New England Soccer Today

Scouting the Opposition: A Look at FC Dallas with Daniel Robertson

Prior to each match, New England Soccer Today will invite a reporter from the other side to provide insight regarding the Revolution’s next opponent.

This week,  Big D Soccer creator Daniel Robertson shared his thoughts on the state of FC Dallas and what the Revs can expect when they travel to take on Dallas on Wednesday night.

What is FC Dallas form lately? How have they been at home?

The Revs are set to take on FC Dallas at 8:30 p.m. ET Wednesday night at Pizza Hut Park in Frisco, Texas.

Daniel: I guess if you had to sum it up in one word it would be: unbeatable. Dallas is on a 15 game unbeaten streak and is 6-0-1 in their last seven home games with the only draw being that epic 2-2 game last week against New York. That was the first time Dallas had given up 2 goals in a game since April. It’s been six games since FC Dallas was even behind in a game, that coming in a 3-1 victory over Philadelphia where the Union scored first.

What is their likely starting 11 tonight? Any key injuries?

Daniel: Oh there’s a bunch of injuries and suspensions and this is what will give New England a chance to win. Dallas is potentially missing five starters in this game with Kevin Hartman, Daniel Hernandez, and Ugo Ihemelu definitely out through injury as well as Brek Shea who is out due to the red card he picked up on Thursday. Starting center back George John is questionable and if this was a playoff game he would probably go, but the coaching staff is being very careful with him and I doubt he plays either.

The starting 11 should feature Milton Rodriguez as the lone forward up top with the speedy Honduran Marvin Chavez and Atiba Harris on the wings. The center of the midfield will feature David Ferreira as the attacking mid, with Eric Alexander and Dax McCarty as box to box midfielders. McCarty would be making his first start after a long injury layoff so it is possible you could see Bruno Guarda starting, but that is unlikely.

The defense will be a back four of Jair Benitez and Heath Pearce on the outside with Jackson Goncalves and Zach Loyd in the center.

What do you feel are the Dallas’ weaknesses that opponents have been able to exploit?

Daniel: It’s tough to find a lot of weaknesses in a team that hasn’t lost in 15 games and allows well under a goal a game. Atiba Harris has probably been the weak link for Dallas this year on the right as he offers almost nothing offensively these days but he does a good job of defending. The central defense is without both starters, though Jackson and Loyd have filled in admirably. Dallas’ attack has been fairly anemic lately as teams have figured out that you can just foul David Ferreira out of the game, as referees are not giving him any protection.

What seem to be the Dallas’ strengths this season?

Daniel: Much like Columbus of a couple years ago, Dallas has gotten players that fit every position and have bought into the system. There’s not a lot of superstars, but everyone does their job very well. The defense is the best in team history with just 19 goals allowed in 24 games. If Shalrie Joseph lets David Ferreira out of his sights for a moment, he will either score or create a goal scoring opportunity.

What players should fans keep an eye on tonight?

Daniel: Stolica and Perovic are players I really like and I think they’re going to give the Dallas back four a lot of problems. Zach Loyd is a player who has struggled with strong forwards so if I was New England I would try to match up Stolica with Loyd as much as possible. Attacking down the outsides is going to be very, very difficult and must be funneled down the left side as Dallas’ right side with Atiba Harris and Heath Pearce shuts down pretty much everything.

It’s very important for Shalrie Joseph to deny David Ferreira the ball as he holds it up well allowing Dax and Eric Alexander to push forward into the attack. The rookie Alexander had his best game as a pro against New York with a beautiful goal and an assist so it will be interesting to see if he carries that confidence into tonight’s game.

Any closing comments?

Daniel: It’s been a remarkable season for a Dallas team that hasn’t made the playoffs since 2007. Prior to this rash of injuries, Dallas was the best team in the league and firing on all cylinders. Almost everyone will be back before the playoffs, but Dallas is still in the hunt for the Supporters Shield and this is the precious game in hand that Dallas has on its opponents. New England has to get their two forwards, Stolica and Perovic into the game or it could be a long night for New England.

Daniel Robertson’s coverage of the Rapids can be seen at You can also follow Daniel on twitter @bigdsoccer. View Daniel’s match preview here.

Leave a Reply