Dallas Soccer: Chad Marshall

Preview: FC Dallas at Columbus Crew

May, 12, 2012
FC Dallas has been shut out in two straight matches, part of a lengthy victory drought since its best stretch of the season.

That mirrors what's happened to the Columbus Crew.

Meeting for the only time this season, Dallas and Columbus will each try to snap a five-game winless streak Saturday night at Crew Stadium.

"It's going to be two desperate teams looking to get a result," Columbus goalkeeper Andy Gruenebaum told the club's official website. "They're a very dangerous team and very potent offensively."

That hasn't been the case lately, as Dallas (3-5-3) has scored just twice -- both on penalty kicks by Brek Shea -- since its last victory, 2-1 over expansion Montreal on April 14. That was the team's second consecutive win after defeating New England 1-0 on April 5.

Dallas is 0-2-3 since those victories, but the team has reason for optimism heading into Saturday. Daniel Hernandez and Blas Perez will return from red-card suspensions, and Shea likely will be back in a starting role after being a second-half substitution Wednesday due to turf toe.

"I think the biggest thing we can do is to come together as a team and continue to believe in one another," defender Zach Loyd told Dallas' official website following Wednesday's 2-0 loss to Seattle. "For the next game, we'll have Daniel back, we'll have Blas back, and we will have Brek back in the lineup, so I think we're going to see a huge improvement with the team. Hopefully going forward we can see better results."

FC Dallas' last single-season, six-game stretch without a win was an 0-3-7 slide July 2-Sept. 10, 2005.

The Crew (2-4-2) are trying to avoid their first winless skid of that length since going 0-1-5 from Aug. 27-Sept. 28.

Columbus is 0-3-2 since winning back-to-back matches to close March.

"I've been very happy with the last three games, to be honest with you," coach Robert Warzycha said after Sunday's scoreless draw at Portland. "We were unlucky last week (a 1-0 loss to Vancouver), but overall, we're playing pretty good, pretty solid and steady games. We're making progress."

The Crew, though, have been shut out in three of their last four matches and have scored six times all season. With midfielder Dilly Duka and forward Olman Vargas questionable due to injuries, Columbus could get a boost Saturday if midfielder Chris Birchall makes his debut. He was signed this week after making 18 starts during Los Angeles' run to the 2011 MLS Cup.

Both sides could be without their captains as Dallas' Ugo Ihemelu and Columbus' Chad Marshall are dealing with concussion symptoms. Rookie Matt Hedges will likely get a second straight start if Ihemelu can't go, while Eric Gehrig could get the call again if Marshall is a scratch.

Dallas goalkeeper Kevin Hartman, a native of Athens, Ohio, made five saves in a 2-0 home win July 2 to end the Crew's four-game point streak in this series. Hartman's teams have not won in 13 consecutive games in Columbus since the Galaxy's 4-2 win there May 17, 1998.

Warzycha was playing for the Crew at the time.

Five quick hits for the Columbus game

May, 12, 2012
FC Dallas will look to end its two-game losing streak and secure their first road win of 2012 on Saturday night against Columbus at Crew Stadium. Here are five quick hits on the game:

1. Shea starting or not -- Dallas coach Schellas Hyndman confirmed Thursday that Brek Shea will make the trip to Columbus. But the gaffer is unclear as to whether or not the Bryan native will start or come off the bench against the Black-and-Gold come Saturday. Gut feeling is that No. 20 starts, have nothing to base that on but just have a feeling he’s back in the first 11.

2. O Captain, My Captain -- Who will be wearing the armband come Saturday? Hyndman said the club will find out more about the scope of Ugo Ihemelu’s concussion symptoms on Friday and called the SMU product 50-50. If he can’t go for a second straight game, expect George John to again don the armband. Don’t look now but John is quietly putting together another solid season in the central defense for Dallas.

3. Thorn in their side -- If there’s one Crew player who has done his share of damage against Dallas, it’s defender Chad Marshall. Whether it’s attacking or defending set pieces or just the overall presence he brings to the Columbus back line, the two-time MLS Defender of the Year is definitely a difference maker in the back for the Crew. But like Ihemelu, he experienced concussion symptoms before his club’s last game and his status for this weekend remains uncertain.

4. Exorcising a demon -- To say FCD’s record at Crew Stadium is horrible (1-10-6) might be a huge understatement. Dallas’ lone win on Columbus’ home pitch came in 2007 under Steve Morrow. This is a Crew club currently in transition and FCD has to win on the road sooner or later, so why not this weekend? If they can exorcise that demon, it would give them a nice shot of confidence heading into a game with Philadelphia next weekend, a match that starts another run of several matches in a compressed time frame.

5. Perez Back in the mix -- After getting a questionable red card in the first half of Sunday’s loss to Colorado and sitting out Wednesday’s setback to Seattle on suspension, FCD figures to get a huge boost from the return of offensive cog Blas Perez to the field Saturday. Perez leads the team with three assists and is tied with Shea for the team lead in goals with three. Plain and simple, Dallas is a different team when he’s on the field, which is exactly why he was signed in the off-season. Perez’s presence alone makes leaving the Ohio capital with at least a point a distinct possibility this weekend.

Schellas Hyndman weighs in on Crew

May, 11, 2012
FC Dallas head coach Schellas Hyndman weighed in on his side’s next opponent, the Columbus Crew and here’s what he had to say.

