FC Dallas vs. Arabe Unido
2016-17 CONCACAF Champions League Quarterfinals, 1st Leg
Toyota Stadium - Frisco, Texas
Thursday, Feb. 23 - 8 pm ET
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After winning two trophies in a largely successful 2016 campaign, FC Dallas begin the new year by continuing their search for another piece of hardware in a CONCACAF Champions League quarterfinals bout with Arabe Unido. The Panamanian side should prove a formidable foe for FC Dallas after going a perfect 4-0-0 in the opening phase of the competition in a group that included Liga MX side Monterrey, but Dallas are taking the tournament seriously and have spent the past couple of weeks preparing with friendlies in Argentina.
Dallas also enter this first leg at Toyota Stadium with an unbeaten record in this edition of the Champions League, though they went 2-0-2 in Group H. They will be without star playmaker Mauro Diaz, who is recovering from an Achilles' injury suffered last fall. FC Dallas, however, still have the core of their trophy-winning squad back and have complemented it with some other talented places in the hopes of keeping their run for another cup going.
This is the first-ever meeting between these two teams.
Not much has changed for FC Dallas since the end of last season. Sure, they lost a long-time regular contributor in Zach Loyd this winter, but have kept the nucleus of their team together while adding impressive pieces like winger Roland Lamah and Designated Player Cristian Colman. The club is eager to try and collect more trophies so as to further establish a winning reputation, but a concern it has is the players' fitness at this early point in the year.
- Suspended: None
- Int’l Duty: MF Coy Craft (US U-20s)
- Injury Report: MF Mauro Diaz (Achilles)
Projected starting XI (4-4-1-1): Chris Seitz — Hernan Grana, Walker Zimmerman, Matt Hedges, Maynor Figueroa — Michael Barrios, Kellyn Acosta, Carlos Gruezo, Roland Lamah — Maximiliano Urruti — Cristian Colman
Notes: Offseason acquisition Javier Morales is seen by many as the de facto replacement for the injured Diaz, but head coach Oscar Pareja has paired new striker Cristian Colman with Maximiliano Urruti up top on multiple occasions this preseason. It seems Morales is still getting used to his new surroundings, and that is why it's likely that he is counted on as a veteran that can come off the bench.
The Panamanian side has an advantage over FC Dallas in that it comes into this first leg with regular season games under its belt. Arabe Unido have already played seven official matches this year in their domestic league, but their form has not exactly been stellar as they have gone 2-4-1. Nonetheless, the club boasts some talented and experienced players that will surely test Dallas, including center back Fidel Caesar and attacker Jose Gonzalez.
Projected starting XI (4-4-2): Miguel Loyd — Roberto Chen, Fidel Caesar, Rigoberto Nino, Daniel Ortiz — Leslie Heraldez, Abdiel Macea, Amilcar Henriquez, Josimar Gomez — Jose Gonzalez, Enrico Small
- Suspended: None
- Int’l Duty: None
- Injury Report: None
Notes: Former FC Dallas striker Blas Perez recently returned home by signing with Arabe Unido, but he played in only a couple of games before joining Club Blooming in Bolivia.