Dallas Soccer: Brek Shea

FC Dallas' win drought reaches 13 with draw

July, 7, 2012
FRISCO, Texas -- Defenders Hernan Pertuz and Carlos Rodriguez each cleared shots off the goal line and Kevin Hartman made two spectacular saves in the final 10 minutes to preserve a 0-0 tie for FC Dallas against the San Jose Earthquakes on Saturday.

The tie was the third in a row for FC Dallas (3-9-7), the Western Conference's worst team, and extended their franchise-record winless streak to 13 games (0-7-6).

The result allowed San Jose (11-4-4) to maintain its spot atop the MLS overall standings and preserved the league's best road record at 6-3-2.

After captain Ramiro Corrales was ejected in the 80th minute for his second yellow card within three minutes, San Jose was forced to finish the match with 10 men for the first time this season.

Still, the Earthquakes had two prime opportunities down the stretch but were unable to solve Hartman, who made outstanding saves on Shea Salinas and Chris Wondolowski in the final minutes for his MLS-record 109th career shutout.

Dallas pushed forward until the final whistle, but its last-gasp attempt in the 93rd minute, a 30-yard blast from Rodriguez, was expertly punched out by Earthquake goalkeeper Jon Busch.

Busch made three saves for his fourth shutout of the season.

Each side had chances to snap the scoreless tie in the first half.

Dallas nearly took the 1-0 lead in the 31st minute when Busch slid out to stop a shot from Brek Shea, but was unable to corral the ball.

The loose rebound bounced out to Fabian Castillo about 15 yards out, and his shot deflected off Busch and then was blocked by defender Justin Morrow.

Six minutes later, San Jose came close when Wondolowski sprinted past Pertuz into the penalty area alone. As Hartman came out at him, Wondolowski, the MLS' leading scorer with 14 goals, chipped it over him for what appeared to be a goal, but Pertuz hustled back and managed to clear the ball just before it reached the goal line.

San Jose nearly got the game's first goal in the 58th minute when a corner kick found Corrales on the far side of the box for a volley shot that bounced past Hartman, but this time, Rodriguez was there to clear it off the goal line.

Dallas' best chance in the second half came in the 76th minute when Jackson drilled a 20-yard blast just over the crossbar.

The match marked the return to the starting lineup of Dallas star David Ferreira, the 2010 MLS MVP who led the squad to the MLS Cup Final that year. Ferreira, making his second appearance and first start after missing 45 games due to ankle and foot fractures sustained April 23, 2011, played all 90 minutes.

In addition to Ferreira, FC Dallas also got the return of midfielder Ricardo Villar, who missed the previous 13 games due to a right foot injury. Villar entered the match as a second-half substitute and registered a shot in the 73rd minute.

Draw extends winless streak to FCD-record 11

June, 23, 2012

FRISCO, Texas -- Dan Kennedy finished with three saves to help Chivas USA tie FC Dallas 0-0 on Saturday.

With the tie, FC Dallas (3-9-5) extended its winless streak to 11 games to set a new club record. The previous record of 10 games without a win was from July 2 to Sept. 10, 2005.

FC Dallas is 0-7-4 during its winless streak and has been shutout four times during that span. Chivas USA is 5-7-4 and salvaged a tie despite only managing a season-low two shots. FC Dallas finished with 13 shots.

In the 65th minute, FC Dallas' Brek Shea had a clear shot from 10 yards which Kennedy batted away near the bottom left corner of the net. Kennedy also made a diving save in the 28th minute after Jackson Goncalves fired a shot from near midfield that forced Kennedy to dive to his right to punch away the shot.

Shea played for the first time since May 12 against Columbus, missing the last four games due to a combination of a three-game suspension and an injured left foot.

Shea, who led the team in goals last season, almost left the game in the 19th minute after he collided with Kennedy on a run to the net. Dallas was already missing four starters due to injury from its opening day starting 11.

Both teams have struggled to score goals all season with neither team scoring more than two goals in any game.

FC Dallas tries to end skid vs. Chivas USA

June, 23, 2012
FC Dallas is on the brink of recording its longest winless streak in team history, but a matchup with Chivas USA might help it avoid that dubious feat.

While attempting to end its 10-game drought, Dallas will seek to continue its mastery of a potentially fatigued Chivas squad Saturday night.

