While taking in game two of a three game road stretch, Columbus Crew SC look to get their first win of the season against rivals FC Dallas. The team travels to Frisco, Texas in hopes of securing the Pioneer Cup for another year. Head coach and sporting director Gregg Berhalter looks for his side to enthusiastically score goals and be the team they were last year. On the other hand, FC Dallas look to continue their winning ways in front of their home crowd.
Columbus will have to find their groove in order to, at least, give some competition in this match. The last few matches have been nothing but mediocre performances. If the crew want to leave the game with three points, they need to play to their utmost best and be consistent on the ball in the midfield. The last outing against the Chicago Fire saw a little more “oomph” in their step. But can the team keep the composure after the International break?
Dallas on the other hand, are living the dream. A great start to the season sees the men in red sitting with three wins, one loss. Their most recent win was a 3-0 annihilation against D.C. United. New forward Maxi Urruti leads the team with three goals scored in his new home. Can the attack of Dallas find the weak spots of the Crew SC backline?
The Pioneer cup was introduced in 2007, when the teams met under Clark Hunt, son of Major League Soccer founder, and founder of both Dallas, and Columbus clubs, Lamar Hunt. Before the conference realignment, the teams would play each other twice, almost a home and home series. Winner after both legs took home the trophy. Clark Hunt left the Crew in 2013 to maintain the ownership of Dallas.
Keys to The Game
There are many keys to the game for Columbus. The first is to keep possession in the midfield. They have a reputation of losing the ball in the midfield, allowing the opposition to start a quick break and counter attack, leaving the defense back peddling. Second, passing is key. The lackluster passing through the middle is one reason for the loose ball possession favoring the opposition. Playing the ball more towards the wings will surely get the passing percentage up.
For FC Dallas? It seems as though they don’t need any. The in-form team is picking up where they left off last season. But, if there was to be a key to the game, it would be for them to use the break they have fast. Leaving the Crew backline on their heels can cause disaster.
Here is the predicted lineup for FC Dallas
Guillen, Hedges, Loyd, Hollingshed;
Castillo, Diaz, Barrios;
Here is the predicted lineup for Columbus Crew SC
Francis, Sauro, Parkhurst, Afful;
Meram, Higuain, Finlay;
Prediction: FC Dallas, playing the attractive football they have been playing will use their home field, and crowd advantage to great use, and dominate the game against Crew SC. But there’s something about Columbus that will give them a little more spark in their game. Gaining a point, that’s a little motivation to go and get three. Pretty even match.