There is some serious history and they were one of our very first rivals in Major League Soccer with the Rapids and Hoops playing over 60 times. Things have not always gone the Rapids way (except 2010 of course) and the Rapids will need to be in top form to knock off the Hoops tonight.
I chatted with Brian at Big D Soccer about this one and here are my questions to him:
Burgundy Wave: FC Dallas has not won in MLS play since May 9 against LA. What is going on in Frisco? Is it as simple as the monster road trip or something else?
Big D Soccer: A big big part of it is the monster road trip. FCD has never had to deal with a 5 game consecutive away campaign before now. We've seen teams like SKC and Toronto go on trips like these and really suffer on the field. FCD would have gained more points from these past few games if there were some home stands interspersed. However they still aren't firing on all cylinders.
The other contributions to FCD's terrible trend are international call-ups and injuries. During the last game in Seattle, 4 players were away on international duty. There were a couple of injuries keeping players off the field as well: the most notable being team captain Matt Hedges.
The USOC victory at home should give the boys a little boost of confidence, but this team is still weary and short of depth. It will be fascinating to see how Oscar Pareja handles this last road game in the mile high city.
BW: The Rapids have gone 1-0-1 against the Hoops in a year where the Rapids are struggling. Why are the Burgundy Boys giving FCD fits?
BDS: The reasons that I explained in question 1 are part of the answer. Part 2 of the answer is on Oscar Pareja. This FCD has had a hard time winning ugly. For his faults handling youth players, Schellas Hyndman knew how to motivate his players to come back to salvage points when things were going badly. Oscar has yet to figure this out in his coaching career. When things start to go south, more often than not we see the team implode. Hence score lines like 4-0, 3-0 against. I'm curious if you agree with this assessment of Pareja based on his time in Colorado?
BW: In answer to that, you are spot on Brian. OP was good when the score was close and when there was something to play for, OP was great. But when things were in the crapper, OP could not deal and the Rapids would get waxed by opponents.
BW: Tesho Akindele, the rookie of the year in 2014, has 3 goals and an assist in 2015. He has played in 14 games with the third most shots on goal for FCD but he seems to having a quiet year. (Except for committing to Canada over the USA). Is he better this year or is there a sophomore slump for him?
BDS: It's too early to make that judgement. Last season, Tesho was streaky. What helped him earn ROTY last season was that he hit his stride when FCD needed it most. Tesho still has time to make some contributions on the field that will bust any hint of a sophomore slump. However he is running out of time as we approach the halfway point of the season.
Tesho will likely miss time in July with the Canadian National Team. It will be good for him to get that experience. He scored a goal and an assist this past week with the maple-soaked men. Personally I hope that those experiences can spark a crazy frenzy of goals to help FCD regain early season form. We still have plenty of games left on the schedule to watch what happens.
You can see my answers to Brian's questions over at Big D Soccer.