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FC Dallas vs. Real Salt Lake | 2018 MLS Match Preview

FC Dallas vs. Real Salt Lake
2018 MLS Regular Season – Week 1
Toyota Stadium — Frisco, Tex.
Saturday, March 3 — 8 pm ET


FC Dallas are coming off one of the weirder seasons in recent memory, as the 2016 Supporters' Shield winners won just two of their final 15 matches to stunningly miss the playoffs for the first time in head coach Oscar Pareja's tenure. Was that a blip and will FC Dallas return to the top of the West? Or will the slide continue to start the 2018 season?

Real Salt Lake finished with one less point than Dallas last year but their 2017 season was almost the opposite of their opening day opponent's. After getting off to a rough start, RSL put the pieces together under first-year coach Mike Petke, emerging as one of the league's hottest teams before narrowly missing the postseason. Will they continue the upward trajectory in 2018?

FC Dallas

If the Toros hope to open the season strong, they'll have to do so without midfielder Kellyn Acosta, who will be sidelined for up to two months. Replacing him with Victor Ulloa may turn out to be a smooth swap, and FC Dallas fans will be hoping 23-year-old newcomer Santiago Mosquera packs the same kind of punch as Acosta has as a young star.

  • Suspended: None
  • Suspended after next caution: None
  • Injury Report: OUT: M - Kellyn Acosta (sports hernia surgery)

Projected Starting XI
(4-2-3-1, right to left)
GK: Jesse Gonzalez — Reggie Cannon, Matt Hedges, Reto Ziegler, Anton Nedyalkov — Carlos Gruezo, Victor Ulloa— Michael Barrios, Mauro Diaz, Santiago Mosquera — Maxi Urruti

Notes: FC Dallas went 2-7-6 after July 25 last year. Their two wins were tied with Orlando and the LA Galaxy for the fewest by any club in that span. ... Roland Lamah had a shot conversion rate (including blocks) of 25 percent last season. Only one player who took at least 40 shots converted at a better rate (Josef Martinez at 28.4 percent).

Real Salt Lake

RSL enter the season with an interesting combination of young and old, with ageless MLS stalwarts Nick Rimando and Kyle Beckerman teaming up with a slew of young players and Homegrown talent. It's an exciting recipe that has many people thinking RSL can become one of the league's top teams. We'll soon find out.

  • Suspended: None
  • Suspended after next caution: None
  • Injury Report: OUT: D - Tony Beltran (right knee surgery)

Projected Starting XI
(4-2-3-1, right to left)

GK: Nick Rimando — Adam Henley, Marcelo Silva, Justen Glad, Demar Phillips — Kyle Beckerman, Damir Kreilach — Jefferson Savarino, Albert Rusnak, Joao Plata — Luis Silva

Notes: Real Salt Lake won eight games from July 4 through the remainder of the 2017 season. Only Toronto (10), Vancouver (9) and Seattle (9) had more wins in that time. ... Albert Rusnák had 14 assists in 2017, the most of any RSL player since 2010 and just the fifth player to tally double-digit assists in a season.

All-Time Series

Dallas have won six of their last nine games against Real Salt Lake, including two blowout victories last season by scores of 3-0 and 6-2. Dallas have been especially dominant vs. RSL at home, going 13-1-2 against them.

  • Overall: Dallas 19 wins, 55 goals  … Real Salt Lake 11 wins, 41 goals … 6 Ties
  • At Dallas: Dallas 13 wins, 33 goals … Real Salt Lake 1 win, 12 goals … 2 Ties
  • Last meeting at Dallas: Dallas 6, Real Salt Lake 2 (June 3, 2017)


Referee: Robert Sibiga
Assistant Referees: Jason White, Eric Weisbrod
4th official: Ted Unkel
Video Assistant Referee (VAR): Hilario Grajeda

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FC Dallas
Real Salt Lake

Season Stats

FC DallasReal Salt Lake
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