Dallas sits just three points clear of KC in second place in the tightly packed Western Conference. FC Dallas welcomed a new player this week, Panamanian Rolando Escobar who was out of contract after playing in Venezuela. He's available for selection tomorrow night and could make his debut. One player that looks like they might not be playing is Fabian Castillo who hasn't been training with the team the last couple days. That'd be a big loss for Dallas as Castillo caused KC a number of headaches in the first match up earlier this year. They will still have Mauro Diaz and Blas Perez available for the game and that's plenty enough to cause KC's defense a number of headaches.
For Kansas City it seems like while they're welcoming some players back from injury are losing others. It sounds like Graham Zusi will play a bigger role than he did against Seattle last weekend, and Roger Espinoza is probable. Meanwhile the team has lost Jacob Peterson who left the Seattle game last week with an injury while Dom Dwyer is set to miss his second game in a row due to a neck injury. So KC's injury issues continue with them just rotating through the team. The big question for the lineup may be who starts on the wing opposite Zusi with Peterson out and Krisztian Nemeth in the center forward position. Last week it was Jimmy Medranda in that position, but the other option that Peter Vermes could opt for is giving rookie Connor Hallisey is first professional start.
Anibaba - Ellis - Besler - Dia
Espinoza - Feilhaber
Zusi - Nemeth - Medranda
Number to Remember - 1 - That's the number of wins Peter Vermes is away from his 100th in all competitions for KC. It's also the number of wins that KC has at Sporting Park against FC Dallas, KC is 1-1-1 at home against Dallas since Sporting Park opened. One is also the number of wins they have in their last five games against Dallas, dating back to Dallas' 2011 trip to KC.
Key Match Up - Soni Mustivar vs Mauro Diaz - Diaz is the cog for Dallas' offense, especially with Castillo seemingly not playing tomorrow. Keeping him contained and not giving away cheap free kicks for him to play into the box is key. It's going to be a tough task for Mustivar to handle.
PREDICTION - Even without Castillo, Dallas still has a number of attacking options that will cause problems for KC's back line. The defense showed a lot better against Seattle last week, but at home one would hope that KC will provide a bit more going forward and in possession than they did in Seattle. Dallas does allow goals, they have just one shutout in their last eight games, so there should be some chances for Kansas City. This looks like it could be a case of which team scores last. I'm not sure either team walks out with a win tomorrow though.
SKC - 2 (Nemeth, Feilhaber)
FCD - 2 (Diaz, Perez)