FC Dallas (3-9-4) matched its winless streak from July 2-Sept. 10, 2005, with a contentious 2-1 loss at rival Houston last Saturday. Before giving up the go-ahead goal in the 76th minute, Dallas players were involved in a brief tussle after defender Jair Benitez hit Dynamo midfielder Colin Clark in the head.

Benitez is suspended for his team's attempt to snap an 0-7-3 skid and the start of a season-high three-game homestand.

"I think we're getting to the point in the season where we really need to get results," defender Zach Loyd told the league's official website. "We keep dropping in the standings with less and less games to make up points so I think with the three-game home stretch here, we're shooting for nine points."

FC Dallas will now be facing a team it's beaten four straight times, and Chivas USA (5-7-3) will also be playing its third match in eight days.

Chivas has already earned one victory during its hectic stretch, 2-1 over Montreal on Wednesday, as Juan Pablo Angel broke the tie in the 82nd minute with his third goal in five games. The club's second win in nine league matches snapped a three-game winless drought.

"Certainly we gained some confidence out of doing some things well in this game and ultimately getting a result," coach Robin Fraser said. "We have to regroup and get ourselves ready for what's going to be a difficult game. Regardless of Dallas' record, they're a team full of good players. For anyone to take them lightly would be ridiculous."

Chivas probably won't do that because it hasn't scored in each of its last two games in Dallas, dropping both by 1-0 margins. FC Dallas has won 2-1 in each of the other two recent matchups, both on the road.

Brek Shea opened the scoring during a win in Southern California last June but is questionable for this game because of a bruised foot. Leading scorer Blas Perez, George John and Ricardo Villar are listed as questionable while four other players remain out, most notably David Ferreira.

Chivas forward Jose Correa and midfielder Miller Bolanos remain questionable while four other players are expected to sit out.

FC Dallas visits rival Houston Dynamo

June, 16, 2012
The Houston Dynamo haven't been satisfied with their play, but some time at home could help them get on track.

The Dynamo look to stay undefeated at their new stadium when they meet FC Dallas on Saturday night.

Houston (4-4-4) is tied for sixth place in the Eastern Conference and is hoping to make a move over the next few weeks while taking advantage of a favorable stretch in its schedule.

The Dynamo play four of their next five and seven of nine at BBVA Compass Stadium, where they have allowed one goal in going 2-0-1 since it opened May 12.

As promising as its home play has been, Houston was unable to carry that defensive effort over in a 3-1 loss at Vancouver on Sunday. The Dynamo played their first seven games on the road, winning their first two, but have since gone 0-4-3 away from home.

Houston's players said coach Dominic Kinnear made a point by placing the club's record on a board during a recent practice, urging the team to stick together.

"Regardless of how many games we've had on the road, we're a team that feels that we should be at the top of the standings," captain Brian Ching told the Dynamo's official website. "We're not there and he was just showing us the reality of it."

Houston will try to get this crucial home stretch off to a good start against rival FC Dallas (3-8-4) in a matchup for the El Capitan trophy, and the Dynamo appear to have an edge.

Dallas is two points out of last place in the Western Conference and has gone 0-6-3 in its last nine MLS games. The team has been off from league play since a 3-2 road loss to Real Salt Lake on May 26, and it also fell 2-0 to Charlotte in a U.S. Open Cup match three days later.

Dallas' winless streak is its longest since a 10-game stretch in 2005.

"Coach (Schellas Hyndman) kind of gave us a good analogy the other day," goalkeeper Chris Seitz said after the defeat to Charlotte. "We used to be the team that refused to lose, and we've got to get a little bit of that back."

While second-leading scorer Brek Shea has completed a three-game suspension after kicking the ball at an assistant referee in a 2-1 loss at Columbus on May 12, he will miss Saturday's match with turf toe. Forward Ugo Ihemelu is also out with concussion symptoms.

Their absences won't help a club that has been outscored 15-7 while going 0-6-1 away from home. Dallas hasn't gone winless in eight straight road matches since an 0-7-1 stretch in 2003.

Dallas has two wins in its last 11 games against Houston and was 1-6-3 all-time at the Dynamo's previous venue, Robertson Stadium.

FC Dallas ready to put squeeze on Houston

June, 14, 2012

Coming to ESPN2 on Saturday night: Major League Soccer's Texas Derby (pronounced "darby"), between FC Dallas and Houston Dynamo.

And oh, Dallas is ready. Like, really. Just check the video, in which players like Brek Shea use all sorts of instruments -- crutches, paintball guns, large trucks, you name it -- to smash the fruit most reminiscent of the orange-clad Houston Dynamo.

