Dallas Soccer: 3rd Degree
M/F Fabian Castillo (sprained left ankle)
Castillo has been recently sidelined with some ankle issues but the good news is he’s returned to the practice field.
Hyndman’s Take: He’s fine. He’s training again.
CB Ugo Ihemelu (concussion symptoms)
Hyndman had said last week before the U.S. Open Cup loss to Charlotte that the team was giving their current captain some pills to help with his headaches. Here’s an update:
Hyndman’s Take: I think they made some progress but still, he didn’t train today.
CB George John (left USOC game early as precaution)
John had left the USOC loss to Charlotte during the first half as a precaution as it was thought he might have a concussion. However, it appears he has no symptoms, another bit of good news for Dallas.
Hyndman’s Take: George, seems to be all right but again, precautionary. So we’ll make some decisions on that as well.
CB Zach Loyd (see George John)
Like John, Loyd also left the Open Cup loss in the first half as a precaution with a potential concussion. But the major difference between his and Big George’s situation is that Loyd required stitches while John did not.
Hyndman’s Take: Zach got quite a few stitches, I think 20 stitches across the eye, so it was a pretty bad cut. The swelling has gone down obviously quite a bit. Stitches come out tomorrow. We were also a little concerned there might have been some phase of concussion, so what we did today was just let him work a little bit in tennis shoes and on fitness depending on if there was any throbbing pain or anything but he seemed to have gotten through it OK. From what he’s telling me, he doesn’t really have any of those symptoms, so I think he’s going to be all right.
M Brek Shea (turf toe)
Besides serving a three-game suspension after kicking a ball at a referee, Shea has also recently been bothered by a rather nasty case of turf toe. Hyndman offers an update, which might cast his availability for the next game on June 16 at Houston into some doubt.
Hyndman’s Take: Brek’s not training yet. We’re hoping for about another week. He’s out there jogging a little bit, so he’s out of his boot. That’s a good sign.
“We had two scenarios. If we had won against Charlotte, that would have given us more playing time," Hyndman said. "We wouldn’t have been able to take Thursday and Friday off because we would have had a game again on Tuesday. And then after that game, we would have moved it up. Since that game didn’t go the way we wanted it to go, we just moved it up right away to give the guys last Thursday, Friday, Saturday, Sunday off. So that’s four days and then today we had a wonderful overcast so we had a good, hard training today.”
“FC Dallas is very proud to have three representatives on the U.S. Under-20 National Team,” said FC Dallas technical director Fernando Clavijo. “All three players are hard-working, talented young men with bright futures ahead of them.”
A native of Fort Worth, Top became the fifth Homegrown player to sign with FC Dallas on Jan. 12, 2011. Top made eight appearances for the FC Dallas Reserves in 2011, logging a total of 374 minutes. The 19-year-old forward recently broke into the starting lineup for FC Dallas. He picked up his first career assist on a goal scored by Blas Perez against Real Salt Lake on May 26, 2012. Top made his first start and played the full 90 minutes in a U.S. Open Cup match on May 29.
Garcia netted two goals in just 80 minutes of action last season with the FC Dallas Reserves. He has one assist for the 3-1-1 FC Dallas Reserves this season in just 47 minutes of action. Garcia also leads the FC Dallas Academy U-18 team with 18 goals in 23 games. The team currently leads the U.S. Soccer Development Academy with a record of 22-4-3 (69 points). Garcia verbally committed to the University of North Carolina in November.
A teammate with both Top and Garcia on the FC Dallas Academy U-18 team in 2011, Okwuonu played in 21 matches for the 10-1-5 conference champions last season. He then spent the second half of 2011 playing his freshman season at UNC, which claimed its second national championship in December. Originally from Edmond, Okla., Okwuonu started and played every match for the Tar Heels last fall, earning more minutes than any other field player on the team.
