MLS Preview and Prediction: Chicago Fire vs FC Dallas

Competition: Major League Soccer – Chicago Fire vs. FC Dallas

Venue: Toyota Park – Sunday, August 2 – 19:00 ET (00:00 BST)

Match Odds: Chicago 6/4 – Draw 12/5 – Dallas 17/10

Match Preview

Chicago Fire take on FC Dallas in this season’s only regular season meeting as the two sides at either end of the Supporters’ Shield standings go head-to-head in the latest Brimstone Cup matchup.

Chicago come into the game off the back of a 2-2 draw with New England Revolution last weekend. They ended a two-game losing run with that draw but will be disappointed to have let a 2-1 lead slip in the final 15 minutes.

Frank Yallop’s team sit at the bottom of the Eastern Conference and are watching their playoff hopes fade on a weekly basis as sides around them pick up points. The Fire are five points off sixth place and need to start winning their home games to stand any chance.

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That won’t be easy this week against a Dallas side in unstoppable form right now, though the Fire have won this fixture in each of the last three seasons and have now officially won four Brimstone Cup titles – four less than Dallas.

FCD will expect to claim the bragging rights in this rivalry on Sunday though for the first time in four years, since they beat Chicago 2-1 at Toyota Park in 2011.

They come into the game off the back of five-straight wins and are just one victory away from equalling their best ever winning streak record of six games. They did that at the end of 1999 and start of 2000 so it would be quite a feat if they can secure all three points on Sunday.

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Three points would also see them remain at the top of both the Western Conference and Supporters’ Shield standings so there is so much at stake for Oscar Pareja’s men this weekend.

Team News

Chicago will be without Jeff Larentowicz and Ty Harden, while Mike Magee is a doubt. Kennedy Igboananike will expect to start as the lone striker once again with David Accam out wide.

FC Dallas have no injury concerns ahead of this one and could name an unchanged side from the team that beat Portland 4-1 last week. Michael Barrios score twice last week and will look to impress again.

Key Points

Chicago Fire’s last five: D/W/L/L/D

FC Dallas’ last five: W/W/W/W/W

Key Stat: FC Dallas have scored at least two goals in each of their last five games, winning all of those.

Key Player: Fabian Castillo – The Colombian winger impressed in the second-half of the MLS All-Star game and has four goals in his last six games for FCD. Expect him to hurt Chicago on Sunday.

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Score Prediction

Chicago Fire 1-3 FC Dallas – Chicago may have won the last three meetings between the two but Dallas look to be unbeatable. They will be too strong for the Fire here and will equal their best ever winning streak record of six games come the end of play on Sunday night.

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MLS Preview and Prediction: FC Dallas vs Portland Timbers

Competition: Major League Soccer – FC Dallas vs. Portland Timbers 

Venue: Toyota Stadium –Saturday, July 25 – 21:00 ET (Sunday, July 26 – 02:00 BST) 

Match Odds: FC Dallas 21/20 – Draw 12/5 – Portland Timbers 5/2

Match Preview

Western Conference leaders FC Dallas entertain sixth placed Portland Timbers in the second meeting of the season between the sides.

Oscar Pareja will be delighted with last weekends performance against DC United, which saw his side dramatically take all three points in a 2-1 win.

Dallas have now won their last four regular season games on the bounce and there looks to be no stopping them.

They are unbeaten in their last five regular season outings, which will give them great confidence heading into this tie.

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Despite being five places below Dallas, Portland Timbers are just three points behind the leaders, showing just how competitive the Western Conference is.

They come into this one off the back of their 1-1 draw with Vancouver Whitecaps last weekend and Caleb Porter will know his side need to keep taking points off the sides around them to remain part of the pack chasing top spot.

Worryingly for the Timbers they have only won once in their last five games on the road and this will be a real test for them.

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Team News

FC Dallas are fortunate enough to still have a fully fit squad. Atiba Harris is one booking away from a suspension.

Portland Timbers have just the one injury concern with Ben Zemanski still out. Will Johnson is suspended while Alvas Powell, Liam Ridgewell and Diego Chara are all treading on thin ice, just one booking away from a suspension.

