To preview Sporting KC's trip to FC Dallas Stadium on Saturday, I spoke with MLSSoccer.com's Matt Barbour.
What's been the key to FC Dallas' success this season?
For the majority of the season and especially if you look at the matches where they've played well, they've been led from the back. George John has been hurt for a few games but for the most part they've had a lot of continuity on the back line. And once Fernandez really rounded into form that's been what's kept them winning or at least getting a point in some of those games where they've given up late goals.
How will FC Dallas respond after losing last weekend at Portland?
I expect to see a very strong team as Dallas is expecting to see that from KC. In Portland, Dallas played 82 minutes plus stoppage time without a target forward after Hassli got hurt and Cooper was unavailable. The fact that they made a game of that speaks a lot to this team as a whole. I expect this (Saturday vs Sporting KC) to be one of their better games this season. They are healthy, outside of Hassli's knock, and everybody will otherwise be available.
What do you expect to see from Saturday's match?
I'm expecting to see a pretty good match. I don't see either team as being afraid of the other. I think both teams will think that they can impose their will to an extent which for the most part usually leads to good soccer. I think the challenge may come late for fitness for both sides. It should be a heck of an entertaining match. I expect to see high pressure and strong midfield play out of Sporting KC. I expect to see Dallas trying to use their speed on the flanks and trying to set up Blas Perez in the middle. I would not be surprised at all if we see a three or four goal match.