The realities are that the US Open Cup just doesn't provide the incentive needed to overcome the fact that the MLS season is too long and MLS rosters too small. USOC matches are total "no win" situations for MLS clubs. They are expected to leave with easy wins, all while finding ways to use the matches to rest starters and time for bench and reserve players. But history shows us that there are rarely easy wins, even in the early rounds, and that the differences between MLS and lower divisions are small enough that MLS sides fielding lessor squads are in a for a battle.
It's a dirty secret, but when you talk to MLS personnel, players and coaches you find that, in general, the USOC is a terrible burden. It's not that anyone doesn't want to participate, per say, its just that the timing combined with the hardships of the MLS season are just too much to overcome when you realize what really is at stake. The Lamar Hunt trophy is only pretty, the prize money is pretty meager and all that is left is the CCL spot. That last thing is a valuable prize, yes, but there are other avenues to that same place, and those same roads also lead to league glory with no additional matches.
Seven MLS sides fell out in the third round last night. From teams struggling like Dallas and LA, to teams that have been in good form (RSL, Columbus). If there was ever a bellwether that clearly states where MLS players put value on the USOC, last night was it.
Watch Jason Kries' post match comments of last night where he talks about his players "not wanting to win enough". While I think Kries means what he says, I believe that he knows that his players feel like there is little to gain and more to lose from the USOC. Other than club pride (and I think that may be more of a mythical thing in MLS than people want to admit), what USOC gives MLS players to want to put out 100 percent effort is pretty insubstantial. I think people involved in MLS at all levels in different departments all know this. Even the fans know it. USOC games, by large, are attendance duds.
Dallas fans have a lot more to worry about than crashing out of the USOC. There are some harsh realities facing this club like the seemingly impossible task of going a streak that will gather them the points needed to make the playoffs. We've all been waiting for Ferreria's return, but everyone needs to remind themselves the man hasn't played the game for almost 14 months and counting. Is it even realistic to think he can return to a form that can lead this team to a winning streak this season? And if David Ferreira returns to MVP form right away, in any way does that do something to overcome Daniel Hernandez's struggles with age, pace and time? Or spur Brek Shea find his health, and more importantly, his touch, before too long?
Last night's loss was like poking your finger in a bullet hole and wiggling it around - terribly painful - the real pain is the already existing bullet hole. We could talk forever about the creation of that wound - roster decisions, injuries, tactics, player form - but its there, and it was bleeding long before last night. Not having to play in more ill-timed USOC matches likely is more of a win for Dallas (and most of the other six MLS clubs) than fans want to admit, but its true.
Granted the sample size is quite small, so we can't write that number in stone as yet. New York made the playoffs at 46 last year, but it would have taken 50 to pass Colorado for 5th in the West. Over time we'll be able to refine the number. 48 still gives us a solid number to consider.
Here's the problem for FCD, it has played 15 games so far this season and earned only 13 points, on three wins, eight losses, and four ties. That's a terrible .866 points per game. The club hasn't won a game since April 14th.
So in order to "safely" make the playoffs FCD needs 35 points from the remaining 19 games to get the 48 points. That's a whopping 1.84 points per game.
Or in other words ... 12 wins in 19 games or 12-7-0 for 36.
or 11-6-2 ... for exactly 35 ...
or 10-4-5 for 35 points ...
or 9-2-9 for 35 points ...
or 8-0-11 for 35 points ...
and that's it.
If FCD doesn't lose another game, it would still need eight wins in 19 games ...
So at a bare minimum FCD probably needs to win half the remaining games, and lose very, very few of them.
Yes, FCD has been decimated by injuries. But those players aren't going to be healthy today, and even if they are it would still take an amazing feat of recovery and resilience to make that kind of turn around and run. Consider that at the start of the season FCD was 3-2-1 for 10 points over the first 6 ... 1.6 PPG. So getting back to that form alone wouldn't get it done.
