Something has to give when FC Dallas and the Philadelphia Union, two of the hottest teams in MLS, square off on Wednesday in a key match in Frisco, Texas.
FC Dallas (10-7-9, 39 points) have shrugged off their midseason doldrums to produce three victories and two draws over their past six matches, including a dominating 4-1 win at home over San Jose on Saturday. That kept them in third place in the Western Conference table.
It was the first time in more than a month that Dallas scored multiple goals in a game.
Philadelphia (13-3-9, 48 points) heads to Dallas on the heels of its 4-1 win over Chicago at home on Saturday. The win was the Union's sixth in their past seven games, a run that's propelled them to the top of the Eastern Conference. The 18 points earned during that stretch are the most for the club over seven outings in its history.
Jesus Ferreira scored two of Dallas' goals against the Earthquakes, with Marco Farfan and Alan Velasco also finding the net in the win. Three of FCD's goals came in the first half, including Ferreira's first, which was netted in the third minute, the earliest the team has scored in a game this season.
"We had the mentality from the first whistle of the match to go for the game," FC Dallas coach Nico Estevez said. "We were able to score in the third minute, and we kept pressing. Today in the players mind was that we had to be ready to go. It wasn't easy but we capitalized the chances we had."
Ferreira leads Dallas with 14 goals, four off the team record for a single season.
The Union's three losses on the season are the fewest in league, and Philadelphia's league-best defense has conceded just 19 goals in 25 games.
Daniel Gazdag and Julian Carranza each recorded a goal and an assist in the Union's victory over the Fire. Jack Elliott and Cory Burke also scored in a huge bounce-back game after a loss at Cincinnati on Aug. 6.
"Overall a really good response from the group," Union coach Jim Curtin said. "This team always has a strong response after a game where we don't look like us. I would call the Cincinnati game a game where we weren't ourselves. We tend to have a way of bouncing back."
Gazdag leads the team with 12 goals and six assists, including a goal in five of his last seven matches.
Dallas has never lost at home to the Union, winning six times and drawing once in the all-time series while outscoring Philadelphia 14-3 over the seven matches played in North Texas.
--Field Level Media