(Photo credit: Jeff Swinger-USA TODAY Sports)
Jesus Ferreira and ninth-place FC Dallas will set out to stay unbeaten in September when they host the Columbus Crew on Saturday in Frisco, Texas.
Dallas (10-10-8, 38 points) enters the weekend in the final playoff spot in the Western Conference, just one point above Minnesota United and one point behind the Portland Timbers.
After a pair of draws to start the month, they beat Real Salt Lake 3-1 on Wednesday with three unanswered goals in the second half.
Ferreira scored the latter two, one coming on a penalty kick, and passed Kenny Cooper for second place in FC Dallas history with 49 all-time goals. (Franchise leader Jason Kreis scored 97.)
Ferreira, who is just 22 years old, had been mired in a scoring drought. Despite racking up two hat tricks for the U.S. men's national team during the Gold Cup, Ferreira hadn't scored in MLS play since June 7; he now has 12 goals this season.
"It feels amazing. It's something that I've been trying to achieve," Ferreira said postgame. "I grew up in this club (academy) and played for this club since I was 9, so being in the history books is amazing. I'm happy that my teammates put me in that history book."
The Crew (14-9-6, 48 points) represent a formidable opponent for Dallas after they clinched a playoff berth with Wednesday's 3-0 win over the Chicago Fire. They're tied on points with Philadelphia and New England for third in the Eastern Conference. The top four teams earn home-field advantage in the first round.
"It feels good, but we're not satisfied," Crew captain Darlington Nagbe said, per the Columbus Dispatch. "I think the goal now is to move higher up in the table. I think we're capable of doing that, and we'll see where we finish off at the year's end."
Cucho Hernandez continued a dominant season by scoring all three Columbus goals against Chicago. He has 13 goals and 11 assists this season.
Columbus leads Dallas 20-17-12 in the all-time series between two of the league's founding clubs. They last met in October 2020, a 2-2 draw at FC Dallas.
However, the Crew are 0-10-15 in their last 25 road matches against Western Conference teams - the drought dates to July 2017.
--Field Level Media