After a 2-0 win at the New England Revolution last weekend, Columbus Crew SC returns to MAPFRE Stadium on Saturday afternoon to welcome in FC Dallas. The Black & Gold began the Caleb Porter era with a 1-1 draw against the New York Red Bulls at home on opening day before the first win of 2019 on Saturday.
Dallas is also undefeated to start the new season with an identical 1-0-1 record after a similar season-opening 1-1 draw against the Revolution and then a 2-0 home win over the LA Galaxy last weekend. Like the Crew, FCD underwent a coaching change in the offseason. Oscar Pareja left to take over at Tijuana of Liga MX and Dallas promoted Academy coach Luchi Gonzalez.
With two teams that have done nearly the same to start the year, how does our staff think Saturday’s game will go?
It’s a battle of unbeatens and also a battle of two MLS originals. With Columbus coming off a 2-0 win over the Revolution and Dallas defeating the LA Galaxy, the momentum is swinging in both teams’ favor. However, the Crew has the upper hand because they are back at home in front of a crowd that will bear cold weather and rain to support their club. The energy given off this Saturday will grab the attention of the players and they will walk away with three points.
Columbus Crew SC 2 FC Dallas 1
FC Dallas is a formidable foe and I am just not sure that the Crew is banging on all cylinders just yet. Which is ok! You would rather they hit their peak late in the season than hit their apex too early and bomb out when it matters most. Dallas can fly up and down the field with attacking trio of Michael Barrios, Dominique Badji and Santiago Mosquera. Their backline is solid and the pipes are protected very well with up-and-coming star, Jesse Gonzalez. As disappointed as I am to say it, I think we will have to wait a bit longer before Caleb Porter and company earn their first home victory.
Columbus Crew SC SC 1 FC Dallas 1
Dallas may have a new coach but, much like the Crew, they are still going to play a similar style from what I’ve seen. As FCD has done in the past, I expect the visitors to come to MAPFRE Stadium and look to hit the Black & Gold on the counter attack, using their pace up top to get in behind when Columbus pushes forward. Dallas will look to possess the ball more than the Crew’s first two opponents, meaning we should get a more entertaining match.
I think this game will be a fun one with the Black & Gold’s defense having to prove itself against a formidable counter-attacking offense. Look for Zack Steffen to have another big game for the home side.
Columbus Crew SC 2 FC Dallas 1
Both teams come into this match with four points from their first two matches. It will be interesting to see who controls the game in possession. Both Dallas and Columbus like to control the ball and have been successful in doing so thus far in the season. Dallas’ midfielders are very fluid and interchangeable. They move all over the pitch and rely heavily on passing to move the ball forward. It will be interesting to see how Columbus’ counter-attacking style will match up with their midfield. I’m confident that at home the Crew’s midfield and backline will be up to the task.
Columbus Crew 1 FC Dallas 0
Ah. The headlines that this Saturday’s matchup between FC Dallas and the Columbus Crew will feature. Two clubs with new managers at the helm with unbeaten records. What else could you ask for?
MLS newcomer Luchi Gonzalez has Caleb Porter matched through two games step-for-step. Both teams have seen disappointing 1-1 draw’s to open the season followed by inspired 2-0 victories.
Three points would be nice, however, it’s unlikely. FC Dallas is not a slouch of an opponent and I expect both teams to come away with a point this Saturday.
Columbus Crew SC 2 FC Dallas 2
Caleb Porter described this match as “more of a soccer game” in comparison to Columbus’ first two games on the season and while he’s right about it, I don’t see that translating into a more open, high-scoring match. The Crew and FC Dallas are in the bottom half of the league in shots and shots on target per game, so I would imagine it will be a game decided in details and in efficiency in front of the goal.
The Crew returns home motivated and confident after an important road victory last weekend and Artur and Wil Trapp will be pivotal for the team to claim its first home win as they will need to match the intensity of the Texan trio of Carlos Gruezo, Bryan Acosta and Paxton Pomykal in the center of the field.
Columbus Crew 2 FC Dallas 1
The Crew has not lost to FC Dallas since 2015, in spite of Dallas’ reputation as one of the better MLS sides over the past few seasons. Under former manager Oscar Pareja, Dallas played a fluid, possession-oriented style capped off with a Supporters’ Shield and U.S. Open Cup winning season in 2016. New manager, and longtime Dallas academy director, Luchi Gonzalez has amped up that possession-oriented style so far this season. FC Dallas had more than 64 percent of possession in both matches this season despite drawing, at home, to New England.
Against their common opponent, New England, Columbus implemented some tweaks to the system that brought an impressive road victory. Returning home and facing a team making its first, cold, road trip of the season should be a boon to the Black & Gold. Continued defensive organization will likely play a role in securing at least one point for the Crew.
Columbus Crew SC 1 FC Dallas 0
FC Dallas is going to have its work cut out for them this weekend. It is the team’s first road match of the season. The temperature on Saturday is expected to be 20 degrees cooler than the average in Dallas this month. And they are likely to face more shots on target from the Crew than they had against the Galaxy and Revolution combined.
If the Crew attackers can disrupt FC Dallas’ passing in the backfield, I would be surprised if the home side doesn’t get three points.
Columbus Crew 2 FC Dallas 0
The Crew is going to come in hoping to make up for the rather underwhelming performance in their home opener. They’re also coming off of a major win over the Revs last weekend. The problem is that FC Dallas is in the exact same boat in terms of results. However, home field advantage is a huge thing in this situation.
I’d like to see the Crew midfield step up this week, and they’ll need to in order to grab three points. FC Dallas’ midfield has been strong in transitions so far this season, something Columbus needs to elevate. I see the Crew coming out with a victory, though I think it will be an exciting match.
Columbus Crew 2 – 1 FC Dallas
After two games, the Columbus Crew and FC Dallas have identical points (4), goals for (3) and goals against (1). Their common opponent was New England, in which the Crew won 2-0 and FC Dallas tied 1-1.
Given that Gyasi Zardes is in fine scoring form (still going for goal and scoring in the 96 th minute with a 1-0 lead on the road), and that the Crew needs to win at home this weekend to remedy the anticlimactic Week 1 draw at MAPFRE Stadium in front of 18,000 energized fans, Columbus will find a way to earn its first home win in the Saved The Crew era.
Columbus Crew 2 FC Dallas 1
The Crew has four points through two games without playing a complete game. The wing play has been uneven and the early season questions remain. But this is also a team that knows their strengths and plays to them. This has made them a tough team to play against and one that has only given up chances on self-inflicted blunders. Cut down on the turnovers and the team will likely grab all three points from an FC Dallas team that is still adapting to new head coach Luchi Gonzalez.
Columbus Crew 2 F.C. Dallas 1
How do you think this game plays out? Let us know by commenting with your score and thoughts below.