Key Points

FC Dallas’ last five: D/W/W/W/W

Portland Timbers’ last five: L/W/W/L/D

Key Stat: Ruthless – FC Dallas have scored two or more goals in their last four outings, all of which have been wins.

Key Player: Fabian Castillo – The forward continued his great run of form by scoring the winner in Dallas’ win last weekend.

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Score Prediction

FC Dallas 2-1 Portland Timbers – Timbers to struggle against a very strong in-form Dallas side who will come out on top.

Tottenham set for real test as 22-man MLS All-Star squad finalised

The 2015 AT&T MLS All-Star squad has been finalised as head coach Pablo Mastroeni confirmed his ten selections to finalise the gameday roster ahead of the game against Tottenham Hotspur on Wednesday, July 29.

The likes of Sebastian Giovinco, Kei Kamara, Robbie Keane and Fabian Castillo have been selected by Mastroeni to join those voted in the Fan XI as well as Commissioner Don Garber’s two picks, Steven Gerrard and Frank Lampard.

Obafemi Martins was the AT&T/EA SPORTS ‘More Than a Vote’ Tournament winner but will not be able to feature in the All-Star game due to an ongoing injury problem.


Full 2015 MLS All-Star squad:

GKDavid Ousted (Vancouver Whitecaps) & Nick Rimando (Real Salt Lake)

DEFDaMarcus Beasley (Houston Dynamo), Tony Beltran (Real Salt Lake), Matt Besler (Sporting Kansas City), Laurent Ciman (Montreal Impact), Omar Gonzalez (LA Galaxy), Chad Marshall (Seattle Sounders), Drew Moor (Colorado Rapids) & Chris Tierney (New England Revolution)

MIDMichael Bradley (Toronto FC), Fabian Castillo (FC Dallas), Benny Feilhaber (Sporting Kansas City), Steven Gerrard (LA Galaxy), Kaka (Orlando City), Frank Lampard (New York City FC) & Graham Zusi (Sporting Kansas City).

FORClint Dempsey (Seattle Sounders), Sebastian Giovinco (Toronto FC), Kei Kamara (Columbus Crew), Robbie Keane (LA Galaxy) & David Villa (New York City FC)


The 22-man squad will see 11 players make their All-Star debuts alongside 11 All-Star veterans with 14 MLS teams represented in the team.

There are 12 Designated Players in the squad, though notable absentees include San Jose Earthquakes striker Chris Wondolowski despite the fact he’s netted nine goals in 16 games this season, as well as the likes of Jozy Altidore, Bradley Wright-Phillips and Jermaine Jones.

Tottenham will be in for a real test as world stars such as Steven Gerrard, Kaka, David Villa and Frank Lampard will look to prove their credentials as match-winners against the Premier League side.

Kaka Orlando City

While some of the more unfamiliar names to English football fans could wreak havoc in what is such a big match for the players.

Fabian Castillo will likely lineup against DeAndre Yedlin down the left wing in what will be a fascinating matchup between two of the fastest players in the game, while reigning MLS MVP and former Tottenham hero Robbie Keane will no doubt be looking to score against the club he played more than 200 games for.

Spurs have only played behind-closed-doors friendlies so far so the All-Star game will be their biggest test so far, before they take on Real Madrid in the Audi Cup on August 4.

Will the MLS All-Stars prove too good for Tottenham?

MLS Preview and Prediction: FC Dallas vs DC United

Competition: Major League Soccer – FC Dallas vs. DC United

Venue: Toyota Stadium –Saturday, July 18 – 21:00 ET (Sunday, July 19 – 02:00 BST) 

Match Odds: FC Dallas 4/5 – Draw 13/5 – New England Revolution 100/30

Match Preview

FC Dallas host top of the Eastern Conference DC United this weekend in what should be a tie worth watching.

Dallas have won their last three on the bounce, including last weekend’s 2-0 victory away against Orlando City.

Oscar Pareja’s side are one of three Western Conference teams who are level on 32 points, but they sit third on goal difference behind Vancouver Whitecaps in second and leaders Seattle Sounders. Dallas have played one game less than their opponents.

Fabian Castillo is in great form but missed out on the chance to score for the fourth game running in the victory over Orlando. The forward has netted seven times so far this campaign.

