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Sunday, March 11, 2012
FC Dallas tops Red Bulls 2-1 in season opener

By David Stein



FRISCO, Texas -- FC Dallas got revenge from last season's postseason loss with a season-opening 2-1 win over the New York Red Bulls in front of a sellout crowd of 20,906 at FC Dallas Stadium on Sunday.

FC Dallas was aggressive early, and it paid off. Zach Lloyd's left-footer off a failed clear put FC Dallas up in the 11th minute.

Coach Schellas Hyndman said he was happy with the way his team started after six weeks of preparation leading up to the season opener.

"We created more scoring chances," Hyndman said, "and were able to strike early."

The FC Dallas defense didn't allow a shot on goal the entire first half, shutting down Thierry Henry and the Red Bulls' attack. New York's best opportunity in the first half came in the 44th minute when Henry's free kick hit off the right post.

"In the last 8 to 10 minutes, they created a lot of problems for us," Hyndman said. "They rightfully should have scored."

Ricardo Villar added another goal in the 61st minute to put FC Dallas up 2-0. Blas Perez's pass connected with Villar on the right side, and Villar chipped it in just out of the reach of keeper Ryan Meara.

"I thought about taking him out of the game," Hyndman said of Villar. "He got hit pretty well. Thank goodness we kept him on, because he scored a great goal."

Villar threw his wrist up in the air after the goal. The São Paulo native said it was a tribute to his hero, Sócrates, the Brazilian soccer legend known for getting his doctorate of medicine while playing professional soccer.

"For me, that was important," Villar said. "Knowing how hard it is in Brazil to continue to study and also play, he was my idol growing up."

New York turned it on late. In the 78th minute, Kenny Cooper's strike from the right of the box hit the top left corner of the net to bring the Red Bulls back into the game.

FC Dallas' defense clamped down after the goal to take the win.

Perez assisted on both FC Dallas scores, and Meara made great saves on both of his shots on goal.

"He may be that striker we've been looking for," Hyndman said. "I think he's going to score a lot of goals for us this year."

FC Dallas' win builds momentum heading into next week's match against Portland.

"Everybody's excited about winning the first game at home," Hyndman said. "It was a great crowd. A lot of people are proud of us. It turned out to be a beautiful day, and I think they saw a good FC Dallas team."

FC Dallas takes on Portland on Saturday, Mar. 17 at 7:30 p.m.

David Ferreira expected to be out 2-4 weeks

David Ferreira is expected to miss more time with a bruised Achilles', Hyndman said after Sunday's win.

"I know he is extremely frustrated," Hyndman said. "I know his goal was, after 11 months, to start the season opener."

Ferreira is expected to train this week, but Hyndman said the injury could keep him out 2-4 weeks.

NOTES

Shots (shots on goal): FC Dallas 11 (6) / New York 13 (2)

Possession: FC Dallas 37% / New York 63%

Corners: FC Dallas 2 / New York 9

Fouls: FC Dallas 13 / New York 11

Yellow cards: FC Dallas 1 (Jair Benitez 38'), New York 3 (Dax McCarty 5'; Teemu Tainio 68'; Victor Palsson 88')