FC Dallas has never lost to the Philadelphia Union, but that unblemished record could be in jeopardy without one of the club's top scorers.
Fabian Castillo will continue to serve his suspension Friday night when Dallas hosts Philadelphia.
Dallas (6-7-5) is 2-0-4 in six all-time meetings with the Union and has outscored them 6-2 in three home meetings, winning twice.
However, the team seemed to miss Castillo's presence in a scoreless draw in Columbus on Sunday, just the third time Dallas has been shut out in 18 matches. It was the first of a four-game suspension for Castillo, who is tied for the team lead in league competition with five goals.
The forward was assessed two games due to a post-game red card he received after making contact with an official in a 2-all draw at Portland on June 11. The league's disciplinary committee also tacked on an extra two games.
Dallas hasn't lost when Castillo has scored (3-0-2), compared to 3-7-2 when he doesn't.
His absence puts added pressure on Blas Perez and Michel, who also have five goals apiece. Michel returned Sunday after missing six weeks with a strained hamstring. Perez has scored in each of his two matchups with the Union, including a 2-all draw at Philadelphia in last year's only meeting.
Dallas' draw with Columbus was rescheduled from Saturday after an off-duty fire fighter was struck by lightning outside Crew Stadium.
"I know a lot of guys were thinking about his family and their well-being," defender Zach Loyd said. "That was tough for our group. I think we did a good job of refocusing for the game."
The Union (4-7-6) are undefeated in their last three league matches, scoring three in each. They've never scored three goals in four straight MLS games.
Leading scorer Sebastien Le Toux has four goals in his last three league matches, increasing his season total to eight after scoring twice in Saturday's 3-1 road win over New England.
It marked interim manager Jim Curtin's third straight victory with the club - and first in league play - after guiding the Union to two straight U.S. Open Cup victories.
Philadelphia has won three of four away from home after opening 0-4-2.
"Anytime you go on the road it's going to be a little different," Curtin told the team's official website. "But these guys have shown a collective effort and confidence that we can not only score goals but win on the road as well, there are positives to being on the road that I think we have embraced."
Midfielder Vincent Nogueira could return after sitting out against New England due to a groin injury. He scored twice while starting the club's first 16 matches.
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- Fabian Castillo
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