Can it happen? Sure, I suppose. This is sports, anything can happen. But it would take one of the great winning streaks in MLS history. So sure, why not this team? FCD is, after all, only six points back of 4th place Colorado -- that's just two wins. Unfortunately, everyone else in the conference between FCD and the playoffs has two or even three games in hand. And that's killer.
So I wouldn't hold my breath.
Opening thoughts on the game:
"I thought we came out prepared to play. A couple pretty severe injuries came up. You lose George [John] and Zach [Loyd] in eight minutes. I think it affected us so much so that it gave up the goal, and it might have even been their first shot on goal. I thought that Charlotte did the things that they needed to do to come away with a victory. Every time we tried to do something, we might have been our own worst enemy. I'm disappointed because I thought this was a really good opportunity to get back on track and get results. I'm disappointed, obviously, because it has Lamar Hunt's name on the trophy. I'm disappointed in our performance. I think a fan said it best, when we were coming off the field. He said the outcome was unacceptable. That was an unacceptable performance by our players."
On how the team has continually appeared to have bad luck throughout the season:
"You keep thinking that the ball bounces wrong, when we had two chances to score on that one flurry. We knocked some good balls across there, but we're just not doing enough. I have to believe that you make your own luck. Isn't it interesting that the guy who scores on the header is alone, and the guy who was supposed to mark him didn't? It's not about getting the right call or getting lucky, it's about making your own luck. We just had a poor performance."
On the few positives the team showed:
"I think we had some players that did well. I thought Jair Benitez played extremely well today. We had to move him from the left side, where he was very dominant, to the right side. Moises [Hernandez] came in and I wanted him to be in his comfort zone. He did fine for not getting a lot of playing time with us. Another one of the players that I thought did well was [Matt] Hedges. It wasn't the same performance that he has had over the past two games, but he is playing along with Andew Jacobson very well. Again, Andrew Jacobson did very well in the first half. He made things happen."
On if the upcoming break can help the team:
"It's not only the best thing for the team, it's the best thing for the coaches. The coaches have put in a lot of time and energy, and the players have put in a lot of work. The reality is a lot of those guys haven't been playing. I don't know if they were mentally tired, or if they just couldn't keep the pace up. We still have 19 games left in the MLS, so I think what we need to do right now is get some points and do things right."
On Jackson's red card:
"You know, you look at emotional intelligence. Jackson worked awfully hard. It was a nothing situation to get a red card on. If you're going to get a red card, there's a level on which that card should look like. It could be something silly or a hard play, but not to take a break and go get a shower. It's not worth that."
FC Dallas goalkeeper Chris Seitz
On losing two defenders in the first half to injury:
“It’s not one of those things where you look at as two players going off. For us it’s one of those things where we try to get the new guys involved in the game as quickly as possible. They get their first touch and we move on. It’s not one of those things you can really take a breath and be like, ‘Darn, they’re off the field.’ You don’t get that second. It’s all playing from there and you do the best you can. At the end of the day, we have a goal and we gave up, what? Two shots the whole game? And they scored two goals. We didn’t do our jobs today. We came out here and had probably one of our worst games. Now we have quite a while to rebuild and work hard. It’s one of those things where we have to come back stronger and there are no excuses.”
On the frustration of the first half of the season:
“It’s definitely been rough. It’s been one of those things where we’ve been in a lot of the games and we just haven’t been able to get the result. There’s really no sort of excuse to put out there for it. It’s one of those things where all we can really do is continue to work and come in here on those days we’ve got coming up and really put in the work to help us start turning some of those losses into ties and some of those ties into wins.”
On hitting the reset button for the second half:
“It’s one of those things where we have to work hard on both sides of the ball. Obviously, we’ve been giving up quite a few goals so we’re going to be working on our defensive shape. Coach gave us a good analogy the other day. We used to be a team that refused to lose and we’ve got to get a little bit of that back and really just push forward. We need to forget about what has already happened because there’s nothing we can do about it. We really need to get out there and make the most of every opportunity that we have.”
