Union Travel to Face Confident FC Dallas
FC Dallas (6-2-9, 27 points, third in Western Conference) vs. Philadelphia Union (4-9-3, 15 points, tied for sixth in Eastern Conference) at Pizza Hut Park
All-time Series: Teams tied 1-1 in only other meeting on May 15 at Lincoln Financial Field
6:00pm ET; Fox Soccer Channel/FOX Sports en Español
Both clubs hit the field just a few days after playing on Thursday. Philadelphia hosted 2008 MLS Cup champions Columbus at PPL Park, falling to the Crew 2-1. Columbus got a pair of goals from Steven Lenhart while the Union’s lone tally came from all-star Sebastien Le Toux. FCD come off a 2-2 tie on Thursday night with reigning UEFA Champions League winners Inter Milan at Pizza Hut Park. George John and David Ferreira scored for FCD in the draw as head coach Schellas Hyndman played all but two members of his first 11 for at least 60 minutes.
Currently riding an eight-game unbeaten streak and fresh off a memorable result against Inter, FCD head into Sunday’s match feeling very confident. Eric Avila performed well in his first start of 2010 vs. Inter, assisting on John’s goal and doing some good things on both sides of the ball.
Avila could also be in the starting 11 on Sunday, representing another big opportunity for the Southern California native, especially with several family members in town. Goalkeeper Kevin Hartman will be well rested for the Union. He didn’t play against Inter as backup Dario Sala went the full 90.
The Union are just 1-7-1 away from home in their inaugural season in MLS. Their lone win on the road came in Houston on May 29, a 3-2 victory at Robertson Stadium. Not counting that win, they have been outscored 17-5 in road games this year.
This will be their first trip to Pizza Hut Park and with game time temperatures expected to be near the century mark, the Texas heat could be a big factor for Peter Nowak’s side.
Heroes & Villains
Danny Mwanga vs. the FCD back line: During the first-ever meeting between these clubs back on May 15, a stoppage-time goal by Mwanga forced FCD to settle for just a point instead of the full three in a 1-1 draw. If he's able to play with his groin injury (questionable), look for Hyndman’s club to be extra aware of where the Union rookie striker is at all times, especially on set pieces.
Stat that makes you go “Hmm”
Since Mwanga’s goal, FCD haven’t allowed a goal past the 61st minute. Since that match, Dallas have allowed a total of just six goals and only two of those have come in the second half.