FC Dallas vs Real Salt Lake: Preview and Prediction

FC Dallas will host Western Conference leaders Real Salt Lake City in a crucial encounter at the Toyota Stadium on Saturday.

FC Dallas are having a strange time getting up the standings in the Western Conference in MLS. Nico Estevez’s men are five games unbeaten coming into this clash with leaders Real Salt Lake but unable to move out of their 12th-placed standings.

Ahead of this clash, they did manage to find themselves among the last eight of this year’s US Open Cup, courtesy of a 2-1 win over Tampa Bay. However, before that, they were held to a 1-1 draw by Houston Dynamo.

However, Estevez will take into account their home form ahead of this crunch fixture with Real Salt Lake City, as they have won their last three games at the Toyota Stadium. They also have a favorable record against their next opponents, having won three of their last four fixtures against Real Salt Lake City, which makes them favorites for this clash.

Meanwhile, Real Salt Lake took part in a highly entertaining contest with the Colorado Rapids, coming out as winners with a 5-3 scoreline. For Pablo Mastroeni’s side, Cristian Arango and Andres Gomez were the clear stars of the show, grabbing a brace each in the win. However, now the team must refocus their efforts on this trip to the Toyota Stadium, where they have yet to have success in recent times.

Moreover, they need to keep up their place at the top of the Western Conference, where they are currently top, but face the looming pressure from Minnesota United, who are four points behind with two games in hand.

Hence, only a victory over FC Dallas would help them keep the pace at the summit, as a loss or dropped points will give their rivals a chance to take over their position eventually. They are also in top form on the road, scoring 17 times in their last four games, meaning they will come into this clash with some confidence to end their hoodoo against FC Dallas.

Team News & Tactics

FC Dallas

FC Dallas will be without key trio Geovane Jesus, Alan Velasco, and Paxton Pomykal ahead of this trip to FC Dallas. They are confirmed to be missing from action for this one. Meanwhile, Jesus Ferreira was taken off in the first half of the cup game recently, which makes him a big doubt to feature against Real Salt Lake.

Sam Junqua, Nkosi Tafari, and Sebastien Ibeagha are primed to feature in the three-man backline, with Marco Farfan and Ema Twumasi set to play as wing-backs and provide the width to this side.

Dallas will rely on the central midfield partnership of Patrickson Delgado and left-back Nolan Norris, who has been playing in that central role of late. In the attacking third, Dallas will have Sebastian Lletget and Bernard Kamungo operating in advanced roles behind central striker Peter Musa.

Probable Lineup (3-4-2-1): Paes; Junqua, Tafari, Ibeagha; Farfan, Delgado, Norris, Twumasi; Lletget, Kamungo; Musa

Real Salt Lake

Real Salt Lake have some injury-related problems ahead of this trip to Dallas. Kevin Bonilla and Pablo Ruiz are nursing knee injuries, while Erik Holt and Marcelo Silva also miss out on contention with respective hamstring problems.

Real Salt Lake will persist with a back four and two midfielders in their setup, with Justen Glad and Brayan Vera as their designated center-backs, with Andrew Brody and Alexandros Katranis playing in the full-back role.

In the central zones, actual right-back Emeka Eneli will play in midfield alongside Braian Ojeda. Diego Luna, Carlos Gomez, and Matt Crooks will occupy the positions behind central striker and skipper Cristian Arango.

Probable Lineup (4-2-3-1): MacMath; Brody, Glad, Ramirez, Katranis; Eneli, Ojeda; Gomez, Crooks, Luna; Arango

Ways to Watch

Key Stats

  • FC Dallas have won their last four games on home soil in all competitions.
  • FC Dallas are unbeaten against Real Salt Lake City in their last four meetings since 2022.
  • Real Salt Lake are winless in their last four games against FC Dallas, losing three of those.
  • Real Salt Lake have scored 17 goals in their last four away games.

Player to Watch

Cristian Arango

Embed from Getty Images

Arango is the current top scorer in the MLS in all zones and will want to stay there with another noteworthy performance, this time against FC Dallas. He would know his team’s struggles when playing at the Toyota Stadium in the last few seasons and will want to correct that balance.

Real Salt Lake will pin their goalscoring hopes on their skipper and striker, as they will be looking for a big win to stay on top of the Western Conference standings. Arango will have all the focus on him during this game as Real Salt Lake eyes a big win over their rivals.


FC Dallas 1-1 Real Salt Lake

FC Dallas are eager to get out of their 12th-placed position on the table and will likely play with their total energy to deny Real Salt Lake a chance to break the hoodoo against them. The home side clearly is the favourite. But their visitors are also coming into this one in some good form of late.

Real Salt Lake are under pressure from Minnesota to keep hold of their top spot. Any slip-up will give their rivals the opportunity to leapfrog owing to the two games in hand they have over Real Salt Lake. Hence, with both teams likely to give their best, this game has all the hallmarks of an entertaining draw.

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