FC Dallas can match its longest unbeaten streak in three seasons by adding to D.C. United's mounting woes.
The MLS' top team will try to stretch its run to nine games Saturday night by sending league-worst United to a franchise-high seventh consecutive defeat.
After missing the playoffs for the first time in three seasons in 2012, Dallas (6-1-3) has bounced back in a big way. The club is 5-0-3 in its last eight games, and has outscored opponents 10-3 while going 5-0-1 at home.
FC Dallas used Kenny Cooper's penalty kick in the 77th minute Wednesday to force a 1-all draw with visiting Portland. Dallas is 7-0-3 on its own field since a 1-0 loss to Los Angeles on July 28.
"For us to be down 1-0 and to dig in and to come back and get a PK and walk away with a point, we're very happy with that," coach Schellas Hyndman said.
Dallas hasn't gone unbeaten in nine straight overall since April 23-June 4, 2011, and would appear have a prime opportunity to match that streak when it faces D.C. (1-7-1).
United are winless in their last seven games and have been outscored 15-3 during a six-game skid. A 4-0 loss to Houston on Wednesday matched the franchise's longest skid, set from Sept. 30, 2006-April 28, 2007.
Those struggles have left coach Ben Olsen's future unknown.
"Is my job on the line?" Olsen said. "It better be. I'm the leader of this team, but I have faith in what I'm doing, and I'll continue to go about my work."
Olsen's club routed Dallas 4-1 on March 30, 2012, in the only meeting between the clubs last season. Dwayne De Rosario assisted on a pair of goals as D.C. ended an 0-2-3 slide in the series.
United are 0-2-2 in their last four trips to Dallas after winning three in a row there. They haven't played in Dallas since a scoreless draw in 2011.
FC Dallas could get some help as it tries to extend its home unbeaten streak in the series with Brazilian midfielder Jackson likely to return from a one-game suspension for a red card. He has two goals and two assists in his nine games this season.
Star midfielder David Ferreira's status is unclear after he had to leave Wednesday because of an ailing right hamstring.