Head Coach Mark Steffens
“We’ve had a relatively tough season this year so far. We’ve had a ton of injuries. We’ve had guys come in late with visa problems and on and on. So we are finally getting our team together and we have played a lot better the last 10 days or so.”
“We feel like we are improving, so we knew it would be a tough battle. Obviously we didn’t think we would play with them; match-up straight up with them, so we definitely defended hard and then they’d block and we’d try and counter them a little here and there. They definitely had the better of the possession by quite a bit, but we’re real fortunate that we came out with a victory.”
On the two goals scored:
“Darryl Roberts is a really good finisher. He’s been hurt most of the season. He’s only played in about four games for us. So when he gets opportunities he puts them on frame, so that’s why we give him the ball in the box and we feel good about him putting stuff on frame or in goal when he gets the opportunity so he did that.”
“Then they were pushing up late in the game and we got it to Darryl again and he’s the one who beat one guy and slithered it across to an open runner, Nate Thorton. It was nothing more than being able to get that chance. You know, it was really only a one-nothing game.”
On Keeper Clinton Irwin’s performance:
“He’s really coming on strong. El Paso was his first game for us and he shut them out as well, so he’s really doing well as a first-year pro.”
“He helps us out because if you give up an early goal, which we have a lot this year, that kind of a mistake can flatten the whole team. So it’s really important you have a keeper who can come up with one or two big saves to keep you in the match.”
“He’s really been our second keeper all year. Our first keeper, Eric Reed, is just as good, so we feel fortunate to have two great keepers.”
Goalkeeper Clinton Irwin
“I thought we defended really well. We knew we were going to be under a lot of pressure, especially at the end of the game. We had had four games in ten days and it had started to take its toll. I think FC Dallas kind of had the same schedule, so we just battled together and defended well.”
“You get your hands on the ball in the first couple of minutes and you just get comfortable in there. After every save you just gain more and more confidence. The ball gets huge and the goal looks smaller and smaller for the forwards. It’s definitely a good feeling to have.”
On his contribution to the Eagles:
“I haven’t thought a lot about it, but I just wanted to do well and do my job. A lot of the credit has to go to the way we scored our goals. You know Darryl and Nate had two excellent finishes on our two clear-cut chances and that’s what you have to do. The next level is just be clinical with your chances.”
Dallas’ George John and Zach Loyd were forced out of the match after suffering injuries between the 24th and 41st minutes of play. Homegrown player Moises Hernandez replaced Loyd, while James Marcelin came on for John, but it was Charlotte’s substitution that made the biggest impact.
The Eagles’ Nate Thornton replaced Joseph Kwabe in the 40th minute. He needed just two minutes before he picked up an assist on a goal scored by Darryl Roberts. The play began with Thornton chasing down a long pass on the right flank and sending a cross to the back post for Roberts. There, the Trinidadian forward rose above his marker to nod a shot into the back of the net for the 1-0 lead.
Dallas’ uphill battle got steeper in the 78th minute, when Jackson was ejected from the match following a collision with Irwin. The red card forced FC Dallas to play down a man for the remaining 12 minutes.
Pushing men forward in search of a game-saving goal, FC Dallas was caught on the counter-attack in the fourth minute of stoppage time. The Eagles’ combination of Thornton and Roberts hooked up again, this time in reverse, as Roberts received a pass on the left flank and played Thornton into space. One-on-one with FC Dallas goalkeeper Chris Seitz, Thornton calmly picked out the side-netting at the far post to give Charlotte the 2-0 victory.
Fans attending both matches are urged to arrive early to avoid traffic and long waits, as well as enjoy Fútbol Fiesta, a 120,000 square-feet interactive soccer fan zone which opens four hours before kickoff just outside the stadium and features live entertainment, sponsor exhibits, celebrities and interactive games.
