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FC Dallas-Wizards Preview

Sep 24, 2010 - 8:26 PM By MIKE LIPKA STATS Editor

FC Dallas (10-2-13) at Kansas City (9-9-6), 8:00 p.m. EDT

The Kansas City Wizards have been among MLS' hottest teams as they make a push for the playoffs, but their five-game unbeaten streak looks modest compared to FC Dallas' franchise-record run.

After surviving a scare in its last game, Dallas hopes to complete a 17th consecutive match without a loss at it visits the surging Wizards on Saturday night.

Both clubs will have quick turnarounds following late rallies Wednesday.

Kansas City (9-9-6) scored three unanswered goals in the second half of a 4-3 win over Houston, improving to 4-0-1 in its last five games and 6-1-3 in its last 10. The Wizards appeared headed to a draw until substitute Josh Wolff converted a diving header seven minutes into stoppage time.

The goal was especially vital considering the Wizards pulled within three points of Seattle and San Jose, the final two teams in postseason position.

"That was really, really special," midfielder Davy Arnaud said. "For our fans, I think that's going to be a game that people talk about for a long time. I know as players, that's a game that we'll remember."

Dallas (10-2-13) scored in the 80th minute and again in stoppage time to earn a 2-2 tie with New England, with Jeff Cunningham's equalizer prolonging the club's remarkable run.

Although FCD is still chasing Los Angeles and Real Salt Lake in the Western Conference, it's all but assured of a playoff spot thanks to a 16-game unbeaten streak that is two shy of the MLS record set by Columbus in 2004.

"Our team has heart," midfielder Eric Avila told MLS' official website. "We didn't feel like giving up. We kept going and want to make ourselves better."

FCD has also gone 11 consecutive road games without a loss since a 2-1 defeat at New York on April 17 - already an MLS record - but coach Schellas Hyndman is not without concerns.

Defenders George John and Ugo Ihemelu and goalkeeper Kevin Hartman will miss Saturday's game due to injuries, while midfielder Brek Shea is suspended. The status of Dallas captain Daniel Hernandez, who has a pulled left hamstring, also is unclear.

Hyndman is also wary of the Wizards, who remind him of his own team from last year. FCD finished 8-4-1 to reach the 2009 playoffs.

"There's a little bit of desperation. There's no hesitation," Hyndman said. "The objective is three points. It eliminates a lot of fear in what you have to do."

Kei Kamara has sparked Kansas City, which has won the last four games in which the forward has appeared. Kamara has three goals and three assists in those contests, boosting his career-high total to 10 goals.

Cunningham leads Dallas with nine goals, needing two more to match the MLS record of 132 held by D.C. United's Jaime Moreno.

FCD's David Ferreira scored the lone goal in the previous meeting between these clubs, a home win over Dallas on July 3.