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Massive Predictions: Crew SC at FC Dallas

How does the Massive Report staff feel about the trip to Texas?

MLS: FC Dallas at Columbus Crew SC Greg Bartram-USA TODAY Sports

Columbus Crew SC is back! The Black & Gold return to the field on Saturday after a week off following the 2-1 victory over New York City FC at MAPFRE Stadium on Sept. 1. Crew SC travel to FC Dallas this weekend to take on the Western Conference leaders.

Dallas sits on 49 points, six more than Columbus through 27 games this season. The Five Stripes hold a one-point lead in the West over Sporting Kansas City. FCD has the second best home record in Major League Soccer (9-1-4) making this trip to Toyota Stadium a tricky one.

Can Crew SC head to Texas and come back with three points? Let’s see what our staff thinks.

Guilherme Torres

This should be one of Crew SC’s toughest road games of the entire season as FC Dallas is certainly a very good team — as the Western Conference standings show — and has lost just one of 15 home matches so far. Most of the danger of Dallas’ offense, which scored 12 more goals than Columbus so far, resides on the high pace of its wingers and forwards and Crew SC’s focus will be tested for the entire game as a moment of distraction could prove way too costly.

Both teams are well-rested, having last played two weeks ago, but four of Crew SC’s most important players — Zack Steffen, Harrison Afful, Wil Trapp and Gyasi Zardes — played for their national teams in the meantime. For the Black & Gold, the keys will be slowing the game down and keeping possession as much as possible and, of course, taking advantage of any scoring opportunities.
Columbus Crew SC 1 FC Dallas 1

Patrick Guldan

This is going to be a very hard game to get a result for Crew SC. Frisco is a tough place to play; only NYCFC has a better record at home than FC Dallas this season. It will take a near perfect road effort from a team that isn’t great away from MAPFRE Stadium.

That perfect performance will be even more difficult as the team will be weakened with a fatigued international trio. Zack Steffen likely will be fresh after playing 180 minutes in goal for the U.S. but Wil Trapp and Gyasi Zardes played significant minutes over the break in two physical games. There is a drop off to backups Rico Clark and Patrick Mullins.

If there is a good time to face Dallas, this is it. They have struggled with a 4-4-2 record after transferring key playmaker Mauro Diaz in July. He was integral to how the team attacked and the sole home loss happened during this summer swoon. Even with the middling record, they are still best in the Western Conference.
FC Dallas 2 Columbus Crew SC 1

Patrick Murphy

A week off for Crew SC may have come at the wrong time. The team was playing well before the break — one loss in six games — and starting to find the form fans expect from Gregg Berhalter’s teams at this point in the year. But can that continue now?

When Columbus and Dallas play, it tends to be a difficult game for the Black & Gold, as the Five Stripes are good at sitting back and forcing a possession team like Crew SC to really break them down. Then FCD can hit the visitors on the counter. Berhalter will undoubtably have his team ready for that, but will that make a difference?

Given it’s a road game in MLS, and Columbus hasn’t exactly lighted it up away from MAPFRE Stadium, I’m going with the home side in this one.
FC Dallas 2 Columbus Crew SC 1

Sam Fahmi

Columbus Crew SC is showed resilience in its game against NYCFC, responding quickly to being down 1-0 and coming back to win the game. But after a bit of a layoff due to international games, can they continue their form? The up side, is that Zack Steffen, Wil Trapp and Gyasi Zardes were all active will the U.S. Men’s National Team during the break. FC Dallas leads the West and have only lost once at home. You really never know with this league anymore.
Columbus Crew SC 1 FC Dallas 1

Collin Johnson

This season’s FC Dallas side looks much different than previous years. While many of the faces are the same, with the notable exception of young playmaker Mauro Diaz who was transferred away in July, the style is different. In years past, Dallas played a possession oriented style similar to that of Crew SC. This year they have shifted into a more counter-attacking style that looks to play directly off of turnovers, shown by the Hoops recording less than 50 percent possession over all matches this season. At the top of the West, this change has definitely worked for FC Dallas. However, the Hoops have been on a bizarre run of form recently. Over their last six matches, Dallas has managed to lose twice to cellar-dwelling San Jose.

Crew SC will have the benefit of traveling to Dallas off of a long international break and playing some of their best soccer of the season. A few players were called up for international duty (Zack Steffen, Wil Trapp, Gyasi Zardes, Harrison Afful and Cristian Martinez), but the remainder of the team is fresh. Columbus will have to avoid a high press from Dallas, but should be able to at least bring back at least point from the Lonestar State. I’m going with three.
Columbus Crew SC 2 FC Dallas 1

How do you think Crew SC will perform on Saturday night in Dallas? Let us know in the comment section below.