Well it has come down to this as FC Dallas host the San Jose Earthquake with both teams needing a win for two different reasons. FC Dallas needs a win and either a New York Red Bull loss or tie to win the Supporters’ Shield. They can also win the shield with a tie and the red bulls losing in Chicago. San Jose needs a win or a tie at worst to get into the playoffs along with some help. A loss and their season is over. Here is the lineup prediction.
Goalkeeper: Jesse Gonzalez
Could argue he has been the best keeper in the league over the last month.
Left Back; Je-Vaughn Watson
Watson needs to have a solid, but smart game. Another yellow and he misses the first game of the Western Conference semi-finals. Would be no shock if Dallas gets a two goal lead early he is subbed off not long into the second half if he has no yellow card to that point.
Center Back: Matt Hedges
The week rest has been good to Hedges and now the concern of his lingering injuries are starting to go away.
Center Back: Zach Loyd
It was great to give Loyd a rest and let him recover from a light groin injury. Zimmerman did fine and has proven to be a solid option off the bench at center back.
Right Back: Ryan Hollingshead
The jack of all trades seems to be getting better each game. With him out there it is almost like Dallas is playing a 3-2-4-1 on offense.
Left Defensive Midfielder: Victor Ulloa
You would like to see Ulloa evolve more. Not saying he is a bad player, but it is clear so far he is just a defensive player and does not have much attacking ability.
Right Defensive Midfielder: Ezequiel Cirigliano
Yes I know you would all like to see Kellyn Acosta back and I don’t blame you. Cirigliano is starting to improve. Is Acosta better than the two? Yes, but Acosta does not need to be rushed back from his injury. I do think Acosta comes off the bench tonight regardless of the score to shake some rust off.
Left Attacking Midfielder: Fabian Castillo
Not his best game at Real Salt Lake, however he did travel a lot of miles because of World Cup Qualification. No cause for concern yet.
Central Attacking Midfielder: Mauro Diaz
Super Mauro is red hot right now just when Dallas needed him to be red hot. The sky is the limit for FC Dallas when he is on form.
Right Attacking Midfielder: Micheal Barrios
If Sebastian Giovinco was not in MLS this year, would Barrios be the newcomer of the year?
Striker: David Texeira
Three goals over his last four games. He is heating up. A goal tonight and Texeira enters playoffs red-hot. Two tonight and he enters white hot.
Analysis: Both teams need a win for different reasons like said above. San Jose has to push early and often to get a goal and sit back when they do have the lead. Both of those strategies are dangerous against Dallas. The speed of the counter that FC Dallas is far greater than San Jose can handle especially with Anibal Godoy out for tonight’s game as a result of yellow card accumulation. Daniel Robertson pointed out that San Jose had only lost one game with him in the lineup. So let’s say San Jose scores first. Do they have the defense to sit back and hold FC Dallas from scoring? I don’t think they do and I don’t think it matters because I don’t think San Jose scores until late to cause some concern, but not much.
FC Dallas wins 2-1