Image: FC Dallas Twitter
Tonight FC Dallas will face off against Sporting Kansas City at Children's Mercy Park in Kansas City. Until recently Dallas was known to perform poorly in SKC's home stadium. Oscar Pareja kicked off Dallas' recent run of wins at Children's Mercy Park in July of 2018 with a 3-2 win that saw Michael Barrios score a hattrick. Under Luchi Gonzalez, Dallas has two wins and a tie in Kansas City. Their last victory came September 19th of 2020. Like Pareja's first victory in Kansas City, Luchi's squad won the game 3-2. Franco Jara scored a brace and Ryan Hollingshead scored the late winner just minutes after SKC's Johnny Russell had tied it.
Currently SKC is in second place in the Western Conference and are just two points behind the leaders the Seattle Sounders. With twenty-eight goals for, they are the second highest scoring team in the league. Eastern Conference leader, the New England Revolution are just barely ahead of them in goals for with thirty.
Dallas will be in for a difficult match. They have yet to earn a result in an away game. It's not impossible for them to get their first tie or even a win tonight. SKC will be without several players due to health reasons and international duty. (https://www.fcdallas.com/news/injury-report-pres-by-texas-health-sports-medicine-fc-dallas-vs-sporting-kc-7-31)
SKC's second leading scoring Alan Pulido is away with the Mexican National Team. Gianluca Basio is with the United State's National Team. Basico is third in key passes with 18 and is listed as being fourth in pass percentage with at 89.3. His absence should give the Dallas defense some relief. The rest of SKC's absences can be found in the link above.
The Dallas defense will still need to be wary of SKC's leading scorer Daniel Salloi. The defense has continued to improve with each game but currently they only have two cleansheets this season. They'll need to stay disciplined.
On the offense, Ricardo Pepi has been Dallas' best player. His hattrick in their last match against LA Galaxy put him the spotlight, earning him MLS Player of the Week (https://www.fcdallas.com/news/fc-dallas-forward-ricardo-pepi-voted-mls-player-of-the-week-for-week-15) honors and a spot on the MLS Team of the Week longside teammate Justin Che. (https://www.fcdallas.com/news/ricardo-pepi-named-mls-player-of-the-week-justin-che-included-in-mls-team-of-the)
Image: Melanie G. Isbell via Lineup11
After their 4-0 win against L.A Galaxy last week, ideally Luchi shouldn't do much tinkering with the lineup. Two changes will happen however. First change that will happen is at rightback. Che is listed as out in the latest injury report. Matt Hedges and Jose Martinez are no longer on the list, not even as questionable. It's doubtful to see either of them start immediately though. Eddie Munjoma, one of the options at rightback, hasn't made an appearance for Dallas since their 3-0 loss against the Colorado Rapids in late May. Ema Twumasi has made more appearances with Dallas recently. His latest one came as a sub in the final twelve minutes of their last match. Twumasi is the most likely replacement for Che.
Buzz Carrick of 3rd Degree mentioned on his website that Andres Ricaurte will miss the match tonight due to yellow card accumulation. (https://3rddegree.net/fc-dallas-at-sporting-kc-lineup-prediction-and-game-info)
Due to this, it is possible to see Paxton Pomykal shift back into the midfield, helping Ferreira to connect the attack with Pepi. Jader Obrian scored late in their last game. Luchi might start him as a reward for the late goal.
This feels like a game that Dallas could earn their first point on the road. Luchi could go for the win at the beginning of the game, his side scoring first thanks to a Pepi goal and then park the bus for the rest of the game. Unfortunately the defense has not been their best so they[ll likely concede a goal. It feels like a 1-1 game. SKC ties it up at the end, breaking the hearts of Dallas and their supporters.
By Melanie G. Isbell