COLUMBUS CREW v FC DALLAS: PREVIEW
COLUMBUS CREW v FC DALLAS
Friday, April 1
7:00pm – Columbus Crew Stadium
TV National – Fox Soccer Channel / Fox Deportes
What to Expect?
I really am interested to see these two teams against each other at a cold and unfriendly Crew Stadium on Friday Night. I think the Crew, along with Houston, will be the biggest disappointments of the 2011 season, and I also have stated that I thought FCD would finish at, or very near the top of the Western Conference.
Three weeks into the season, I’m not at all confident in either of those conclusions.
Notoriously slow starting FC Dallas has looked unconvincing in it’s first two matches, and it is uncertain what the cause is. Not only did they fail to score in San Jose last week, but couldn’t even manage a shot on goal.
Much has been said about the teams key losses, maybe too much has been said, but I promise I will stop mentioning the loss of Dax McCarty, Atiba Harris and Heath Pearce as soon as another reason for being mediocre becomes evident. Until then, FCD has more questions than answers in their lineup.
Dallas may begin to answer some of those questions for a wider audience on Friday Night with the National TV debut of 18-year-old Fabian Castillo, who may prove to be the solution to the squads lackluster attack. So little is actually known about this kid from Colombia, if he goes bust, Schellas Hyndman and Oscar Pereja will look like fools. If he works, the biggest beneficiary will be David Ferreira. The 2010 MVP will need an option upfront if Dallas are going to avoid being forgotten in the early days of a tough Western Conference.
Columbus also underwhelming in 2011 will also receive a push upfront with the return of Emilio Renteria to the starting XI. The Crew looked like they were just slightly off of form as a potential Eastern Conference contender during the Champions League matches with RSL, but have since become the same that limped their way into the post season in 2010, only to get dropped in the first round of the playoffs.
Selfishly, I hope some of these questions for both sides gets answered Friday Night, because I hate to waste a National TV broadcast on a 0-0 snore fest.
Columbus: Korey Veeder (U-20s), Danny O’Rourke, Shaun Francis (Injury)
Dallas: Moises Hernandez (U-20s), Kyle Davies, Edson Edward (Injury)
Fantasy Player Spotlight
Columbus: Emilio Rentaria. Quite a bit is expected of Rentaria, and there is no better way to jump start your clubs season than by coming back from an injury at home and scoring.
FCD: Dallas Defender corps. If you are a Fantasy team owner, I hope you have any number of Dallas defenders. This team has seven defenders that would start on any other team. Look for them to be the difference Friday Night.
Fantasy X-Factor: Fabian Castillo and Jeff Cunningham. Castillo could be the spark, in his first MLS start, that awakens the incredible talents of Ferreira. Come October, Cunningham’s return to Columbus could be the story of the year or the years forgotten story.