Hey, even manager Schellas Hyndman joins the orange crush ...

FC Dallas injury update: a mixed bag on the news front

June, 5, 2012
After taking last Thursday and Friday off from training, FC Dallas returned to the practice field in Frisco on Monday morning and besides Blas Perez and Carlos Rodriguez, both of whom are with the Panamanian national team, there were several other players absent from the session. Here’s a breakdown from FCD head coach Schellas Hyndman.

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.

Daniel Hernandez, Brek Shea out for Open Cup

May, 28, 2012
FC Dallas opens play in the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup on Tuesday night at FC Dallas Stadium against the Charlotte Eagles of USL Pro. However, FCD will be at less than full strength, which has been the norm all season.

Midfielder Brek Shea, who just finished serving a three-game suspension in league play after kicking a ball at an official, has been ruled out for the game as he continues to be bothered by turf toe. The Bryan native did not train on Monday morning, first riding a stationary bike and then doing some work with an exercise band before leaving the field with his left foot in a boot.

“Still banged up a little bit,” Dallas coach Schellas Hyndman said when asked about Shea’s condition. “I think what happens when you have something like a turf toe, a normal thing to do is you try to play through the pain. And when you try to do that, because you’re protecting it, you start to alienate something else so maybe a different part of his foot now is becoming an issue. Yeah, he won’t play tomorrow night.”

Fellow midfielder Daniel Hernandez also won’t play on Tuesday but for a different reason. The former FCD captain earned a red card in Dallas’ lost at Seattle in the 2011 USOC semifinals and won’t be available for selection.

“He’s gone through three games in eight days. He’s not playing tomorrow because of the red card he got in Seattle,” Hyndman said.

Central attacking midfielder Ricardo Villar will also not play as he continues to recover from a foot injury suffered back in April. However, Tuesday may or may not mark the return of Fabian Castillo, the speedy Colombian who has missed the last few games with an ankle issue.

Castillo did go through training on Monday morning on the stadium field but did so with his left ankle wrapped. “We’ll make a decision whether we’re going to start him or have him off the bench but he’s probably about 85 percent,” Hyndman said.

Five quick hits for Real Salt Lake game

May, 26, 2012
Now that the Brimstone Cup resides in Chicago for the first time in over a decade, FC Dallas sets its sights on ending an eight-game winless streak at a place it has never won before, Rio Tinto Stadium, on Saturday night against Real Salt Lake. Here are some points to ponder heading into this game:

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.

Preview: FC Dallas-Real Salt Lake

May, 25, 2012
Real Salt Lake coach Jason Kreis will be missing a number of key players due to injuries and international call-ups.

His club is still in better shape than FC Dallas.

RSL will try to extend its home winning streak to five Saturday night when Dallas looks to end its eight-match winless stretch.

Playing for the first time since a 1-0 victory at Seattle on May 12, Real Salt Lake (8-3-2) will be without goalkeeper Nick Rimando, Alvaro Saborio, Will Johnson and Kyle Beckerman on Saturday as they're all on international duty. The club also could be missing defender Chris Wingert (hamstring) and midfielder Javier Morales (quadriceps).

Kyle Reynish is expected to make his second start of the season in goal for RSL, while midfielders Yordany Alvarez and Luis Gil and defender Chris Schuler could see plenty of minutes against Dallas.

"We want to try to rotate the team in a way that we keep a strong spine or core group of players," Kreis told RSL's official website. "We will certainly hope for the same throughout the rest of the season."

Real Salt Lake, one point back of MLS-leading San Jose, is hoping to maintain its edge at Rio Tinto Stadium, where it is 5-1-0. The club's last five-game home winning streak was May 1-June 9, 2010.

RSL is 4-0-1 at home against Dallas since Rio Tinto Stadium opened. Real Salt Lake holds a 12-4 scoring edge in those contests.

That does not bode well for an FC Dallas club that's 0-5-1 on the road in 2012. Dallas (3-7-4) joins Portland and Toronto as the only teams without a victory away from home.

Dallas doesn't have a win on any field since a 2-1 victory over expansion Montreal on April 14. A 2-1 loss in Chicago on Wednesday stretched the team's winless streak to eight, two shy of the franchise record.

"We need to get points any way we can, a win, a tie, whatever," rookie defender Matt Hedges told the Fire's official website after scoring his first MLS goal Wednesday.

