Just three months ago, FC Dallas looked down upon the entire MLS Western Conference, sitting pretty after a 7-1-3 start. Now, the club is looking up at the rest of its competitors, save for Wednesday night's opponent, Chivas USA.
Eighth-place FC Dallas looks to put an end to a miserable 11-game winless skid when it travels to the StubHub Center to take on the Goats, who sit in ninth and last place in the West and have won just one of their last 18 games.
Chivas has found success against FCD this season, going 1-0-1 in their two meetings. That includes a 3-1 victory on March 10, the only blemish during the Texas side's soaring start, and a 0-0 draw on July 4. In order take points again, manager Jose Luis Real's club will need to overcome some key absences.
Tristan Bowen and Gabriel Farfan are serving suspensions after being the subject of MLS Disciplinary Commitee action, and former U.S. national team captain Carlos Bocanegra has been ruled out with a right knee strain. That opens up room for the likes of Mexican midfielder Jose Manuel Rivera, who has performed well on the reserve level, and Salvadoran center back Steve Purdy to step into the lineup.
A couple of new wrinkles that FCD, which has not won in its last 10 games away from home, can throw at Chivas that it could not in their previous meetings are Designated Player and Argentine midfielder Mauro Diaz and Brazilian midfielder Erick. Diaz made his first start for the club last week and scored a goal in FC Dallas' 2-1 loss to the Portland Timbers. Erick, another midseason acquisition, has started the club's last two games.
Regardless of who takes the field, both teams are in serious need of a confidence-lifting performance after enduring two of the more fruitless stretches in the league this season.