July 27, 2018 / 11:31 PM / 2 months ago

Sporting KC hopes to end skid vs. visiting Dallas

FC Dallas stands atop the Western Conference but the club certainly isn’t resting on its laurels.

Jul 21, 2018; Houston, TX, USA; Houston Dynamo starting players pose for a picture before a game against FC Dallas at BBVA Compass Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports

Striker Dominique Badji was acquired earlier this week and will make his debut for the squad on Saturday when FC Dallas visit Sporting Kansas City at Children’s Mercy Park.

The 25-year-old Badji arrives from the Colorado Rapids in exchange for midfielder Kellyn Acosta. He led the Rapids with seven goals and will be asked to spark an FC Dallas attack that is middle of the pack with 32 goals scored.

“Dominique gives us a scoring threat at the forward position that can be a difference-maker for us this season,” FC Dallas technical director Fernando Clavijo said in a statement.

Midfielder Roland Lamah (seven goals) and forward Maximiliano Urruti (six) have combined for nearly half the goals tallied by FC Dallas (11-3-6, 39 points). The addition of Badji, who has scored 24 goals in 91 matches in four MLS seasons, figures to make for a lethal trio.

But Badji wasn’t the only acquisition this week as FC Dallas also signed Chilean midfielder Pablo Aranguiz. The 21-year-old doesn’t lack for confidence and referred to himself this way in an interview with the team website.

“I am a difference-maker,” Aranguiz said.

Meanwhile, Sporting Kansas City (9-5-6, 33 points) will be looking to halt their four-game winless stretch (0-3-1) and gain some ground on FC Dallas.

Sporting KC resides in third place in the West and hasn’t prevailed since defeating the Houston Dynamo on June 23.

The squad is struggling on the defensive side, having allowed 13 goals in the past five matches after giving up just 14 over their first 15 games.

Everyone associated with Sporting KC knows the recent issues have to be resolved as sturdy defense has long been the team’s identity.

“I think you always have to go with what your strengths are,” Sporting KC coach Peter Vermes told reporters. “There’s no doubt that’s one of our strengths and it has been for a long time.”

Offensively, Johnny Russell has a team-best seven goals and fellow forward Daniel Salloi has six.

While Sporting KC has been struggling, FC Dallas is 8-2-2 over their past 12 games.

“It’s one of those games that I think people will find interesting,” said Vermes, “just because I think it’s a good matchup and I think it’s two good teams playing.”

—Field Level Media

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