General thoughts on the Black and Gold

Hyndman: They’re not having a great year. They haven’t played a lot of games. In fact, they haven’t played a midweek game, which is horrible when you look at parity in the league. It seems like we live on midweek games, so we’re going in there tired. Two very difficult games and then we’re going to a team that hasn’t played since last Saturday. So I think you’ll see a fresh team, a team that’s playing at home, team trying to turn their difficulties into strengths and then we’ll have to battle that storm and try to score goals.

Columbus’ captain Chad Marshall, who missed their last game with concussion symptoms, has wreaked his share of havoc on FCD over the years. Talk about him and what he brings to the Crew.

Hyndman: He’s a very difficult player to play against. He’s savvy. He’s powerful. He’s big and experienced. They play a lot of their game to him, whether it’s free kicks or corner kicks. If he’s unable to score the goal, he always seems to redirect it, knock it back against the grain or he creates an opportunity for someone else to score. Yeah, he has been a problem for FC Dallas. It’s not through lack of recognition or effort on our part. You have to compliment him for being a good player.
FC Dallas head coach Schellas Hyndman

Opening comments

I thought it was a good performance by FC Dallas, from the beginning of the game to the end of the game. One of the harder things to do is keep focus for the entire 90 minutes. I thought we created some good chances in the first half. I thought their goalkeeper made a big save for them and I thought we missed a few chances. But we talked about a couple of things at halftime. One of the things we talked about was to knock balls on the ground instead of putting them in the air. In fact we talked about it at pregame, but we reinforced it. We have a lot of speed out there and it is really affecting the opposition.

On Brek Shea’s and Jackson’s performances tonight…

I thought [Shea and Jackson] both played well. Obviously they are difference makers. If my memory is right, Brek has eight goals. Think about him being the team’s leading scorer despite how many games he played at left back and center back before we got ourselves healthy. It is not just the goals he scores, he gets some good balls and he keeps the defense under a lot of pressure.

Jackson has come to life since his trip to Brazil, since his marriage. I’ve got a few guys telling me now they are thinking about getting married. I think [Shea and Jackson] have really made a difference, and of course, Marvin [Chavez] up front. Defenders are having so much trouble handling those three and our center midfield has really done a good job. Andrew Jacobson, Eric Alexander and Daniel Hernandez are really causing teams a lot of problems now.

[Brek] has continued to develop confidence. When a player starts to develop confidence, you’ll find his teammates will pass him the ball more because they have confidence in him. Every time he scores a goal or assists on a goal or is a threat, then that confidence continues to grow. I think our team, through necessity, through injuries, has found a way of playing that brings the best out of most of them.

FC Dallas midfielder Brek Shea

On scoring four goals in his last four MLS matches…

The better you play, the more confidence you get. You just get on a roll. I am just on a good roll right now. I’m having a lot of fun out there. I try to create. Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn’t. I don’t really think about being tied for the league lead in goals. I’m just trying to help the team score goals. I’d much rather play with a lead. Our team plays with a lot more confidence when we’re up a goal.

FC Dallas goalkeeper Kevin Hartman

As we were able to move the ball a little bit, the heat became a factor. I thought Marvin really caused them fits. There were times were it looked like [Columbus] was playing three back and on their corner kicks they would leave one guy with Marvin, and I thought there was no way that guy is going to be able to stay with Marvin. It was a game we were really excited about winning.

On the team hitting its stride…

We just try to be consistent. I think we've been able to overcome adversity and play quality soccer. We're all each others’ biggest fans. We have a good thing going.

FC Dallas defender Ugo Ihemelu

I think some guys came up big. It was a great team effort. I think we had most of the chances throughout the game. Guys just keep coming up big for us to score goals.

On Jackson…

Jackson is playing well for us, ever since he came back from Brazil he's been exceptional. He's been a spark for us.

Robert Warzycha- Columbus Crew Head Coach

Thoughts on the game…

We played against a better team today. In the heat like this and these conditions, especially in the second half, they were much better. They scored two nice goals and they came out on top today.

On what his team needs to do to bounce back against Vancouver…

We have to play better. We have to keep the ball for longer periods of time instead of giving it up so easily. We need someone to step up and score a goal to give us a chance to win in Vancouver.

Danny O’Rourke- Columbus Crew Midfielder

Thoughts on the game…

On a personal level, it is good to be out there with the guys, but more importantly it is frustrating to lose 2-0. Dallas absorbed a lot of pressure in the first half and came out and got a goal in the second half to change the momentum. The unfortunate red card was tough in a place like this, but personally I’m glad to be back out there with the team.

On what the team needs to do to bounce back against Vancouver…

We need to forget about this, come in tomorrow start focusing on Vancouver. [We need to] take this one game at a time. If we can get back to Columbus with three points out of six, I don’t think it will be the worst road trip, but we need to reflect on what happened tonight and get back to work tomorrow.

Chad Marshall - Columbus Crew Captain

Thoughts on tonight’s game…

It was a bad game on our part. We played well the last two games, an away win at Houston and a good home performance against Colorado. We just didn’t put it together tonight. We couldn’t keep the ball, couldn’t create anything offensively. We turned the ball over in bad situations, which put them in good situations because they are a team with great speed. We made it a long night for ourselves.

On what the team needs to do to bounce back against Vancouver…

We need to get back to the things we do well, keeping the ball and moving it from side to side. We took too many touches today which killed our attack. We know how we can play when we play up to our potential so we will have to just regroup, watch some video, and figure it out before our next game on Wednesday.

On the heat…

It is hot for both teams, but it makes for a long game when you keep turning the ball over.