DALLAS - After a disappointing 2-0 loss to Los Angeles this past weekend, FC Dallas will be refocused and hungry to get back on the right track this Saturday as they travel to face the Kansas City Wizards at Arrowhead Stadium.
"It's disappointing, but it's just one loss," said center back Clarence Goodson after FCD's first loss of the season. "It's still early in the season and we didn't really expect to go undefeated so we got that first one out of the way and we can move on now."
The Wizards have stumbled early on, as they look to improve a 1-1-2 record against their former Western Conference rivals. They have uncharacteristically allowed a high number of goals this season, but last year's MLS Cup Finalist is still a difficult opponent.
"They're a very well organized team," said FC Dallas head coach Colin Clarke. "They defend in two banks of four, the forwards will work hard to put you under pressure.
"With them the first goal is always important, if you can get one against them they've got to come out and open up a little bit. If they get one, they're going sit back and hang on to it. They've been very successful with it over the years and they will continue to play that way."
The Wizards have caused problems for Dallas recently, winning three of the four league meetings and their quarterfinal match in the U.S. Open Cup, outscoring the then-Burn 12-2 over the five games.
Strike pair Josh Wolff and Davy Arnaud had a lot to do with the lopsided scoring margin last year, along with powerful winger Chris Klein. Arnaud had one of his best games against Dallas last season, hitting for a hat trick on July 3.
Carey Talley knows Klein well from his days with the Wizards, which could give FC Dallas an advantage. Talley won a championship with the Wizards in 2000 before coming to Dallas along with Eric Quill in the trade for Shavar Thomas before the 2004 season.
"They're not much of an attacking team," said Talley. "They've got their three that they primarily attack with and they catch you with the counterattack a lot. [Bob] Gansler has always had good defensive teams."
Gansler is one of the most respected and longest-tenured coaches in MLS and will have his team well prepared for the dangerous FC Dallas attack. The match against the Wizards will be the second game in a trying three game road stretch for FC Dallas.
"It's a tough stretch for us," said Clarke. "But we feel it's a good challenge - one we're up for - we're full of confidence that we can go in and get a result."
Scott Joiner is a contributor to MLSnet.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Soccer or its clubs.