April 6, 2018 / 7:32 PM / 7 months ago

FC Dallas, rested and unbeaten, hopes to cool off Colorado's Badji

FC Dallas, one of only two remaining undefeated teams in MLS, returns to action after a two-week break to host the revitalized Colorado Rapids on Saturday night at Toyota Stadium in Frisco, Texas.

The two teams are separated by just one point in the Western Conference standings.

Colorado (1-1-1), which opened the season with a 2-1 loss at New England, bounced back for a 2-2 tie with Sporting Kansas City and then beat the Philadelphia Union 3-0 at home last Saturday. That match featured forward Dominique Badji’s first career hat trick and Tim Howard’s 28th career MLS shutout.

It also marked the first MLS win for head coach Anthony Hudson, the former New Zealand head coach who took over a Rapids squad that finished just a point ahead of the LA Galaxy in 10th place in the Western Conference last season.

“We’re still a team in transition, still a team building, and we’ve forgotten the result and focused on the next game and improving,” Hudson told the team’s website.

The 25-year-old Badji, a former Patriot League Offensive Player of the Year at Boston University, has four goals this season and became the first Colorado player to register a hat trick since Sanna Nyassi in July 2011.

FC Dallas (1-0-2), coached by former Colorado head coach Oscar Pareja (2012-13), leads the MLS in conceding just two goals and comes in off a 1-1 draw with Portland on March 24. Midfielder Roland Lamah leads the team with three goals, including a left-footed strike from the top of the box just inside the right post for the team’s lone goal against the Timbers.

Colorado is just 1-16-2 in its last 19 road games dating back to the start of the 2017 and has scored just eight goals during that span. Still, Dallas midfielder Jacori Hayes told the Dallas Morning News he’s glad the team had extra preparation time for the Rapids and their 5-3-2 formation.

“It’s a lot of new faces and a new formation,” Hayes said. “They’re pressing very high. It’s good that we’re seeing it now early in the week so we can get used to it, find some patterns we can do that can break that press and hopefully make the game a lot easier for us.”

—Field Level Media

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