: Daniel Radford