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FC Dallas-Crew Preview

Aug 14, 2009 - 4:55 PM By MATT BEARDMORE STATS Writer

FC Dallas (6-9-5) at Columbus (9-3-9), 7:00 p.m. EDT

The Columbus Crew haven't lost at home in more than a year.

On Saturday night, the reigning MLS Cup champs will try to extend that homefield dominance as it faces the only club that it has lost to since early April.

Columbus tries to win its fifth in a row overall and extend its league-record 19-match unbeaten streak at Crew Stadium against an FC Dallas club coming off back-to-back shutout victories.

After defeating San Jose 3-0 on Saturday in the first MLS match at San Francisco's Candlestick Park, Columbus (9-3-9) returns home, where it is 13-0-6 since a 2-0 loss to the Earthquakes on June 7, 2008.

Alejandro Moreno scored in the 69th minute Saturday and Robbie Rogers and Adam Moffat followed with their first goals of the season as the Eastern Conference-leading Crew improved to 9-1-7 since a 2-1 loss at Chivas USA on April 5.

"I thought it definitely wasn't a 3-0 game - I thought it was closer than that," Rogers said after Columbus recorded its fifth shutout of the season and second in a row.

The Crew's only loss in their last 17 matches was a 2-1 defeat at Dallas on June 20 that snapped their nine-match unbeaten streak. Columbus' only score came on an own goal from Dallas captain Pablo Richetti.

Richetti will be unavailable Saturday due to yellow-card accumulation.

Guillermo Barros Schelotto, the reigning MLS MVP and the league's second-leading goal scorer with 10, is expected back in the lineup Saturday after missing the past four matches with a strained left hamstring.

Defender Frankie Hejduk will likely miss his fourth consecutive match with a quad strain, while midfielder Brian Carroll will serve a one-game suspension for yellow-card accumulation.

FC Dallas (6-9-5), meanwhile, will try to improve on its 1-6-2 road record following two impressive outings at home. After defeating Kansas City 6-0 on Aug. 1, Dallas scored a 1-0 victory over Houston on Aug. 6 behind a goal from Jeff Cunningham.

After missing a penalty kick in the 13th minute, Cunningham found the net in the 20th minute for his 113th career MLS goal. With eight goals in the last five matches, Cunningham trails Chivas USA's Ante Razov for second on the all-time scoring list.

"(Jeff is) so experienced he creates a lot of havoc for the opposition," FC Dallas coach Schellas Hyndman said after his club won two straight matches for the first time in 2009. "We're starting to look for him a lot more, he's been extremely confident."

Cunningham scored in a 2-1 loss at Crew Stadium on Aug. 16 in Dallas' last visit there.

FC Dallas plays four of its next five matches on the road.