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FC Dallas vs. Real Salt Lake Preview

Spiraling Dallas heads to Rio Tinto Stadium to take on Real Salt Lake.

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With their season slowly spiraling out of control, Dallas travels to Sandy, Utah to face Western Conference powerhouse Real Salt Lake. Salt Lake's home turf, Rio Tinto Stadium, is a fortress where Salt Lake manages to get results almost every single time they take the pitch.

Dallas sits as one of the worst teams in MLS in points-per-game and in order to keep their heads above water they must manage at least a draw, if not a win. With the rotating carousel of injuries, it will be difficult however to field a first-choice starting XI. Reinforcements are on the way in a month, with Villar nearing fitness and Shea serving the last game of his suspension, but until then FCD needs to avoid drowning.

Luckily for Dallas, Real Salt Lake will be without many key players as well, making this a matchup in which Dallas might be able to nail an otherwise difficult win. Due to callups by national teams for the upcoming FIFA dates, RSL will be lacking Alvaro Saborio, Will Johnson, Nick Rimando and Kyle Beckerman. Midfield playmaker Javier Morales will also be out due to injury.

Fatigue will be an important issue here for Dallas as they will be playing their third game in a week, and there will likely be some tired legs out there after the 60th minute.

With so many key absences for Real, Dallas players needs to be disciplined, avoid red cards, and preferably stay out of the hospital. If the Toros stick to their game plan and attack Real's currently squishy midfield, a win wouldn't be entirely out of the question, though a draw would be just as nice when playing at Rio Tinto.

The game will be broadcast at 8:00 pm CDT on Fox Sports Southwest.

Photographs by jamesbrandon, jdtornow, phlezk, flygraphix, mcdlttx, tomasland, and literalbarrage used in background montage under Creative Commons. Thank you.