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Downstream Game 11: Away to FC Dallas

The Dallas team was in a bit of a weird state when I wrote the first pregame piece on August 26, and things have only gotten stranger since then.

FC Dallas v Colorado Rapids Photo by Timothy Nwachukwu/Getty Images

FC Dallas Stats

2020 Record: 3-2-4 (13 points, 9th place in the Western Conference)

Goals For: 12

Goals Against: 9

MLS is Back Tournament: N/A - Pulled out of the tournament due to a high number of COVID-19 cases on the team prior to the tournament start.

Last Result: 2-1 against Houston

Anyone else having deja vu? No? Just me? Well, the Colorado Rapids were originally supposed to play Dallas a few weeks ago. Games that night were postponed in solidarity with Black Lives Matter and Jacob Blake and the rescheduled match versus FC Dallas is this Wednesday, September 16.

It has been a few weeks since I first wrote about Dallas for this season. Since then, a surprising number of things have changed with the team. Additionally, I’ve grown older, wiser, and had a historically bad take prior to what is sure to go down in Rapids legend as one of the all-time greatest games ever. Fortunately, Abbie hasn’t told me to stop ruining the site yet, so I shall continue to have bad takes for the Rapids passed off as legitimate journalism!

The Dallas team was in a bit of a weird state when I wrote the first pregame piece on August 26, and things have only gotten stranger since then. Jesse Gonzalez, their starting GK for the last few years, had his contract terminated after being arrested for allegations of domestic abuse, but they’ve been alright with their other keepers. They’ve continued their signing of young homegrown players, but none right now are quite at the stage of a Paxton Pomykal who has elevated to a starting-caliber player. Starting CB Reggie Cannon has finally been sold to Boavista in Portgual after a long period of rumors. Then, their striker Zdenek Ondrasek, occasionally referred to as the way too cool of a nickname Kobra, was sold to FC Viktoria Plzen in the Czech league. So three of their mainstays are no longer with the team. Hmm.

Dallas sits on extreme ends in terms of goals. Their defense has only allowed nine goals so far this season, good enough for best in the Western Conference (although Seattle has let in one more goal, they have played one more game than Dallas as of writing). On the flip side, their offense has only scored 12, the lowest in the Western Conference. In theory, this is going to be a good test on both sides of the ball for the Rapids. The statement game against Real Salt Lake proves that Colorado can both score goals and keep the clean sheet. Now, it will be a testament to if we can keep that up at Toyota Stadium.

I normally don’t talk too much about the previous game for the Rapids, but daaaaaaang. We needed a win desperately and got one in style. A humiliating defeat of RSL is something to celebrate any day, but getting the Rocky Mountain Cup is icing on the cake. The team needed a victory—not just for the three points to bring us closer to playoffs, but for the mentality of it all. Consistently falling short of a victory can put the team in a funk (just look at 2019 Hudson for that). Getting a win, especially a flipping 5-0 victory, is just what the Burgundy Boys needed. Playing with confidence and intensity versus a team that is struggling. Which would you prefer?

The team needs to take that victory and use it as a springboard for the remainder of the season. While the exact schedule is still a bit wonky, we’ve had an additional three games announced, so there are currently four opportunities to put us in playoff contention. Fortunately, the Western Conference is pretty packed. A win against Dallas would put us at 16 points, good for fourth place currently. A lot can change in the standings, but we know what our target is. Bring the same intensity to Dallas as we did RSL and our guys will be coming back with three points on Wednesday night.