FC Dallas in the driver's seat

After spending seven straight weekends on the road, FC Dallas' return to Texas on Monday after a 2-0 loss at Chicago must have been a happy one.

The squad has traveled the United States, come back to Dallas, and then did some more traveling after spending seven of eight games on the road and a team record four straight away from home from May 22 - June 12.

The team has appeared in 12 matches this season, played nine of them on the road, and sit in first place (7-2-3) in the Western Conference. The coaches have done an outstanding job of making the players buy into the thought that it is, "Us against the world," and that they can put themselves in a great position if they play smart and consistent during the first half of the season.

FC Dallas will now play two straight at home against the Los Angeles Galaxy (one of two teams to defeat them this year) and Chivas USA. The Galaxy match will be Saturday, June 18, and Chivas USA comes to town on Wednesday, June 22.

FCD will then go back on the road for one game at Colorado and return home to host the San Jose Earthquakes on July 2, the final game the team will play at the Cotton Bowl.

Following that, Dallas has a bye week (July 9) and then returns to the road for three straight. However, after the three-game swing, they will be home for 10 of their final 13 matches with the first one coming on opening day for their new facility on Aug. 6 versus the MetroStars. Compare that to the second-place Galaxy, who played eight of their first 11 matches at home and then 13 of their final 21 games on the road.

In an MLS season, teams play 16 matches on the road, where it is usually very hard to find points. Besides FC Dallas, only two other teams have over .500 records on the road this season.

FC Dallas has already played an MLS-high nine on the road with Los Angeles playing only three away from The Home Depot Center. FC Dallas is 4-2-3 and Los Angeles will enter Wednesday's match against Colorado with a 1-2-0 road record. In a conference that looks to be a two-dog fight, FC Dallas sure holds the favorable schedule down the stretch as compared to Los Angeles.

Their road mark will not mean anything if FC Dallas doesn't respond to their home-field advantage beginning Saturday. They are 3-0-0 at the Cotton Bowl and they have outscored opponents by a 7-2 margin. They have won every way, too.

In their first match, opening day against Chicago, they took a 2-0 lead and then hung on for a 2-1 win. Against Real Salt Lake on April 23, they dominated every facet of the match and downed the expansion club by a 3-0 final. During their third home game on May 18 versus Colorado, they trailed 1-0 at half and came back to win 2-1. That win snapped a 40-game winless streak for Dallas when trailing after 45 minutes. They were 0-34-6 in those previous 40 games.

The season looks very bright for FC Dallas. They are sitting in the perfect position as they head towards the season's halfway point. If they can continue to prove that they can play well at home, FC Dallas fans will be celebrating a wonderful year long after the regular season is over.

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