The game at Cowboys Stadium will close out Mexico’s 2012 five-game U.S. Tour. This will mark the third time Mexico plays, and sells out, the state-of-the-art Arlington venue since its 2009 inauguration.
“He’s adjusting to what we’re doing. I thought there was a good improvement from the Chicago game to the Real Salt Lake game,” Hyndman said. “We sat down and talked with him. One of the things we wanted him to do was be more dominant in the air. Sometimes it’s really frustrating when you’ve got a guy that’s 6-foot-3 that’s not winning head balls or not attempting to win head balls and we talked about that. He had a head injury, so I think he’s a little hesitant sometimes but I saw some great improvements in Salt Lake because he understands this is something we’re looking for.”
Discuss your general thoughts on the U.S. Open Cup and the meaning attached to it.
Hyndman: Well, it’s one of the things we talked about in our meeting today, was this is a fantastic event not just because it’s another competition. It’s also a situation where it’s named after our previous owner, Lamar Hunt. It’s the recognition our country’s given to a man that has done so much for soccer and it means a lot to our ownership and it means a lot to our club and our fans that we honor this opportunity. It’s also we get into a situation where you win the Open Cup, it gives you a direct route into CONCACAF [Champions League]. This is the first year they’ve gone away from a bidding system. Last three years, teams like Seattle would always bid high, hosted the game and giving themselves every opportunity to win. Now it’s a situation, it’s a little bit more even for everyone.
What do you know about the Charlotte Eagles?
Hyndman: I don’t know really that much about them. John Ellinger went out, got a chance to see them, scouted them when they played in El Paso last week I think. Our reports are basically they’re a team that are fighters. They’ve got a couple difference makers and obviously this game will be a big game for them because they’re playing inside an MLS complex and they want to be measured. So they’re very excited about it.
Charlotte features a local product, Scott Jones, who also spent some time with FCD. Did you ever recruit him to play for you at SMU and if so, what kind of player is he?
Hyndman: Yeah, he was always a decent player that we had our vision on and somebody we thought would be a good player to keep at home. He’s a solid player. He’s got an excellent work rate, good technical player. I think this is one of those games we’ll definitely see his best for all the home environment, all those types of things.
Second Touch: Bad teams find ways to lose points.
The Finish: FC Dallas is, for whatever debatable reason, cause, circumstance or otherwise, a bad team.
Hartman: 6 - Some monster saves, but Kevin also had his bacon saved on a few occasions
Benitez: 4 - The single most frustrating player ever to wear a Dallas jersey
Hedges: 6 - Maybe the silver lining of this dark, gloomy season
John: 5 - Solid all night, but was on the wrong side of Saborio's header and misjudged it
Loyd: 5 - Your typical hard working Zach performance, but he couldn't clear that last ball
Leyva: 2 - Yes, he young, but he's not MLS starting quality. The more he plays the more hesitant he looks to get into tackles, go forward and isn't tricking anyone at this level. Note: Luis Gil is 18, two years younger than Brian, has started in 19 more matches and both signed in 2010
Jackson: 4 - Trying to do too much, beat too many people. Lost the ball 26 times, led the team
Hernandez: 3 - Struggled to keep up with RSL's youthful speed in midfield, a warrior with super high milage. The two week break couldn't come at a better time for a single player
Mercelin: 1 - How can one guy give up the ball so easily in the attacking third, so many times? A center midfielder that statistically touched the ball less than any other field player. Yes, Dallas was desperate for a player, but if he's not good enough for Portland… good grief.
Jacobson: 4 - Credit to AJ for working hard in a tactically brutal position. Gets forward, finds space, creates some chances but can't quite make that magic needed
Perez: 4 - Never stops working, but his frustration level is so high he's resorting to spending way too much time complaining, looking for calls and bickering with opponents. The dirty secret is that Blas' passing and decision making during this winless streak has been shockingly poor. In fact, the winning goal starts with Blas' terrible 4 yard hospital ball to Jackson in the 92nd minute - not only ruining a good counter attack, but also setting up Salt Lake with the ball that ends up winning the match. And while I'm dog piling, his goal really was an own goal by Reynish, although no one will ever count it that way. I'm sure Blas' will improve as the team does, but right now he too deserves his fair share of criticism
Rodriguez: n/a - Touched the ball five times.