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DC United are leading the Eastern Conference by eight points and look comfortable despite a slight dip in form.

Ben Olsen will be hoping his side can get back to winning ways in this tie as they have lost three in their last six outings and won just twice.

They lost last time out in the away tie at Seattle Sounders in a tight game and can count themselves unlikely to have come away with a 1-0 defeat.

DC will want to keep the cushioning of the eight point lead at the top of the Eastern and must avoid losing back-to-back games to ensure the chasing pack stay out of reach. They are leading the way in the Supporters’ Shield standings by three points, which adds to the occasion as Dallas could potentially draw level on points if they win this one.

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Team News

FC Dallas have a fully fit squad going into this one but Atiba Harris remains one yellow card away from a suspension.

DC United have seven injury concerns. Eddie Johnson and Bill Hamid are set to miss out while, Michael Farfan, Collin Martin, Sean Franklin, Chris Pontius and Luis Silva are doubtful. Fabian Espindola is suspended and Perry Kitchen is one booking away from a suspension.

Key Points

FC Dallas’ last five: L/D/W/W/W

DC United’s last five: L/W/W/D/L

Key Stat: DC United have failed to score in five of their last seven away regular season outings.

Key Player: Fabian Castillo – The obvious choice for his attacking flare and recent form.

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Score Prediction

FC Dallas 2-1 DC United – Dallas to take advantage of a slightly out of form DC side who have struggled on the road at times this season.

MLS Preview and Prediction: Orlando City SC vs FC Dallas

Competition: Major League Soccer – Orlando City SC vs. FC Dallas

Venue: Citrus Bowl – Saturday, July 11 – 19:30 ET (00:30 BST)

Match Odds: Orlando City 7/5 – Draw 12/5 – FC Dallas 19/10

Match Preview

Orlando City take on FC Dallas on Saturday night for the first time in MLS at the Citrus Bowl.

Orlando are back on home soil after their 1-1 draw with Real Salt Lake last weekend, which has seen them draw on level points with Columbus Crew and New England Revolution. However the Lions have played two games less than their Eastern Conference opponents.

Although they sit third in the Eastern, the teams are split by fine margins, with second to seventh place separated by just four points.

Adrian Heath was under enormous pressure to turn things around, and three wins in their last five outings has seen his side on the up.

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Top scorer Kaka, will miss the game due to suspension after his red card last weekend. While second top scorer Cyle Larin is in Gold Cup action with Canada. Leaving Orlando light in front of goal.

FC Dallas play away from home for the sixth time in eight matches but bounced back after their impressive 3-0 rout over New England Revolution at Toyota Stadium last weekend.

Like Orlando, FC Dallas’ top scorer Blas Perez is unavailable as he is on International duty with Panama in the Gold Cup.

FC Dallas’ away form is something that does need to be addressed, in eight games on the road they have won just twice and lost six, which been their achilles heel.

Dallas will be hoping to capitalise on the fact Larin and Kaka are missing for Orlando and take all three points.

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Team News

Plenty of absentees from both teams due to Gold Cup commitments, Orlando City have Cyle Larin and Darwin Ceren away. Injuries to Kevin Molino (ACL), Martin Paterson (knee), Tony Cascio (back) Aurelien Collin (hamstring) and Brek Shea (groin) weaken the squad. Kaka’s suspension doesn’t make things any easier.

FC Dallas are without five players away on international duty; Tesho Akindele, Kyle Bekker, Moises Hernandez, Je-Vaughn Watson and Blas Pérez. They have no injury concerns.

Key Points

Orlando City last five in MLS: W/W/L/W/D

FC Dallas last five in MLS: D/L/D/W/W

Key Stat: Leaky – The two sides they have conceded forty five goals between them this season.

Key Player: Fabian Castillo – The Columbian has seven goals this season and five assists. He is Dallas’ leading scorer in the absence of Perez and he could take advantage of Orlando’s weakened squad.

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Score Prediction: 

Orlando City 0-1 FC Dallas – A tight affair between the two, but the one goal could sneak it especially with both teams light due to injuries and international commitments.

