Minnesota United are hoping to extend their unbeaten run versus Dallas to five games when they travel to the Big D to face them on Saturday at Toyota Stadium in a fixture with huge playoff implications for the Loons.
The side from Saint Paul put forth an uninspired performance in the US capital on Wednesday, dropping a 3-1 contest to DC United, while the Texans continue to fall further and further back in the Western Conference playoff chase after losing 3-1 to Sporting Kansas City.
There are still six games remaining for Dallas to try and salvage something from what has been a disappointing campaign, but at this stage of the year, it appears that the writing is on the wall for this group.
Marco Ferruzzi was brought in to replace Luchi Gonzalez on an interim basis to instil some confidence into this squad, but after two games at the helm, the director of soccer operations may want to go back to the front office a little sooner.
The Toros have looked stagnant and out of sorts over their last two matches, firing only two shots on target against the Wizards on Wednesday.
Having now gone winless in six consecutive matches, one must wonder when the suffering will end for this team who have conceded 22 goals in their last 10 games and are without a clean sheet since August 7.
More often than not, Dallas have been at least a half a step behind their opposition throughout the year, running around trying to chase the game.
They lead the league in cautions with 66, gifting other teams plenty of free-kicks in dangerous areas, and committing 10 or more fouls in six consecutive matches.
The up-and-down year that the Loons have experienced in 2021 hit a bit of a low point earlier this week versus one of the top scoring teams in the league.
After two straight shutout wins, Adrian Heath saw his side close out the month of September looking lost without arguably their top playmaker on Wednesday, as the Black-and-Red handled them quite easily.
Emanuel Reynoso has been sorely missed as this team have struggled going forward without the Argentine midfielder, lacking any sort of flair or vision.
This team do not find the back of the net often, with only 30 goals after 27 games, but they have looked especially poor in the final third away from home, producing only six targeted efforts in their last three road fixtures and getting blanked by the Seattle Sounders and Sporting Kansas City.
With nine clean sheets, you might be inclined to believe that they have been a well organised and stable defensive side, but that has not been the case in recent memory as they allowed 27 shots on target last month and were often bailed out by goalkeeper Tyler Miller, who has been spectacular since taking the starting position away from Dayne St. Clair.
They are currently holding onto the final postseason position in the Western Conference, three points ahead of the Vancouver Whitecaps.
The next few weeks could give them some much-needed breathing room, facing two non-playoff teams over their next three matches (Dallas and Austin FC).
Dallas youngster Ricardo Pepi collected his 50th cap earlier this week, scoring his 13th goal of the season, putting him into a tie with Diego Fagundez for the most scored by a teenager in league history, with Fagundez notching a baker's dozen for the New England Revolution back in 2013.
Bryan Acosta is out of the lineup for this one, following his expulsion in the 52nd minute against KC, Matt Hedges is eligible to return after missing their last game through suspension and this will be the final outing for Szabolcs Schon for a while, as he will join the Hungarian national team for their World Cup 2022 qualifiers following this match.
Chase Gasper had a forgettable performance in their last game, giving away a 23rd-minute penalty and spotting DC a 1-0 lead, while Heath employed a back five with Brent Kallman and Michael Boxall in central defence with Jacori Hayes starting in midfield.
Dallas possible starting lineup:
Maurer; Munjoma, Bressan, Hedges, Hollingshead; Pomykal, Quignon; Ricaurte, Ferreira, Jara; Pepi
Minnesota United possible starting lineup:
Miller; Gasper, Dibassy, Raitala, Boxall; Fragapane, Reynoso, Trapp, Finlay, Hunou; Lod
We say: Dallas 0-1 Minnesota United
Neither side will be feeling particularly confident following some poor performances in midweek, but Minnesota still have meaningful games upcoming, whereas Dallas are falling out of the playoff picture.
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