Top: 6 - Kid gets a tip for the touch that sent the ball to Perez
RSL – Alvaro Saborio (Terakazu Tanaka) 59
DAL – Matt Hedges 75
RSL – Saborio (Ned Grabavoy, Jonny Steele) 76
DAL – Blas Perez (Jonathan Top, Jackson) 85
RSL – Nat Borchers 90+
FC Dallas – Kevin Hartman, Jair Benitez, George John, Matt Hedges, Zach Loyd, Bryan Leyva (Carlos Rodriguez 79), Daniel Hernandez, James Marcelin (Jonathan Top 82), Andrew Jacobson, Jackson, Blas Perez.
Substitutes Not Used: Chris Seitz, Victor Ulloa, Moises Hernandez, Scott Sealy, Bruno Guarda.
TOTAL SHOTS: 12 (Blas Perez 4);
SHOTS ON GOAL: 5 (Jackson 2);
FOULS: 9 (Jackson 4);
OFFSIDES: 2 (Jackson, Blas Perez 1);
CORNER KICKS: 2 (Bryan Leyva 2);
SAVES: 4 (Kevin Hartman 4).
Real Salt Lake – Kyle Renish, Tony Beltran, Nat Borchers, Terakazu Tanaka, Jamison Olave, Ned Grabavoy, Yordany Alvarez, Luis Gil (Jonny Steele 70), Will Johnson, Alvaro Saborio, Fabian Espindola (Sebastian Velasquez 90+).
Substitutes Not Used: Eduardo Fernandez, Emiliano Bonfigli, Paulo Junior, Chris Estridge, Enzo Martinez.
TOTAL SHOTS: 16 (Alvaro Saborio 4);
SHOTS ON GOAL: 7 (Alvaro Saborio 3);
FOULS: 14 (Yordany Alvarez 3);
CORNER KICKS: 4 (Ned Grabavoy 3);
SAVES: 3 (Kyle Reynish 3).
RSL – Yordany Alvarez (caution) 37
RSL – Fabian Espindola (caution) 90+
Referee: Abiodun Okulaja
Referee’s Assistants: Kermit Quisenberry, Scott Kachmarik
4th Official: Tyler Ploeger
Time of Game: 1:53
Weather: Cloudy, 65 degrees
On the overall performance of his team:
“I got a lot out of the team tonight; disappointing last goal, there was a lot of physical play out there, a lot of bodies. I thought that we had done enough to come away with a point.”
On if the game could be encouraging in any way:
“Well, there was some good play from Jackson and from Perez, basically they are the only two who are attacking and the rest of the guys are filling holes right now. It is encouraging to come back twice and to not give up and to see the fight that our guys put out there.”
FC DALLAS GOALKEEPER KEVIN HARTMAN:
On if tonight’s performance was encouraging for FC Dallas:
“Yeah, certainly we can find the silver lining. The most disappointing thing for us is that we worked so hard for so long and to leave again without any points, you feel like a little piece of you dies every time you lose a game. It’s been a rough patch for us and it’s easy to point fingers and it’s easy to blame, but at the end of the day we all have to raise our level.”
On the difference between the first and second half of the match:
“Obviously once they scored then we had to begin attacking a little bit more. Once we scored the first there was a little bit of a belief that we were going to be able to get a second. Maybe the altitude plays a factor, maybe guys zone out a little bit and before you know it we’ve conceded a second.”
FC DALLAS DEFENDER ZACH LOYD
On the overall performance of FC Dallas:
“We showed a lot of character coming back when we went down 1-0 and then went down 2-1 and came back. Unfortunately, we couldn’t sustain and keep the tie. At the end of the day we dropped another three points and it’s frustrating.”
