FC Dallas-Rapids Preview
It's been nearly a month since FC Dallas won an MLS match. Yet, it can clinch a playoff berth this weekend if things fall into place.
Dallas, though, could have its hands full Sunday against the host Colorado Rapids, who are looking for a fifth win in six games, still technically alive for a postseason spot and set to honor retiring legend Tim Howard.
Dallas (12-11-9) owns the seventh and final playoff spot in the Western Conference despite scoring just one goal while going 0-1-2 since posting back-to-back wins over Houston on Aug. 25 and FC Cincinnati on Aug. 31. Dallas is one point ahead of eighth-place San Jose, but needs four points over its final two matches to make the playoffs.
Actually, FCD could clinch that postseason berth this weekend with a win, and even a draw, plus favorable results - from its standpoint - involving Portland and San Jose. However, Dallas' overall focus is to garner all six points from the final two games, concluding with a home date versus Sporting Kansas City at home.
"We want to put ourselves in the best position come playoff time, and two wins if going to do that for us," forward Dominque Badji told Dallas' official website. "We don't want to rely on other teams, and this is what we have control over. So we're definitely going (to Colorado) with the mentality of getting three points."
However, after back-to-back draws versus Seattle and New York City FC, Dallas should not expect to have an easy time this weekend. FCD used goals by Michael Barrios and Ryan Hollingshead to beat Colorado 2-1 at home back in March, but the Rapids (11-15-6) have won four of the last five games and are in position to claim a season-high fifth straight victory at home.
"We've got two more to go, and we can change things around here," star Kei Kamara, who scored a wondergoal for his team-leading 12th of the season in a comeback 3-2 win over Kansas City last weekend, told the Rapids' official website.
Though Colorado is ninth in the West, six points behind Dallas, it's still mathematically alive for a playoff spot. Though, the Rapids would be eliminated with a loss or a draw in this contest, or a Portland win or tie and a San Jose victory.
"All we can control is what we can control," Rapids defender and former FC Dallas member Kellyn Acosta said. "For us, we need to go out there and battle and compete. Keep chugging along, keep progressing."
Sunday will also be a special night for Howard, in his final home game before retiring. Howard, whose career began in 1998 with the MetroStars, took him to the Premier League and included years with the U.S. national team, is questionable with a hamstring injury that has kept him out of action since Aug. 31.
Dallas' Zdenek Ondrasek, who scored last week against NYCFC, has totaled all five of his league goals this season over his last five games.
Updated September 27, 2019