B&RU: How is FC Dallas going to deal with all the defensive absences this weekend?
BDS: That is definitely the big question going into the weekend as FCD will be without a couple key players in the back. Luckily they do have a reliable back up in goal with Chris Seitz, who had several shutouts in 2015. He'll step in nicely for Jesse Gonzalez. The back four is a big question though as we'll likely see two new starters enter the lineup in veteran Zach Loyd and rookie Homegrown defender Aaron Guillen. Loyd has the experience to handle starting in this kind of game but Guillen hasn't even made a game day roster this season so he will be put to the test in a big way in this match.
The big thing will be the continued development of the Carlos Gruezo and Victor Ulloa pairing above that back four in the midfield. Both proved to be a good combination last week against Montreal and will now need to translate that again this week on the road.
B&RU: Dallas have a pair of shutouts against Eastern Conference teams, but got blown out by Houston; are you worried about the team's performance in the Western Conference?
BDS: The Houston loss was certainly a shocker to say the least but it was more of a wake up call than anything else to this young bunch. In a way, the team needed a loss like that to bring them down to reality a bit as it showed they can't take any one for granted in this league.
I don't see that as a normal thing though from this bunch. They took that game and learned from it in a big way by shutting out a quality side like Montreal last week.
B&RU: How is Max Urruti doing as the replacement for Blas Perez?
BDS: While Perez was a big time leader in the locker room, Urruti has been good at building a strong connection with guys like Mauro Diaz and Fabian Castillo on and off the pitch. A lot of media here in Dallas continues to think that the Urruti-Diaz combination has a chance to be really special once the two get on the same page. Right now it appears they're getting very close to that too. Once they do, I wouldn't be shocked to see Urruti go off on a scoring spree that Dallas has long wanted out of their striker.
B&RU: Lineup prediction?
BDS: Chris Seitz, Ryan Hollingshead, Matt Hedges, Aaron Guillen, Zach Loyd, Carlos Gruezo, Victor Ulloa, Fabian Castillo, Mauro Diaz, Michael Barrios, Maximiliano Urruti