MLS Preview and Prediction: FC Dallas vs New England Revolution

Competition: Major League Soccer – FC Dallas vs. New England Revolution

Venue: Toyota Stadium –Saturday, July 4 – 21:00 ET (Sunday, July 5 – 02:00 BST) 

Match Odds: Dallas 1/1 – Draw 13/5 – New England Revolution 5/2

Match Preview

FC Dallas host New England Revolution on Saturday night as they look to pick themselves up after their midweek trouncing at the hands of Sporting Kansas City.

Dallas were thumped 6-2 by SKC in the US Open Cup – a result they will want to quickly forget and have a great chance of doing so against a below-par New England Revolution side.

Oscar Pareja’s team won their last regular season game 2-0 against Houston Dynamo. They are sitting in sixth place in the Western Conference.

Fabian Castillo has been in good form and the Dallas faithful will be hoping he can push the side to another home victory. Dallas have lost just once at Toyota Stadium so far this campaign and it is becoming a fortress.

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New England Revolution are sitting sitting second in the Eastern Conference despite their poor run of form but they must turn things around.

The Revs have lost their last three games on the bounce and have just one win in their last ten Major League Soccer outings.

They come into this one off the back of their 2-1 defeat to Vancouver Whitecaps which saw Andrew Farrell dismissed.

Jay Heaps will be disappointed that his side have lost their last three games by the same scoreline, 2-1, and the chasing pack are edging closer to the Revs, who are ahead of three sides by just one point.

New England are now eleven points behind leaders DC United and closing that gap already looks like an impossible task.

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Team News

FC Dallas could possibly be without Rolando Escobar. Victor Ulloa and Atiba Harris are both one yellow card away from a suspension.

New England Revolution will be missing Jermaine Jones and Darrius Barnes. Andrew Farrell is suspended, while London Woodberry and Teal Bunbury are both one yellow away from suspension.

Key Points

FC Dallas’ last five: L/D/L/D/W

New England Revolution’s last five: L/W/L/L/L

Key Stat: FC Dallas are unbeaten in nine of their last ten home Major League Soccer outings.

Key Player: Fabian Castillo – The easy choice but for obvious reasons, the forward has netted six times so far this campaign and possesses the ability to unlock any defence.

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Score Prediction

FC Dallas 2-1 New England Revolution – Another loss for New England which they cannot afford against a Dallas side who will see this as a chance to build on their last regular season win.

MLS Preview and Prediction: FC Dallas vs Houston Dynamo

Competition: Major League Soccer – FC Dallas vs. Houston Dynamo

Venue: Toyota Stadium –Friday, June 26 – 21:00 ET (02:00 BST) 

Match Odds: Dallas 17/20 – Draw 5/2 – Houston 16/5

Match Preview

FC Dallas host Houston Dynamo in the second Texas Derby game of the 2015 season on Friday night, with the home side looking to end their six-game winless streak in MLS against their fierce rivals.

Dallas haven’t won a game since early May, when they beat LA Galaxy 2-1 just a week after winning the first Texas Derby of the year in Houston by a 4-1 scoreline, but they will hope that a return to Toyota Stadium after five-straight road games can spark an improvement.

A run of three losses and three draws has seen FCD fall down to sixth in the Western Conference, barely hanging on to the last playoff spot in a very tight table.

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Houston are in ninth place in the Western but are just three points behind Dallas, knowing a win on Friday would move them above their rivals on goal difference.

Owen Coyle’s side have only won once in their last four MLS games as inconsistency is costing them a playoff position at the midpoint of the campaign.

Their last away trip saw them lose 2-0 in Portland so they must improve on that performance if they’re to win here. They also need to try and forget the first meeting this term and focus on getting a result in Dallas.

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History would suggest that might be difficult as Dallas have won the last three MLS meetings over the last three seasons, including the game in Houston this year, and haven’t lost at home to the Dynamo since 2011.

FC Dallas have won El Capitan for the past two seasons and know a win on Friday will secure a third straight Texas Derby title and an all-time fifth, tieing Houston’s record in the series.

Team News

Oscar Pareja may be without Matt Hedges, who is struggling with a hamstring strain, but has no other injury concerns and will be looking forward to playing on home soil once again.

Owen Coyle could be without Brad Davis again but has no other worries ahead of this key clash.

