Dallas Soccer: Columbus Crew

MLS suspends Brek Shea for three games

May, 17, 2012
Major League Soccer has suspended FC Dallas midfielder Brek Shea for three games and fined him an undisclosed amount for deliberately kicking the ball at an assistant referee in the 24th minute of Saturday's loss at Columbus, the league announced.

Shea will serve his suspension during FC Dallas' next three regular-season games.

You can see a clip of the incident here.

Shea reacted to the suspension via his Twitter account Thursday:

FC Dallas head coach Schellas Hyndman:
On the match changing with Zach Loyd's second yellow card:

“I think it was a couple things. I thought it was a very aggressive game and there was a lot of physical play going on. I'm only speaking from my side. I didn't think the right calls were being made. What I said to the boys at halftime: 'This will be a difference maker in the second half.' They will find a way to give you a red card, so be smart. That didn't take very long at all. “

On whether Zach Loyd's second yellow was deserved:

“I thought the second yellow was probably deserved, but there was two or three hits that went on that could've stopped the whole play. Those are the things that don't occur. Those are the things that aren't called that eventually come into something else. The first yellow I really questioned. Looking at the replay, I think that was a questionable call. “

On the change in mentality being up 1-0 and having a man sent off:

“It changes on the other team more than yours. The other team is going to be throwing more people forward and will be more aggressive and try to get something on the break.

On your team, you're trying to figure out your shape and if you remember, I had just made a sub before they scored. I had put in another forward and all of a sudden we had too many attacking people and we just lost someone. We had to lose somebody in the midfield. We had to make some adjustments and I had to make another sub, take the guy off that I put on. “

FC Dallas defender Daniel Hernandez:

On the match changing with Zach Loyd's second yellow card:

“I just thought the second half, we dropped back a little too deep like we had done a lot in the past. We weren't really keeping the ball. We knew Columbus was going to come out in the second half and put pressure on us anyway. We lost the ball in the midfield and it went kind of on a counter attack and they shot. We already were kind of struggling a bit to get possession. Obviously that hurt us after the red card. Unfortunately, we’ve had to deal with that for the last couple of weeks. I think after the red card, we were tied and trying to figure out a way to still pick up our game and get a goal, but at the very least, hold the 1-1 tie. I thought we did a decent job defending. It was just the same old story for us: one simple lazy mistake of not marking up at the top of the box. It was a great header, but the guy never should've been free. “

On Sebastian Miranda's game-winning goal:

“It was an unbelievable header for him, a great goal. But again, it's the little things that have been costing us games all season. Whether it's making a mistake and getting a red card, or ending the game slipping up and making a mistake and letting the opponent back in the game. This was a game I think we could've held on with a tie. It was just one simple assignment that somebody wasn't marking up at the top of the box where they should've been and it cost us the game.”

Crew head coach Robert Warzycha

General thoughts on the game

“We played against a very good team to be honest with you. They came out strong in the first half. I don’t think we had much rhythm in the beginning. They were connecting more passes and they came out stronger. In the second half it was a different story. We came out strong, creating chances and moving the ball well. The red card, obviously, changed the game. After they got the red card they bunkered in, we created more chances and scored two goals.”

On what led to Dallas’ goal

“You have to play until the whistle and that was a mistake by [Tony Tchani] that led to a goal. I think he [Tchani] played very well in the second half; he was winning 50/50 balls and running forward making crosses. It seemed like he wanted to be the best player on the field.”

On Justin Meram making the difference when subbed in

“I felt that Meram’s speed could hurt them [Dallas] on the left side. I think he did very well today, he was very quick, didn’t hold the ball too much and that’s how we wanted him to play. If he keeps playing that way he can be very effective.”

On Josh Williams play

“I think [Williams] was a beast today in the back. He was winning every header, his passing was good and he was vocal on the field. I think he was very good.”

Crew defender Sebastian Miranda

On his goal

“We practiced some plays and corners and the idea was maybe to find Milo [Mirosevic]. I was outside the box unmarked and I headed the ball and scored. It was my first time scoring with a header in my career. I headed it as hard as I could and it went in. The important for me was not the goal but that we won. This was good for our confidence.”

Crew midfielder/forward Justin Meram

On the goal

“I was trying to read the play and the ball went by me. I saw Eric [Gehrig] step up and win the ball back. I had a good position looked up and saw an opening. I took the shot and luckily it went in.”

