After suffering its first loss of the season in deflating fashion, FC Dallas will try to get back on track by adding to its lengthy unbeaten streak in MLS play against short-handed Toronto FC.
Toronto is hoping to have star midfielder Michael Bradley available for its attempt at a first league win in Dallas and first in the series in seven years Saturday night.
FC Dallas (4-1-1) seemed poised to add to the best start in franchise history last Saturday, leading by a goal with 16 minutes to play against visiting Seattle. The club, though, gave up an own goal and allowed MLS goal-scoring leader Clint Dempsey to score his second of the game in the 85th minute of a 3-2 defeat.
"We use this as a learning experience," goalkeeper Chris Seitz said. "We've taken it one week at a time. We've scouted our opponents each week and focused on that game. That is how it is going to continue to go.
"We're not going to look ahead to different games. We have a big test at home next week against a very good team."
Dallas is still three points better than any team in the league and will try to at least maintain that advantage by improving on its 6-0-5 run against Toronto in league play. TFC (3-2-0) earned its only MLS win in the series June 17, 2007, but won in Dallas in CONCACAF Champions League play in 2011.
FC Dallas is 4-0-2 all-time in MLS home games against Toronto and will face a club that's missing a bevy of players. Dwayne De Rosario (calf), Doneil Henry (knee), Alvaro Rey (hamstring), Jermain Defoe (hamstring), Jeremy Hall (leg), Ashtone Morgan (hip) and Bright Dike (Achilles) are among those expected to sit out this week's game.
Bradley (quadriceps) practiced Thursday and is expected to travel to Dallas. Midfielder Jonathan Osorio is set to return from a hamstring injury after sitting out three straight games.
"(Bradley) is progressing well. He's day-to-day, but it's looking more positive," coach Ryan Nelsen said. "There are no excuses from our end. Whoever is put out there will try to perform and try to win the game."
After scoring his first goal with Toronto in a 2-0 win at Columbus on April 5, Bradley sat out last Saturday's 1-0 loss to visiting Colorado. TFC gave up the lone goal in the 77th minute.
Toronto hosted a 2-all draw in its only matchup with FC Dallas last year. TFC scored both of its goals in the final five minutes.
This is the only meeting between the clubs this season.
While Dallas has scored more goals (15) than any other team, Toronto is tied for second-fewest in MLS with five.