This Saturday, May 29, the Colorado Rapids return home to DICK’S Sporting Goods Park to take on FC Dallas for the second time this season. This will be the Rapids’ first matchup against a familiar foe from earlier in the year so far in 2021. Here’s what you need to know about FC Dallas heading into the matchup.
In the Rapids’ season opener at FC Dallas, the two teams battled it out for a 0-0 draw. Dallas is the only team who has been able to hold Colorado scoreless this season, as the Rapids have managed at least one goal in every contest since. Despite the lack of goals in the first matchup, there was no lack of offense. Both teams fired 11 shots each, with six on goal for Dallas and five for Colorado. The expected goals (XG) were tight, with .9 for Dallas and .8 for the Rapids.
Since meeting at the beginning of the season, Dallas has struggled in the competitive Western Conference. They currently find themselves in last place in the West, with a 1-2-3 (W-L-D) record.
Despite the record, though, Dallas does seem to be improving. MLSSoccer.com said that they looked “really good and consistently dangerous” in their weekend matchup against Real Salt Lake, resulting in a 2-2 draw.
It’s worth noting that both of Dallas’ two losses have come in their two road matches, the first at San Jose and the second in Minnesota. While FC Dallas does seem to be progressing, a booming home crowd at DSGP may be their kryptonite.
Key Players to Watch
Part of what makes Dallas dangerous is the fact that they are balanced. They are among the top in MLS in number of different goal scorers this season with seven different players combining for eight total goals.
That being said, Rapids faithful should keep an eye on Bryan Acosta. FC Dallas switched their formation in their last game to a 4-1-4-1 that saw Acosta in more of a box-to-box role and led to him firing four shots in a wildly offensive night for FC Dallas where they recorded 19 total shots, nine on goal. The Designated Player is in his third season with Dallas and the Rapids will have the task of frustrating the Honduran midfielder without their own Kellyn Acosta, who will miss the match due to international duty with the U.S. Men’s National Team.
Franco Jara is another player to watch out for. Jara scored his first of the year against RSL, albeit on a penalty kick, but it opened his 2021 account nonetheless. The goal from Jara was a long time coming, as he led the team with seven total shots in that game alone. Jara had 1.58 XG on the evening, which was over double the expected goals of the entire RSL squad.