If the club is going to pick up any points Saturday, it will have to do so without midfielder Brek Shea, who will complete his three-game suspension after kicking the ball at an assistant referee in a 2-1 loss to Columbus on May 12.

Shea scored on a penalty kick in first-half stoppage time in a 1-all draw against visiting RSL on April 25.

Dallas played that match without suspended striker Blas Perez, while Real Salt Lake did not have forward Fabian Espindola and defender Jamison Olave available after both were red-carded in a 3-1 loss at San Jose on April 21.

Real Salt Lake is on a season-best 3-0-2 run since ending a two-game losing streak in last month's match with Dallas.

RSL's last six-game point streak was a 3-0-4 stretch June 11-July 23.

These teams conclude the season series Aug. 18 in Utah.

Preview: FC Dallas at Chicago Fire

May, 22, 2012
After each season series between the Chicago Fire and FC Dallas, the Brimstone Cup is awarded to the team that earns the most points.

Chicago may not even remember what the trophy looks like.

The Fire look to claim their first Brimstone Cup since it was created 11 years ago while seeking to end a five-game winless streak against struggling Dallas on Wednesday night.

Chicago captured the inaugural award in 2001 but hasn't reclaimed it since relinquishing it the following season. Dallas has gone 14-3-3 against the Fire since 2002 and 3-0-2 in the last five meetings.

This will be the only regular-season contest between these teams, meaning the winner will claim the Brimstone Cup. If the match ends in a draw, Dallas (3-6-4) will hold it for an 11th straight year.

Chicago has never beaten Dallas at Toyota Park, going 0-5-1 since it opened in 2006. Its last home victory in the series was June 12, 2005, at Soldier Field.

The Fire (4-3-3) seemingly have a good opportunity to end that skid, though.

Dallas is 0-4-3 in its last seven after a 1-all draw with Philadelphia on Saturday, last winning April 14 over Montreal. It hasn't gone this many games without a victory since a club-record 10-game stretch July 2-Sept. 10, 2005.

"I thought we played well enough to win. It's just same old story," midfielder Daniel Hernandez told the league's official website. "We can't find a way to get three points."

Dallas is 1-7-1 in its last nine road games, winning 2-1 at Chicago on Oct. 12.

The Fire are coming off a 2-1 loss at Portland on Sunday, ending a three-game unbeaten streak. After Jalil Anibaba tied the game in the 39th minute, Chicago's Logan Pause deflected a header into his own net in the 52nd minute.

"I thought that we didn't deserve to walk away with a loss," coach Frank Klopas said. "Overall, I thought it was frustrating because I feel disappointed when we lose, but when you feel that you should have walked away with points from here it's hard to take the loss."

Inconsistency has plagued a Chicago team that hasn't won consecutive games all season with an attack that has gone dormant for stretches during matches.

"We've put very good halves together, we've played very well in 60-minute stretches," defender Dan Gargan told the team's official website. "I think we're looking for a really good 90-minute performance from start to finish. That's certainly something we need to get better at."

The same goes for Dallas, which got a goal from Blas Perez in the seventh minute Saturday but little else after that. It hasn't scored a goal in the second half other than on a penalty kick since Brek Shea's tally in the 88th minute in Dallas' most recent win.

"We created some really good chances in the first half," coach Schellas Hyndman said after Saturday's match. "And then, the game just got to the point where it unfortunately got more physical than it needed to be."

Dallas has outscored Chicago 10-3 in the last five matchups.

The Report Card: FC Dallas vs Philadelphia Union

May, 20, 2012
First Touch: Two teams missing enough starters combined to make a third full side.

Second Touch: The above predicted the ugly soccer match that resulted.

The Finish: Dallas is a club desperate for something good to come their way, in the meantime grinding out a point here and there is all Hyndman is going to get from this mishmash of parts.


Hartman: 8 - Kept the side in the match when Philly decided that applying some pressure to Dallas was their best defensive move

Pertuz: 5 - Was playing a tidy match, and then like the sun rising became this week's injury victim

John: 7 - While the defense struggles overall, John is showing off new level of form

Hedges: 6 - This kid appears to be as solid as a rookie gets

Benitez: 4 - I swear he's getting paid based on attempted passes over 20 yards - successful or otherwise

Jackson: 4 - A very "meh" night for the Brazilian who still looks to be finding his chemistry with a team that never fields the same 11

Hernandez: 4 - The grizzled vet is having to work harder than ever

Marcelin: 4 - Oddly quiet and absent for much of the match

Jacobson: 5 - Great effort to support Blas, just could never complete that one creative move

Leyva: 5 - Still loses the ball too easily, looks a bit scared in 50/50 situations - but we are promised there's magic in those shoes. His set pieces are superior to Hernandez.