On needing the spark

“We needed it. It has been over 200 minutes without a goal and we finally got the monkey off our shoulders and we were able to get the first goal. Once you get the first one the others will come”

Ejection unravels FCD in loss at Columbus

May, 12, 2012

COLUMBUS, Ohio -- Sebastian Miranda scored on a long header off corner kick in the 72nd minute in the Columbus Crew's 2-1 comeback victory over FC Dallas on Saturday night.

Justin Meram tied it for the Crew (3-4-2) in the 67th minute, 4 minutes after Dallas' Zach Loyd was sent off for a second yellow card for his tackle on Meram.

"I shot as hard as I could," Miranda said. "The important thing for me is the win. We needed the three points. That's better for the confidence of the team."

The veteran of nearly 10 years in his native Chile scored for the first time in 43 games since joining the Crew last season. He got the goal on a sitting, snap header from just outside the penalty area off a cross from Nemanja Vukovic.

"We practice some plays but maybe not like this," Miranda said. "The idea was from the middle, outside the box. I was alone."

FC Dallas coach Schellas Hyndman thought the second caution to Loyd when he elbowed Meram was fair but questioned other calls.

"There were two or three hits that could have stopped the whole play," Hyndman said. "Those are the calls that aren't made that eventually come into something else."

Meram made Dallas pay when he struck from 35 yards after teammate Eric Gehrig stole the ball from Matt Hedges.

"I like the goal I scored but you have to win," Meram said about scoring for the first time 19 career MLS games. "If we tied and I scored I wouldn't be this happy."

Fabian Castillo put Dallas (3-6-3) ahead in the 22nd minute with his first goal of the season.

The Crew snapped a six-game winless streak, while Dallas dropped to 0-3-3 in its last six.

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.

Match Grades: FC Dallas vs. Columbus

July, 4, 2011
Another sold-out match for the front office and another win for the coaching staff and squad, 2-0. The win over a growing Columbus Crew side showed that many of the positives FC Dallas had exhibited in the last few matches could appear against a side in form.

Again, the loss of Castillo is ironic because the subsequent formation change to a 4-2-3-1 has allowed the team to return to its superior passing/possession game. Dallas isn't quite the team it is when Ferreira is out there at peak form but is better when it is patient, keeps the ball on the ground and finds creative paths to goal -- instead of trying to only dump behind the defense and hope that pure speed will win out.

Jackson's mental reboot has given Schellas Hyndman a completely different player. The Brazilian has almost become Shea's equal on the opposite side, and the chipped goal was of the highest quality.

Ricardo Villar's 30 minutes were a welcome site as he finally put in a quality performance that comes at a perfect time. Dallas now faces a brutal month of July with USOC, CCL and league matches coming fast and furious. Two games a week for the forseeable future means that a confident, in-form Villar will be key to Dallas' July story.


Hartman -- 8: Five saves, one of which was the block on that late laser blast

Loyd -- 8: Really starting to play much better and his pairing with Jackson is particularly good

John -- 8: If this guy could improve his passing even more (and he's getting better weekly) he gets a fat check

Ugo -- 7: Struggled with Mendoza on occasion

Benitez -- 6: Just how healthy is that knee?

Shea -- 8: As he grows in confidence, so does the team

Jackson -- 9: FCD will be a playoff terror if he can keep this up

Jacobson -- 8: Nice recovery from last week's off performance

Hernandez -- 8: A marvel of determination and leadership

Alexander -- 7: Will Villar's performance effect Alex's place in the starting 11?

Chavez -- 7: Still no goals but overall positive impact with effort that went above and beyond


Villar: 8 -- Skillful, creative, positive -- can he do it consistently and over 90?

Milton: 7 -- Hat's off to a guy who's not stirring the room because he's not starting

Wiedeman: n/a

Match Grade: A -- PHP is a wonderful place to be when its full and the home team is playing as well as this.

Talking tactics: Columbus Crew at FC Dallas

July, 3, 2011
Fabian Castillo was still absent. Schellas Hyndman still used a 4-2-3-1. And FC Dallas still recorded a victory.

On Saturday, in contrast to the two squads' encounter in April - when Columbus had a 55%-44% possession advantage - Dallas held the ball for 59% of the match. This advantage was, in large part, due to the formations. Hyndman, as noted, trotted out a 4-2-3-1 while Robert Warzycha deployed a 4-4-2. The Crew were outgunned in the middle of the pitch.

Dallas' three central midfielders, as observed in the following chalkboard (interactable version here), completed more than twice as many passes as Columbus' pair of center mids. Daniel Hernandez, Andrew Jacobson, and Eric Alexander also covered a lot more ground. Emmanuel Ekpo and Rich Balchan were restricted to the middle of the pitch. In order for Columbus to combat Dallas' advantage in this area, one of the strikers needed to drop into midfield. Andres Mendoza and Tommy Heinemann weren't up for the challenge. The pair completed only 11 passes and were often 20 or more yards from their nearest teammate.

