FCC-FC Dallas Preview
Just over the playoff line in the Western Conference, FC Dallas would make things easy on itself by stringing some wins together.
Looking to build on a much-needed victory, Dallas hosts lowly FC Cincinnati on Saturday night.
Dallas (11-10-7) last won back-to-back MLS games April 13 and 20, and now have the opportunity to do it again after a resounding 5-1 home win over the Dynamo on Sunday. Zdenek Ondrasek had two goals with an assist while Reto Ziegler, Jesus Ferreira and Michael Barrios also scored as Dallas won for just the second time in six games.
"It's an amazing feeling, but there is a long way ahead of us," Ondrasek, who has scored all three of his league goals this season over the last two games, told Dallas' official website. "There's a lot of hard work ... We have to focus on Cincinnati."
Currently the owner of the final playoff spot in the West, Dallas has little room for error. However, it also has a good chance to throw another win on the fire. FCD is 8-1-5 at home and won two straight there by scoring five goals in each of those contests.
"In our stadium, with our fans, in front our family, we want to show urgency and to get the result," coach Luchi Gonzalez said.
It might also help that FC Cincinnati (5-19-3) owns the fewest points (18) in MLS and is just 2-10-2 on the road during its expansion season. FCC also dropped to 0-6-1 over its last seven contests following Sunday's 3-1 home defeat to Columbus in the second-leg of the "Hell is Real" derby.
By the time Kekuta Manneh scored in the 89th minute, Cincinnati was already down 3-0 and seemingly watching the minutes count down. The match also appears to have been a defining moment for coach Ron Jans' approach to the future of the club.
"The goal is to cultivate a way of play and see which players fit into our future plans," Jans, who took over the team on Aug. 5, told Cincinnati's official website. "I was patient in my first three games, but you have to (know which players want to work and be part of the club's future). Otherwise, you are not in the plans for FC Cincinnati and not in my plans. So, the goals are to improve in the way of play, and to show now who's part of FC Cincinnati next season."
Both clubs will be sending off players on international duty, which begins next week. They include FCC's Allan Cruz and Kendall Waston, both for Costa Rica, and Dallas' Bryan Acosta for Honduras and the United States' Reggie Cannon and Paxton Pomykal.
Updated August 29, 2019