And one more BENITEZ FACE for the road!
Little late on this train, but Daniel Robertson from SB Nation's excellent FC Dallas blog Big D Soccer and I traded some questions ahead of tonight's match between our teams. As he said, better late than never! My questions to him about the Hoops are below, you can check out my answers to him about our Rapids over at Big D Soccer's post.
BdS: I think fans of both teams will think they got the better of that trade which is something you don't really see that often. Ugo has really stepped up this year into the captain's role and he's played very well. I wouldn't say there's a ton of difference in the team this year with a new captain, but it's also still very early in the season. Ugo scored a last second game winning goal a few weeks ago against New England, a goal that kind of kickstarted the season and he's one of the guys you write his name in ink on the team sheet every week.
BW: As you pointed out, Dallas and the Rapids have similar home/road splits in the early season. What's been the difference for Dallas at home vs. on the road?
BdS: I think a big part of it has simply been the scheduling of home vs away. Dallas has played at DC, Kansas City, Vancouver and Los Angeles. Every single one of those is a very tough road game and DC was the only game that Dallas couldn't have realistically gotten points out of. At home, Dallas has played New York, Portland, Montreal, New England and RSL so going 3-0-2 is almost an expected thing, though you still have to get the points and Dallas has generally played very well. A big part of the home success has been the defense, FCD has yet to allow two goals to an opposing team at home and really just one goal in the last three home games has been scored against them if you don't count a phantom penalty kick.
BW: Dallas is a very deep team with lots of guys who can come in and hurt you, who's a guy we might not know about that could come in and do some damage against Colorado?
BdS: Look out for Blas Perez. You may know him and you may not but he was the marquee signing of the offseason for FC Dallas. He's the Panama #1 forward who has played most of his career in Colombia and Mexico. Simply put, Perez has been the best forward FCD has had in a long time. His hold up play and finishing skills fit perfectly into the FC Dallas game plan and he is a physical handful for every MLS backline. He's a guy that will pressure every single pass from a defensive backline and his work rate is second to none among MLS forwards. Look out for Perez on Sunday because if FCD scores, he will probably have a big hand in it.