On Saturday night, FC Dallas ended their four-game losing streak with a 1-1 draw against Chivas USA at Toyota Stadium. However, FCD (5-5-2, 17 points) who somehow has remained third in the Western Conference standings despite their current run of malaise, is far from out of the woods.
That’s because Dallas remains winless in May at 0-3-1 and with a tough week that sees them play at the LA Galaxy on Wednesday and Real Salt Lake on Saturday, the prospect of them needing a win in their final match of the month, a May 31 date with San Jose in Frisco, to avoid the fourth winless May in club history has suddenly become very real. Here’s a closer look at their final three matches of the season.
Wednesday-at LA Galaxy
No matter whether the Carson, California home of the Galaxy has been known as the Home Depot Center or in its current incarnation as StubHub Center, wins have been hard to come by for FCD at that facility. Dallas is just 3-12-3 all-time against the Galaxy on their home field and first-year Dallas head coach Oscar Pareja was 1-2-0 at that facility during his two seasons as Colorado’s head coach.
But even as FCD has now officially gone one month since their last win (April 19 against Toronto FC), things are even worse for the Galaxy, who last won on April 12. LA has dropped to the West cellar and with Landon Donovan and Omar Gonzalez both now with the U.S. national team, Dallas will draw a Galaxy squad at less than full strength on Wednesday night in SoCal.
However, the bad news for the visitors is that LA figures to be in quite a foul mood after a defensive mistake led to the only goal in a 1-0 loss at Houston over the weekend. The Galaxy is an interesting paradox in that Bruce Arena’s side has had problems scoring goals this season. But LA has also been MLS’ stingiest side, conceding just seven, so this game could literally swing either way, but the Galaxy have a slight edge since they’re at home.
Saturday at Real Salt Lake
As if playing at one facility they historically don’t do well at wasn’t tough enough over the course of the week, FCD gets to double their pleasure or misery depending on how this week plays out, with a Saturday visit to Rio Tinto Stadium to face Real Salt Lake for the first time this season.
Dallas is 1-5-2 at the Sandy, Utah facility and even though RSL has a new head coach in former FCD goalkeeper Jeff Cassar, who took over when Jason Kreis left for New York City FC in the offseason, Salt Lake hasn’t missed a beat despite the regime change. The Claret-and-Gold is currently nipping at the heels of West-leading Seattle and is showing that they could be a true title contender.
But like the Galaxy, RSL will be without several key players gone on international duty in central midfielder Kyle Beckerman and goalkeeper Nick Rimando, both with the U.S. national team, and striker Alvaro Saborio, who is away with Costa Rica. Rio Tinto is a facility Pareja never won at in his two seasons coaching Salt Lake’s Rocky Mountain rival the Rapids, but last March, Colorado did come away with a point thanks to a 1-1 draw with RSL so anything is possible.
May 31 vs. San Jose
FCD faced the Earthquakes at Buck Shaw Stadium on May 10 and despite being a man up for the final half of play, Dallas still left the Bay Area with no points as San Jose prevailed 2-1. Dallas-area product Shea Salinas should be especially fired up to play in front of countless friends and family and ready to atone for his unfortunate red card in the previous meeting.
And the Quakes are a team that Dallas has found mixed results against in Frisco, going 2-2-3 against them since the facility opened in 2005. San Jose’s last win in Frisco came in March 2011 when the Quakes handed FCD a 2-0 blanking on their home field.
San Jose is currently 0-3-1 on the road so far this season and while that record comes from a rather small sample size, it shows that they have already struggled away from the tight confines of Buck Shaw. And if FCD is still winless in the month and a bit desperate to win on the final day of May, the Quakes could sense that desperation and feed off it.
But if Dallas does head into this May finale without a win in the third month of the season, one thing is for sure, the natives could be quite restless about FCD’s current and future course, even though the hiring of the ultra-popular Pareja was a home run with supporters back in January.