The formation advantage helped the Hoops defensively as well. Even though they completed 60 more passes than Columbus, Dallas intercepted 7 times as many passes (7 to 1). The home side often used those interceptions as a springboard for creating shots. The unexpected possession changes allowed them to push forward before Columbus' defense could get organized. The visitors, though, did an outstanding job throwing themselves in front of Dallas shots, blocking 7.

The Red Stripes continued their tendency of attacking from the wings and eventually the Columbus defense made a mistake. In the 58th, Jackson and Zach Loyd combined on the right flank to create an opening for Marvin Chavez, whose shot was bobbled by Hesmer and subsequently knocked-in by Shea.

Later, an off-target William Hesmer goal kick fell to Jacobson. With the Columbus defense not prepared for the quick possession change, Jacobson was able to send Jackson behind the backline. The Brazilian continued his fine run of form with an excellent chip over the outstretched Hesmer. The quality play from Jackson and Shea, as well as the interplay between the midfield trio, was enough to ensure the full 3 points.

Blake Owen is the editor and publisher of futbolforgringos.com.

FC Dallas knock off Columbus Crew

July, 3, 2011
FC Dallas became the first team in MLS to hit the 10 win mark this season with a 2-0 win over the Columbus Crew in front of a sold out Pizza Hut Park crowd. With temps in the high 90s despite the 8 PM start Dallas was able to control the flow of the game and allowed very few chances that weren't set plays.

The Crew had no answer for the blazing FCD attack from Marvin Chavez, Brek Shea, and Jackson. The slashing runs from the primary attacking FCD trio put the Crew back line under stress again and again. FCD out shot the Crew 25 to 9 on the night.

FC Dallas midfielder Brek Shea notched his MLS-leading eighth goal of the season and his fourth in the last four games, while Jackson picked up his third goal in the last three games. Shea currently leads MLS in game-winning goals with four.

Some really nice work down the right flank between Zach Loyd and Daniel Hernandez created FCD first goal. Chavez's shot was saved by the Crew keeper but Break Shea was there to put the rebound under Will Hesmer's arm.

Jackson got on the score sheet on a sublime through ball from Andrew Jacobson putting Jackson in 1v1v on the keeper. After touching the ball left, Jackson chipped Hesmer for the 2nd FCD goal on the night.

Andy Iro, who really struggled with Chavez's pace, received a 2nd yellow card for bringing down the fleet-footed FCD stirker and was sent off in the 82 minute, but FCD wasn't able to capitalize on their man advantage for a 3rd goal.

Attendance: 20,704

Scoring Summary:
DAL – Brek Shea (unassisted) 58
DAL – Jackson (Andrew Jacobson) 76

Misconduct Summary:
CLB – William Hesmer (caution; handball) 7
CLB – Emmanuel Ekpo (caution; tactical foul) 20
DAL – Eric Alexander (caution; reckless foul) 24
DAL – Ugo Ihemelu (caution; tactical foul) 29
CLB – Andy Iro (caution, tactical foul) 57
CLB – Andy Iro (caution, tactical foul) 82
CLB – Andy Iro (ejection, second caution) 82

FC Dallas – Kevin Hartman, Zach Loyd (Andrew Wiedeman 92+), Ugo Ihemelu, George John, Jair Benitez, Brek Shea, Daniel Hernandez, Andrew Jacobson, Eric Alexander (Ricardo Villar 60), Jackson, Marvin Chavez (Milton Rodriguez 83).

Substitutes Not Used: Chris Seitz, Bruno Guarda, Ruben Luna, Bobby Warshaw.

TOTAL SHOTS: 25 (Brek Shea 7);
SHOTS ON GOAL: 7 (Martin Chavez 3);
FOULS: 8 (Daniel Hernandez 2);
OFFSIDES: 3 (Jackson, Shea, Chavez 1);
CORNER KICKS: 10 (Daniel Hernandez 5);
SAVES: 5 (Kevin Hartman 5)

Columbus Crew – William Hesmer, Sebastian Miranda, Chad Marshall, Andy Iro, Josh Gardner (Robbie Rogers 60), Eddie Gaven, Rich Balchan (Danny O’Rourke 69), Emmanuel Ekpo, Bernardo Anor, Tommy Heinemann (Jeff Cunningham 60), Andres Mendoza

Substitutes Not Used: Andy Gruenebaum, Julius James, Justin Meram, Dejan Rusmir.