Perez: 6 - Simply having to come far too back to get involved. His struggles are more about the team than him


Rodriguez: 3 - A tough score for being put in a tough spot, but he really struggled. The fact Hyndman had to play someone so clearly not match fit is very telling of just how bad the roster situation is.
Luna: n/a

FC Dallas ties Philadelphia Union

May, 19, 2012

FRISCO, Texas -- Gabriel Gomez scored in the 56th minute to help the Philadelphia Union tie FC Dallas, 1-1, on Saturday night.

Blas Perez scored for Dallas in the seventh minute.

Philadelphia (2-6-2) stopped a three-game losing, and Dallas (3-6-4) extended its winless streak to seven games -- the club's longest streak since a 10-game run in 2005.

Gomez scored on a header into the left corner of the net from the top of the goalie's box. Gomez collided with goalkeeper Kevin Hartman on the play and left the game in the 58th minute as he limped to celebrate his fourth goal of the year.

The Union's Carlos Valdes fired a long ball from near midfield that bounced off Dallas' Carlos Rodriguez and to Gomez. The goal came on Philadelphia's first shot of the game. It was the first time all season that the Union did not have a shot in a half. For the game FC Dallas outshot the Union 11-9. Dallas' Perez had an open shot at the Union goal, but goalkeeper Chase Harrison blocked the shot for one of his two saves in the game.

Perez opened the scoring when he headed a shot into the right corner of the net. The scoring sequence was started after Bryan Leyva curled a corner kick from the right corner to George John. John directed the ball to Perez, who made a diving header from inside the goalie's box.

Dallas played the first of three games without midfielder Brek Shea, suspended after he kicked a ball at an assistant referee in a 2-1 loss to Columbus on May 12. The Union played without starting midfielder after Freddy Adu, suspended for picking up two yellow cards in the team's 3-2 loss to New York on Sunday.

Watch it: Brek Shea's Champions League Final advertisement

May, 19, 2012
If you're watching the Champions League Final, you probably just saw a new commercial featuring Brek Shea for the adidas micoach SPEED_CELL. Here is it in all it's glory if you would like to watch it again.

Brek Shea of FC Dallas, Javier Morales of Real Salt Lake, Teal Bunbury of Sporting KC and Darlington Nagbe of the Portland Timbers are all in the ad. The adidas micoach SPEED_CELL captures 360-degree movement and measures performance metrics during practice or gameplay. The chip’s unique on-board memory stores up to seven hours of data, wirelessly syncs with the user’s smartphone and uploads performance stats that can be shared through Facebook and Twitter.

Five quick hits on Philadelphia Union game

May, 19, 2012
FC Dallas will look for its first win since April 14 when the Philadelphia Union visit FC Dallas Stadium on Saturday night. Here are five things to consider heading into that match.

Shea starts his suspension -- Saturday’s match will mark the first of the three games Brek Shea will miss after deliberately kicking a ball at an official during a loss at Columbus last Saturday. It was a dumb play from an obviously frustrated player, which might be partly due to the turf toe that has been nagging. But then again, it could be because there is a growing frustration in the room over a three-game losing streak and not winning in over a month. No matter the reason, Shea now gets a three-game timeout to think about what he did at a time his club really needs him the most.

Who’s in for Loyd? -- However, Shea won’t be the only starter sitting this one out for FCD. Right back Zach Loyd, who is the only Dallas player to start every game and play every minute so far this season, a streak that will end on Saturday, was ejected in the second half of the loss to the Crew. Sure, the call was iffy at best, but it is what it is. Now Dallas gaffer Schellas Hyndman will have to figure out who spells Loyd there. If Carlos Rodriguez is healthy, it could very well be him. Were captain Ugo Ihemelu not out with concussion symptoms, he would be a possibility there, but he continues to have symptoms, so who knows when he returns? Rodriguez appears to be the logical choice but it wouldn’t be a shocker to see Hernan Pertuz in at right back, that is unless Hyndman puts him at center back alongside George John, a spot that could also go to rookie Matt Hedges, the club’s top pick in the 2012 MLS Super Draft.