Key Points

FC Dallas’ last five: L/L/D/L/D

Houston Dynamo’s last five: W/L/D/W/L

Key Stat: There have been exactly five goals in each of the last four meetings between these two in all competitions, with Dallas winning all four matches.

Key Player: Fabian Castillo – Hard to overlook the rapid winger, especially after his devastating display in Houston earlier this season. Expect Castillo to cause problems again.

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Score Prediction

FC Dallas 2-2 Houston Dynamo – Tough to separate the sides ahead of what is a huge game. Dallas have home advantage but their recent form makes it difficult to see them winning. Houston were blown away in the reverse fixture this term and will have learnt from their mistakes. Score draw.

STATS: Could this young MLS star replace Raheem Sterling at Liverpool?

It’s looking increasingly likely that Raheem Sterling is heading for the Liverpool exit door this summer after turning down a £100,000-a-week deal and the transfer rumours are growing rapidly.

With that in mind, the Reds may already be eyeing up a potential replacement, and will probably be scouting the top European clubs to see who they can bring in to fill the void left by Sterling should he leave.

An alternative option to consider is looking outside of Europe and the possibility of making a move for a player in the mould of FC Dallas winger, and one of Major League Soccer‘s hottest prospects, Fabian Castillo.

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The 22-year-old Colombian has had an excellent start to the 2015 MLS season with Dallas and has continued from where he left off in 2014. But how does Castillo compare statistically to Sterling over the course of 2014 and 2015?

Apps

Mins

Goals

Assists

Total goals contributed

Total goals contributed-per-game

Successful take ons-per-game

Raheem Sterling

35

3,047

7

7

14

0.40

2.94

Fabian Castillo

39

3,355

14

9

23

0.59

4.49

The stats show that Castillo contributes more goals-per-game and has more successful take ons-per-game than Raheem Sterling has had this season.

While no-one is suggesting that the level of the Premier League and MLS is comparable, the numbers still show that Castillo is an exciting prospect and if he continues to grow at the rate he currently is, he will undoubtedly draw attention from top European clubs.

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The Colombian attacker has raw pace and at just 22-years-old, he is a long way from reaching his peak as he improves consistently each season.

Replacing Sterling is going to be a tough task for Liverpool and any potential new signing will have his work cut-out trying to live up to the Anfield faithful’s expectations, but Fabian Castillo could be a realistic option if he carries on performing.

Would you like to see Fabian Castillo in the Premier League? Or should he stay in MLS?

MLS Preview and Prediction: Montreal Impact vs FC Dallas

Competition: Major League Soccer – Montreal Impact vs. FC Dallas

Venue: Stade Saputo – Saturday, May 23 – 20:00 ET (01:00 BST)

Match Odds: Montreal 5/4 – Draw 23/10 – Dallas 11/5

Match Preview

Montreal Impact welcome FC Dallas to Stade Saputo this weekend as both sides look to build on solid displays last time out.

The hosts are looking to record back-to-back wins following their 4-1 demolition of Real Salt Lake last week, while FC Dallas are looking to further cement their place at the top of the Western Conference with a win.

Montreal Impact lay bottom of the Eastern due to CONCACAF Champions League commitments and have played only played six games so far.

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Due to their Champions League adventures, the Impact have failed to put a run of form together that can pull them from the bottom of the Supporters’ Shield standings. They picked up creditable draws against New England Revolution and Orlando City, but they had just two points until last week.

Andres Romero is off the mark after netting twice in the impressive win against Real Salt Lake, in what was an incredible match and well worth the wait for the Montreal Impact.  

Montreal have conceded nine goals this season, which isn’t too bad, but they will need defenders to be on top form against an attacking FC Dallas side who know how to hit the back of the net.

FC Dallas failed to score last week in their 0-0 draw with New York Red Bulls at Toyota Stadium, making it three times this season they have failed to get on the scoresheet.

But nevertheless, no defeats in their last five matches has led them to the top of the Western and also top of the Supporters’ Shield standings.

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Blas Perez and Fabian Castillo have been absolutely brilliant this season. Perez has five goals, while Castillo has four with five assists, and the pair have been key in what has led to a fantastic start to FC Dallas’ MLS campaign.