On what’s coming up for FC Dallas:
“We’ve got two weeks now to rest and really work on stuff. Hopefully the second half of the season we’ll make a push and hopefully make a playoff spot.”
On what FC Dallas needs to work on during the layoff:
“I think the most important thing is to get guys back, get guys healthy, we have a lot of injuries. I think the main thing as far as the back line goes is that we’ve given up way too many goals so far this season. We need to really get on the same page and start getting some shutouts.”
Real Salt Lake Head Coach Jason Kreis
On the Match:
“To be a season ticket holder right now…we’re giving them their money’s worth for sure. Another crazy game tonight, FC Dallas played really hard, there was no give up in them and that made our night difficult for sure. I am very pleased to get the three points against what I think is a very difficult opponent. When you’re missing guys like Kyle Beckerman, Nick Rimando, Javi Morales and Wingert..Four very strong leaders…to be without them and have the guys react how they did is a very good sign.”
On Tanaka, Reynish, and Alvarez:
“All three did well. Obviously, Tanaka assisted on the first goal, which was a very nice cross on his part. He did well to get around his defender. I thought he had a strong performance, Yordany I thought had a pretty strong night, especially in the first half. I thought he was breaking up a ton of plays in the midfield, and was in the right spot a lot of times. He still can be a little bit cleaner on the ball for me. I think that we will have a good chance to see improvement from him with Open Cup. Renyish had a strong night. Unfortunate that he didn’t make that save that was a goal line decision. I thought he did well with that play. On the 2nd goal, I think he probably needed to do better, but those things I think come from playing more. I think he’s probably pretty relieved going around patting all the rest of the fellas on the back, especially Borchers.”
“I’m really pleased with Sabo. I know it’s been a difficult stretch that he hasn’t been scoring with the way that he would like, or the fans would like, but he’s been putting in the work, so I’m appreciative that he continues to work hard and take those chances.”
Real Salt Lake FW Alvaro Saborio
On RSL taking the lead multiple times:
“Dallas is good team. We just tried to make the first one and then hopefully win from there. The last one was a great goal at the last minute and I was happy for Borchers.”
About scoring twice before leaving to Costa Rica for international duty:
“I’m happy about the game and scoring twice and I am thinking now I’m going to do a better job in Costa Rica. We will see what happens there.”
Real Salt Lake DF Nat Borchers
On the match:
“It was a roller coaster 2nd half. We felt 1-0 wouldn’t be a good enough win for us. Credit to them, they pushed forward and scored two goals on us. That was our only option to get that third goal. My hat is to our front two Fabi and Sabo who really battled hard during the whole game and wore them down and got them tired and created a lot of chances for us. I thought Yordany had a really strong game, and Tanaka had a really good game as well.”
Real Salt Lake MF Ned Grabavoy
On Borchers’ goal:
“ A little bit of mayhem after just two let downs, It’s frustrating to keep giving up leads, so it’s crazy to react that quickly and go for it and get it back. I think it’s great to show that our team can win games that way.”
A more level field? -- Salt Lake will be without Kyle Beckerman and Nick Rimando for this one as both starters are with the U.S. national team. But it’s not like FCD hasn’t faced RSL before without Beckerman. Yordany Alvarez will spell Beckerman, the man Dallas fans love to hate, in the central midfield while Kyle Reynish will be between the posts. However, Salt Lake was without both top striker Fabian Espindola and former MLS Defender of the Year Jamison Olave the last time these clubs played to a 1-1 draw in Frisco back in April. Still, not having Beckerman and Rimando is definitely big for FCD. In other RSL-related injury news, it looks like either defender Chris Wingert or midfielder Javier Morales won’t play. Morales will most likely be the one to return, leaving Jason Kreis’ back line without the services of Wingert.