What can go wrong next? -- Not to be Mr. Glass Half Empty, but considering how many injuries, suspensions and red cards this team has had already this year, one has to wonder what could unfold for FCD against the Union? It’s a viable question considering the absolute rollercoaster this team has been on for the first 12 games. However, on the flipside, the Union are a team that is also struggling, which could make this an ideal time not just for FCD to return to the win column, but also to right the ship or at least take a step in the right direction. But if somehow or someway Dallas falls to Philly, it’s not a great way to start a rough stretch, that will also see them play at Chicago and Real Salt Lake.

Who will step up? -- If there has been one truly disconcerting thing about this current bad run of form for FCD, it’s that even with so much upheaval in the first 11, there really hasn’t been anyone to step up and refuse to accept anything less than a win for their club. Backup goalkeeper Chris Seitz fared well in his three-game relief stint while starter Kevin Hartman was out with back spasms, but other than that, who has really stepped up for this team? Blas Perez has been great but that was expected. Great teams or good teams for that matter are clubs where even if the best players are out, there are others who step up and answer the bell. There has been little of that going on in the first 12 games, which could signal a greater problem for FCD going forward.

Start of another tough stretch -- At long last, there is finally some rest on the horizon for FCD. However, the problem is that rest won’t come until after Dallas finishes a three games in a week stretch to finish out its May schedule. That tough slate begins Saturday night against Philadelphia. Then, FCD will play yet another midweek game at Chicago on Wednesday and won’t return home until after the gauntlet ends next Saturday night at Rio Tinto Stadium against Real Salt Lake. This stretch will mark the third time this season that FCD has played three games in a short period of time and will be the final three of their six matches in the month of May. But for a club that hasn’t won since April 14 and who will be without Shea for the next three games after he was suspended, this stretch definitely has the look of the Bataan Death March more than anything. However, if FCD could get through this with a win, even two or maybe even a draw or two, it would give them some much-needed momentum heading into June.

Preview: FC Dallas vs. Philadelphia Union

May, 18, 2012
This weekend's matchup between FC Dallas and the visiting Philadelphia Union has lost plenty of luster with Brek Shea and Freddy Adu unavailable for their struggling teams.

Those key midfielders are suspended for Saturday night's game, with both clubs hoping to end three-game losing streaks.

A poor start to the season for Dallas (3-6-3) took a turn for the worse Thursday when MLS announced a three-game ban for Shea, who kicked the ball at an assistant referee in a 2-1 loss to Columbus last Saturday.

Shea, tied for the team lead with three goals while leading the club with 24 shots and 10 shots on goal, posted an apology on Twitter. Dallas is 0-4-2 since beating expansion Montreal 2-1 on April 14.

Adu was assessed two yellow cards in the first half of the Union's 3-2 home loss to New York on Sunday. The second one was called for simulating a foul in the penalty box.

"When I went down I wasn't complaining to the ref or complaining to anyone," Adu told the Union's official website. "I just wanted to get right back up and the next thing I know the red card comes out."

His absence comes after Philadelphia (2-6-1) scored two goals in a match for the first time. The Union's seven goals in nine games represents the league's third-worst ratio ahead of winless Toronto FC and Chivas USA.

That attack will face a makeshift defense, as Dallas is missing two defensive starters. Ugo Ihemelu will miss his third straight game in the aftermath of a concussion while Zach Loyd is suspended for receiving a red card last week in Columbus.

The club has conceded 18 goals in 12 games, tied with Los Angeles for the second-worst ratio in MLS ahead of Toronto. Dallas has also been issued a league-high four red cards.

"We've had some bad luck with some late goals and bad luck keeping the players on the field," coach Schellas Hyndman told Dallas' official website. "You can say that's bad luck, discipline or intelligence, but those are things that are in our control."

Philadelphia, which ranks right behind Dallas with three red cards, traded defender Danny Califf to Chivas for midfielder Michael Lahoud and allocation money Thursday. Califf started four games, but would have been the odd man out with Gabriel Farfan set to return Saturday after a three-game suspension.

"We have enough speed right now," coach Petr Nowak said. "The trade is going to give us another option as well."

Lionard Pajoy had both goals for the Union on Sunday after scoring once in a 2-1 exhibition victory over German club Schalke 04 on May 9. Those games featured the inclusion of fellow forward Danny Mwanga in the lineup to give Pajoy support.

Dallas is 2-0-2 in the all-time series with Philadelphia, taking both home matchups.