This Saturday, FC Dallas will travel to Salt Lake City to take on Real Salt Lake and continue a stretch that has pulled the team away from home for seven of eight games and an all-time team-high four straight matches. It will be the sixth consecutive weekend the squad has been on the road due to their one home match at the Cotton Bowl coming on a Wednesday (2-1 win over Colorado on May 18). The boys will be happy to finish up this segment in their schedule as they can finally see the light at the end of the tunnel. They will play on the road for the seventh consecutive weekend on Sunday, June 12 in Chicago. Despite the start away from home, the squad has been solid on the road this season and will look to continue to build upon that success in Salt Lake on Saturday (3-1-3 on road this season). The only problem is that FC Dallas will be facing a team that will have revenge on their minds and a place where that team is tough to play against.
FC Dallas hosted Real Salt Lake (one of two expansion squads added by Major League Soccer in 2005) for the first time in team history on April 23 at the Cotton Bowl. The final score wasn't what Real and former Dallas Burn forward Jason Kreis would have wanted as the home team demolished the road team by a 3-0 final. If you think "demolished" might be a little too tough on Real Salt Lake, check out the statistics during that match:
SCORE: FC Dallas - 3, Real Salt Lake - 0
SHOTS ON GOAL: FCD - 19, RSL - 7
SHOTS: FCD - 8, RSL - 2
CORNER KICKS: FCD - 9, RSL - 4
On another side note, Kreis returned to the place where he spent nine years and was looking to make a big impression on his former fans, teammates and coaching staff. However, what happened was a lopsided victory that included 90 minutes of scoreless soccer from Kreis and just one shot and one shot on goal from MLS' all-time leading goal scorer. On the flip side of things, Carlos Ruiz (who took Kreis's job playing up top with Eddie Johnson) registered a goal and an assist with three shots and one shot on goal. The match couldn't have gone any worse for Kreis and for Real Salt Lake.
"It was strange," Kreis said following the April 23rd match. "I knew that it would be strange and emotional; I thought it would be a dream, but it turned into a nightmare. When the whistle blew, everything looked different."
With all that being said, it doesn't take a brain surgeon to realize that Real Salt Lake will be looking for a little revenge on Saturday. They not only will have a huge crowd to back them up (the match is the second game in a double-header that features the U.S. playing Costa Rica in a World Cup Qualifier beforehand), but enter the contest with a 3-1-1 mark at home. Considering they are 0-4-1 on the road in 2005, Real understands the importance of accumulating as many home points as possible if they desire to make the MLS playoffs.
Will Jason Kreis get his revenge on his former team or will FC Dallas again prove to be dominant over another expansion team (FC Dallas is 3-0-0 against Real Salt Lake and Chivas USA this season, outscoring the two squads by an 11-3 margin)? Stay tuned; it should be interesting.