Rio Tinto demons -- Sure, the sample size is a small one, but in regular-season matches, FC Dallas has not fared well at all at Rio Tinto Stadium since its opening, going 0-4-1 and scoring a grand total of three goals in those five matches. Of course, there is one draw among those five results and FCD did register another draw in Sandy during the 2010 playoffs, so this is far from an impossible task. But RSL’s home field advantage is one of the best in MLS and against a Dallas side that has struggled away from home to put it mildly this year means this is one streak that most likely lives on after this weekend.
Study in contrasts -- The biggest contrast in this game might be in the amount of rest each club has had. RSL hasn’t played in two weeks, last hitting the pitch on May 12 for a 1-0 win at Seattle. Since then, Dallas has already played three times and will add a fourth match in two weeks in Saturday’s tilt at Rio Tinto. Even without the services of Beckerman, RSL will be a much more crisp, well-oiled machine compared to a highly fatigued FCD side that comes into this game fresh off an emotional yet controversial 2-1 loss at Chicago on Wednesday, the first time the club had lost at Toyota Park. So the big question is how much does Dallas have left?
Light at the end -- The good news for FCD is that after Saturday’s match in the Beehive State, they won’t play again for two weeks as they get a two-week break of their own. That being said, one has to wonder what the mentality would be heading into this game. Does FCD look to end their winless streak and head into their layoff on a hugely positive note, possibly using a draw or win at RSL as a springboard to the rest of the year? Or do they see getting through the Salt Lake game as a mere necessity, a way to finally get some rest and even if their winless streak does indeed hit nine games, just get out of RSL and get some rest? Some might think the second question is more than a bit off base but it’s human nature when things aren’t going bad, especially in a team setting, that at least some members of the roster are going to see the glass half empty, just saying.
Shea’s last break -- Another good thing about Saturday’s match from a Dallas standpoint is that it will be the final game of Brek Shea’s three-game suspension. Then again, Shea wasn’t exactly at the top of his game when he was suspended. Maybe part of that was the turf toe he was battling and then again, maybe it was nothing more than a dip in form. But getting him back for the Houston game will be huge, especially since FCD has been missing something on the flanks lately. Bryan Leyva played well against Philadelphia but displayed some serious inconsistency in a forgettable performance at Chicago. Fabian Castillo didn’t even travel to the Windy City and it’s doubtful he plays on Saturday, which likely means Carlos Rodriguez or Scott Sealy gets the call on the flank likely alongside Leyva. No matter who starts at the two flank midfield spots on Saturday at Rio Tinto, it will illustrate one thing, how crucial Shea is to any success FCD is to have or not have in 2012.
Play Podcast Marc Stein and Steve Davis reflect on Adnan Januzaj's meteoric rise from Dallas Cup participant in April to Manchester United's savior in October before moving on to discuss DC United's victory over Real Salt Lake in the U.S. Open Cup final.
Play Podcast Steve Davis welcomes Marc Stein back to the studio from his European travels just in time to discuss the miserable weekend in the Premiership for both Manchester clubs.
Play Podcast Marc Stein and Steve Davis discuss the big City v United game and Stein's trip to West Brom for the Paolo Di Canio show.
Play Podcast Marc Stein and Steve Davis cover all the ins and outs of the United States' comprehensive victory over Mexico that clinched a seventh straight trip to the World Cup.
Play Podcast Marc Stein and Steve Davis look ahead to Tuesday night's big USA vs. Mexico showdown.
Play Podcast Pedro Pinto analyzes the Champions League draw, and Rodney Marsh discusses Liverpool's flying start.
Play Podcast Marc Stein and Steve Davis discuss Clint Dempsey's home debut and the weekend's marquee match in MLS: Seattle vs. Portland.
Play Podcast Broadcasting live from FC Dallas Stadium, Marc Stein and Steve Davis reflect on the absolute footy feast that was Saturday's TV bonanza featuring seven live games from the Premiership followed by a full MLS slate.