Union forward Alejandro Moreno is well aware of how the teams' first meeting was perceived, and knows what to expect from the visitors on Saturday.
“We expect a physical game and we know [FCD are] a team that likes to disrupt the rhythm," he said. "It’s very important that we’re sharp on the ball going forward and we take advantage of the spaces we create and create opportunities from those spaces.”
"Beat Dallas" is a popular moniker around the city of Brotherly Love and, despite the added pressure to win the match, Moreno understands getting the points is the most important thing and that the rivalry comes second.
“I understand the rivalry but ... unless Tony Romo is playing center back for them, I don’t see that it’s a big issue," said Moreno. "It’s a big issue for us in that we’re trying to get three points, and if that pleases our fans that we beat Dallas, then so be it.”
Dallas are currently fifth in the Western Conference and have only lost one match all season, having won or tied the other six. Philly midfielder Stefani Miglioranzi, who returns from suspension, knows his teammates must remain focused if they want to take anything from the match.
Fitting of the Philadelphia-Dallas sports rivalry, the last meeting between the Union and FC Dallas resulted in a handful of ejections and lots of raised pulses. That preseason match, which was won by Dallas 2-0, certainly could serve as a precursor for Saturday’s battle.
“We’re know they’re a very good team,” said Miglioranzi on Friday. “They haven’t had results that reflect that as much, but they’re faring pretty well considering how their season has gone. We expect a really tough game tomorrow, for sure. We saw what kind of a team they are in the preseason and we have to really be on top of our game to be able to win this one.”