After a dominant start to the season, FC Dallas has posted mixed results over the last few weeks.
Things could become all the more difficult without Mauro Diaz.
It's looking more and more like Diaz won't play when Dallas hosts New York on Sunday.
FC Dallas (5-2-1) averaged 2.6 goals in opening 4-0-1 before dropping two of its last three. The club failed to score at least twice for the first time in six games in last Saturday's 4-1 loss at D.C., getting outshot 18-5 while finishing without defenders Zach Loyd and Michel after both were shown red cards.
"We're obviously going to play defense first, and then try and get one or (more) chances to win the game, and that was our mindset going into it," goalkeeper Chris Seitz told the league's official website. "Obviously things changed decently quick and we had to adjust from there."
Aside from Loyd and Michel, FCD is also likely to be without Diaz due to a knee injury suffered last weekend. The star midfielder, who opened the scoring in the 13th minute before exiting against United, has three goals and three assists.
Though Spanish-language outlet Al Día reported Friday that Diaz would miss the rest of the season, the injury doesn't appear too serious. He's officially listed as day to day.
"People start reading between lines and everybody has the right to say or write about it, and I'm not going to control that," coach Oscar Pareja said. "With Mauro, we wait for the doctors to tell us what is the next step. We are gathering information. The doctors want to be more specific about what is happening."
Short-handed Dallas would appear to be in for a tough challenge against New York, which is 5-1-2 in the series dating to 2009. The Red Bulls took last season's lone matchup 1-0 on Sept. 22, their third shutout in four meetings versus FCD.
New York (2-2-5) has outscored teams 7-2 during a 2-0-1 stretch after playing to a 1-all draw at Columbus last Saturday. Bradley Wright-Phillips scored the tying goal in the 66th minute and Luis Robles made two saves.
Wright-Phillips, who recorded a hat trick in a 4-0 win over Houston in the previous game, has scored five of the team's 13 goals.
"He did well, I'm glad he got another goal. All the guys did well, I think we had a large chunk of possession tonight, which I'm pleased with," coach Mike Petke said. "Our possession game is growing as well."
The Red Bulls could get a boost from veteran Tim Cahill, who has missed the last two games with a hamstring injury. He was available but didn't play last weekend.
"I like the defensive stability there and also the threat that he can get forward, but he's very good in the defensive block," Petke said. "He's comfortable playing so many different positions and he's effective playing so many different positions. But the first and foremost thing is for him to be 100 percent healthy."
New York is unbeaten at home but 0-2-3 as the visiting team. The Red Bulls are winless through five road games for the first time since finishing 0-13-2 in 2009.