Columbus Crew (12-5-4, 40 points, first in the Eastern Conference)
FC Dallas (9-2-9, 36 points, third in the Western Conference) at Crew Stadium.
All-time record: Tied 15-15-7.
TV: 3 p.m. CT; FSSW (Texas); TeleFutura (national).
Note: Saturday is Lamar Hunt Legacy Day and a statue of the Crew founder will be dedicated prior to the game in the stadium he built. FCD unveiled a statue of Mr. Hunt a few weeks ago.
Key to the Game: Defending the Crew set piece. Columbus has scored 15 of 31 goal from set plays, and set plays have been a Dallas weakness the last few years. The Crew have the best free kick taken in MLS with Guilermo Barros Schelotto. Chad Marshall, Andy Iro, and Steven Lenhart they are plenty dangerous in the air.
With Ugo Ihemelu missing for Dallas, Zach Loyd will have to step up big time. George John, Brek Shea, and Atiba Harris are all tall which should help. FCD spent a lot of time working on set play defense this week as FCD coach Schellas Hyndman is finally comfortable to spend more time on opposition than his own team.
Record to be broken: FC Dallas can set the MLS record for longest road unbeaten streak this weekend in Columbus. The Crew hold the record along with FCD, going nine road games without a loss July 10-Oct. 16, 2004. Two weeks ago, Real Salt Lake extended their home unbeaten streak to within one game of the league mark held by the Crew – with a win against Columbus.
CLB: Frankie Hejduk (caution accumulation; through Aug. 28)
WARNINGS (suspended next yellow card):
CLB: Adam Moffat
DAL: Atiba Harris, Daniel Hernandez
COLUMBUS CREW -
OUT: MF Robbie Rogers (L knee surgery); DF Gino Padula (L knee inflammation);
QUESTIONABLE: MF Brian Carroll (illness);
PROBABLE: DF Andy Iro (R knee inflammation) …
FC DALLAS -
OUT: DF Ugo Ihemelu (concussion); MF Dax McCarty (R quad strain)
REFEREE: Andrew Chapin.
SAR (bench): Kermit Quisenberry; JAR (opposite): Thomas Supple;
4th: Michael Kennedy