The last time the two teams faced of at Stade Saputo, they played out a 0-0 draw. But last season’s meeting saw a 3-2 FC Dallas win in Texas.

Team News

Montreal Impact will be without Dominic Oduro, who picked up groin injury in the game against Real Salt Lake, plus injuries to Donny Toia (ankle), Hassoun Camara (knee) and Victor Cabrera (ankle) could leave the defence rather light. Montreal will continue to be without Cameron Porter (torn ACL), Kenny Cooper (knee surgery), Adrian Lopez (knee) and Justin Mapp (dislocated elbow).

FC Dallas have just the one injury concern as Stephen Keel (foot) is out. Zach Lloyd could be in contention after recovering from a knock.

Key Points

Montreal Impact’s last five: D/D/L/L/W

FC Dallas’ last five: W/D/W/W/D

Key Stat: Montreal Impact have never beaten FC Dallas in MLS history.

Key Player: Fabian Castillo – The Colombian could run the show as he has proven to be a real threat to opposition defences throughout the campaign.

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Score Prediction

Montreal Impact 0-3 FC Dallas – Nothing but a one sided affair. FC Dallas are on fire and it is hard to see where Montreal’s solidarity will come from, with injuries decimating the defence.

MLS Preview and Prediction: FC Dallas vs LA Galaxy

Competition: Major League Soccer – FC Dallas vs. LA Galaxy

Venue: Toyota Stadium – Saturday, May 9th – 20:30 ET (01:30 BST)

Match Odds: FC Dallas 7/5 – Draw 23/10 – LA Galaxy 19/10

Match Preview

FC Dallas host LA Galaxy in a key Western Conference clash on Saturday night at Toyota Stadium as the home side look to extend their unbeaten run to four against the reigning MLS Cup champions.

Dallas have only lost twice this season and lead the Western Conference on 17 points, three ahead of the Galaxy in fourth, and so this is a crucial game.

FCD beat Houston Dynamo in the Texas Derby last Friday in an impressive 4-1 win and will be looking to build on that display by winning their sixth game of the campaign against the Galaxy on home soil.

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Dallas beat the Galaxy 2-1 at home last season, winning against their rivals for the first time since 2011, and will be hoping to extend their lead to six points ahead of them come the end of play on Saturday.

The Galaxy also come into the game on an unbeaten streak, as they have not lost in five now, though three consecutive draws will have left some fans disappointed.

A 1-1 draw at home to Colorado Rapids last weekend was followed up by a 0-0 draw in Real Salt Lake on Wednesday night and head coach Bruce Arena will be hoping fatigue doesn’t cost them here.

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Juninho missed a stoppage time penalty on Wednesday night and the Galaxy have now only netted twice in their past three as the absence of Robbie Keane is clearly affecting them.

Fabian Castillo is in incredible form, having scored three and picked up three assists in Dallas’ last three outings, and he will look to cause the Galaxy defence all kinds of problems.

Team News

FC Dallas have five injury worries ahead of the game as Coy Craft, Stephen Keel, Zach Loyd, Matt Hedges and Chris Seitz all look set to miss out. Blas Perez will return in attack after serving his suspension, while Ryan Hollingshead should keep Tesho Akindele on the bench again.

LA Galaxy have six players ruled out through injury as Brian Perk, Robbie Keane, Jose Villarreal, Edson Buddle, Todd Dunivant and Kenney Walker will all miss out. Juninho started the game at RSL on the bench and could come into start. Alan Gordon and Bradford Jamieson IV are likely to start up front again.

Key Points

FC Dallas’ last five: L/L/W/D/W

LA Galaxy’s last five: W/W/D/D/D

Key Stat: FC Dallas have scored more goals than any other side in MLS so far this season (15) but they have registered the fewest shots per game (9). Efficient.

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Key Player: Fabian Castillo – Hard to overlook the Colombian winger after an incredible run of form has seen him look unstoppable. He could prove the difference here.

Score Prediction

FC Dallas 3-1 LA Galaxy – FC Dallas are looking to be in real good form and will build on their convincing win against Houston with another victory in this one. The Galaxy will be tired from their Wednesday night trip to Rio Tinto Stadium and will lose their first in five in Dallas this weekend.