CARSON, Calif. – The weight of expectation ahead of Sunday’s Western Conference Championship between the Los Angeles Galaxy and FC Dallas lies squarely on the home team.
The Supporters’ Shield winners maintained the top spot in MLS from wire to wire and are widely predicted to advance to their second consecutive MLS Cup.
However, FC Dallas midfielder Dax McCarty is not buying the pregame hype. He says that although LA Galaxy may be considered favorites, his club should not be called an “underdog.”
“Absolutely not,” McCarty said before FCD’s final practice on Saturday. “We know that the Galaxy are probably the favorites in terms of the media’s eyes and neutral fans … But we certainly don’t feel like underdogs.”
The 23-year-old midfielder says his team puts little stock in the two regular season losses against the Galaxy, which represent half of their four losses on the year.
“Playing at home, they [LA] are probably going to be expected to take the front foot,” McCarty said. “But we have a lot of confidence in our group and anything can happen. We’re going to have the mentality that we’re going to go in there expecting to win the game.”
Some on the Galaxy have called FC Dallas the most athletic team in the league with a deadly fast counterattack. But McCarty warns that FC Dallas has other weapons to beat LA.
“Those are not the only thing we have going for us,” he said. “We’re a team when we get our rhythm, we’re good at possession and can hurt you that way … We’re good and tough to deal with on the break but we’re hoping that’s not going to be the only thing that sets us apart.”