FC Dallas look to qualify for the CONCACAF Champions League Final in Pachuca, Mexico while holding a 2-1 advantage.
Just three games into the current MLS season and FC Dallas are stepping out of league competition and up to high altitude for this week’s CONCACAF Champions League semi-final return leg against a rejuvenated CF Pachuca side. (Tues., April 4, 9p ET)
FC Dallas Takes a Long Break…
FCD’s last league match was March 18, a 2-1 home victory over New England. A scheduled match at Colorado Rapids for Sat. April 1, was postponed when the club advanced in the CCL. Last Friday (Mar 31), FCD finally took the field again and won a friendly, 2-0, against Puebla of Liga MX’ reserves.
…and Makes a Long Climb
FCD has been training in Mexico for the past week, trying to prepare for the 8000 ft. elevation they face at Pachuca’s home. The scrimmage was the last step in those preparations. The Hoops (seriously Dallas? that nickname…) are slightly ahead at the half-way point of this semi-final having taken the first leg, 2-1, in Frisco.
Kellyn Acosta scored the game-winner with a genius free kick. If you haven’t seen that yet, get ready to have your eyeballs bent.
An Away Goal Is An Away Goal…
If you watched the video above you know that FCD won the match, but surrendered an early away goal on some sloppy defending. Unfortunately for Dallas, the goal still counts. And as an away goal, it kind of counts double. It means a 1-0 result this Tuesday in the return leg would put Pachuca into the final and on track for their second CCL title. Tuzos were CONCACAF’s Champions League winners in 2009.
Dallas’ first goal came from Maxi Urruti. The Argentine has accounted for more than half of the team’s production thus far in 2017 MLS play.
…and Chucky’s Back
The worst news for FCD fans may be that Hirving Lozano, Pachuca’s standout winger, is back from injury. But is he 100% “Chucky” again? Lozano played the full 90 on Saturday (Apr. 1) as Pachuca and Puebla drew, 0-0.
He showed a willingness to shoot and seemed comfortable to be on his (temporary) home turf once again. He is, however, also ripe for the summer transfer market in Europe. While a CCL title would likely up Pachuca’s asking price, the player himself may be none too anxious to risk re-injury so soon.
You can watch the match live on Univision Deportes USA with kickoff on Tuesday is at 9 pm EST (6pm PST), as well as the CONCACAF page on Facebook.