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Tough challenges ahead for FC Dallas in their quest for the playoffs

Photo: Michael Lark/Dallas Sports Fanatic

Tough challenges ahead for FC Dallas in their quest for the playoffs

With the regular season coming to an end in the next month, FC Dallas is looking to do what it takes to reach the MLS Playoffs. With just five games left in the season, it’ll be a tough task for those led by the underestimated boys in red. FC Dallas currently sits in seventh place in the Western Conference standings, just a point ahead of the LA Galaxy who are also looking to make their way into the playoffs. FC Dallas has a tight schedule on paper, but on the field, it could turn out to be a different story.

The final stretch of the season starts by visits to both Chicago and Seattle. The Chicago Fire, despite being a couple of points out of a playoff spot, they could sure complicate things and leave FCD empty-handed. The visit to Chicago won’t be comfortable, FCD hasn’t won there since 2011. Heading up to the Pacific Northwest to face the Sounders won’t be any different, ahead of FCD in the standings by just three single points is a short gap that the Sounders can’t give away. Playing in Seattle hasn’t been easy either since FCD hasn’t won a regular season game there since 2011.

Even though losses won’t mathematically eliminate Dallas yet, these matches are must-wins. Returning from this road trip empty-handed could make it very difficult for Dallas to maneuver themselves around the pack of teams surrounding them in the standings.

After two hard-fought matches on the road, FCD will get ready to host NYCFC at Toyota Stadium on September 22nd. This match at home could go either way for FCD as the last time that they hosted NYCFC the game ended in a 1-1 tie. With NYCFC already securing their spot in the playoffs, they will be looking to maintain that first position in the Eastern Conference to play in the Conference Semifinals. Without knowing the results of the visits to Chicago and Seattle, who knows what Dallas could be facing by the time this game comes around.

A trip to the Mile High City on September 29th will be yet another key opportunity for Dallas to work their way into the playoffs. With the help of other results, FCD could well be in a place to secure that precious playoff spot. FCD’s regular season wraps up on October 6th at home against Sporting Kansas City.

Players such as Michael Barrios and Ryan Hollingshead will have to set the tone for everyone on the field by creating plays on the wings. The defensive side will have to be rock solid to avoid getting scored on. It will fall on Reto Ziegler and Matt Hedges to control and organize their back four. Scoring upfront will be the primary objective, especially in these two away games against Chicago Fire and Seattle. Given the fact that FCD hasn’t won at those venues for quite some time, this will be an outstanding opportunity for Dominque Badji, Jesus Ferreira and Zdeněk Ondrášek to change the script and acquire that playoff spot.

FCD will have a tense final month of the season. Head coach Luchi Gonzalez is confident that his players can reach the playoffs and possibly advance to the next round. The task up ahead is tough, but it’ll be interesting to see how it’ll all turn out, especially considering how little hype surrounded the team coming into the season.

 

SEE ALSO: DSF Top 20 Current Athletes: 20. John Klingberg

 

Student at Richland College covering FC Dallas for Dallas Sports Fanatic

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