TOTAL SHOTS: 9 (Eddie Gaven 3);
SHOTS ON GOAL: 5 (Andrew Mendoza 2);
FOULS: 13 (Gaven, Robbie Rogers 2);
OFFSIDES: 1 (Tommy Heinemann 1);
CORNER KICKS: 5 (Bernardo Anor 4);
SAVES: 5 (William Hesmer 5)

Referee: Jorge Gonzalez
Referee’s Assistants: Bill Dittmar, Paul Scott
4th Official: Mark Declouet

Time of match:1:51
Weather: Clear, 97 degrees
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.

Columbus Crew
FC Dallas
(8:00 p.m. CT, FSSW+).

Presented by Budweiser

FC Dallas and Columbus will play the second leg of the Pioneer Cup tonight at Pizza Hut Park.

The night will include a special halftime presentation from The American Fallen Soldiers Project and post-game Fireworks as part of the City of Frisco's Freedom Fest celebration.

In honor of Independence Day fans have donated 5,000 tickets to treat U.S. troops and their families to Saturday’s game. Pre-game festivities will feature a special skydiving demonstration presented by RE/MAX with Special Forces Airborne Ranger Sgt. 1st Class retired Dana Bowman.

For the third season, FC Dallas has teamed with the American Fallen Soldiers Project for a special halftime presentation. This year’s honoree is Army Staff Sgt. Kevin “Casey” Roberts, who was killed in action on May 7, 2008. The AFSP was founded by artist Phil Taylor, who has created a special original portrait of Roberts that will be unveiled at halftime and presented to his wife and children. Representatives from the AFSP will be collecting donations on the concourse during the game.


- 6:30 p.m. Gates open with drink specials on the Budweiser Beer Garden including $2 beers,$4 'ritas and $4 wine
- 7:00 p.m. March to the Match led by Bobby Rhine
- The first 1,000 fans to the Londoner for the March will receive a FREE hand-held American Flag
- Prior to the game we will recognize all Active-Duty, Reserve and Veteran members of the Armed Forces
- 8:00 p.m. Kickoff
- Halftime presentation by the American Fallen Soldiers Project
- Post-game Fireworks as part of the City of Frisco's Freedom Fest celebration


Bobby Rhine was drafted by the then-Dallas Burn sixth overall in the 1999 MLS Draft after playing college soccer at the University of Connecticut. He had his best year in 2002 when he scored seven goals and tallied six assists. Rhine scored a total of 23 goals and had 33 assists over the course of his 10-year MLS career. After Rhine's final career game in 2008, he retired and is now the TV analyst and play-by-play man for FC Dallas.

On Saturday, Rhine will lead the March to the Match. Join us at The Londoner to celebrate Bobby and Uncle Lamar, and get ready to cheer on FC Dallas!

REFEREE: Jorge Gonzalez.
MLS Career: 61 games; FC/gm: 24.5; Y/gm: 3.3; R: 18; pens: 17
SAR (bench): Bill Dittmar;
JAR (opposite): Paul Scott;
4th: Mark Declouet


FC DALLAS – OUT: DF Edson Edward (R knee ACL tear); MF David Ferreira (R ankle); FW Maykel Galindo (R hamstring strain) …

COLUMBUS CREW – OUT: DF Josh Williams (R hip labral tear); MF Dilly Duka (R ankle sprain); DF Shaun Francis (L hamstring strain); MF Leandre Griffit (abdominal strain); FW Emilio Renteria (L quad strain); DOUBTFUL: MF Danny O'Rourke (L knee surgery); QUESTIONABLE: DF Julius James (R adductor strain); PROBABLE: GK William Hesmer (neck spasms)

INTERNATIONAL ABSENCES: DAL: Fabian Castillo (Colombia U-20)


SUSPENDED AFTER TWO YELLOW CARDS: DAL: George John, Andrew Jacobson, Brek Shea, Zach Loyd … CLB: Kevin Burns, Tommy Heinemann, Julius James


ALL-TIME (39 meetings):
Crew 16 wins (1 shootout), 54 goals …
FC Dallas 15 wins (1 shootout), 53 goals …
Ties 8

AT DALLAS (18 meetings):
FC Dallas 11 wins (1 shootout), 32 goals…
Crew 5 wins (1 shootout), 20 goals…
Ties 2

- Second-half goals from Mendoza and Eddie Gaven gave the Crew a 2-0 victory in the first meeting between the teams, April 1 in Columbus.
- The Crew haven’t won at Pizza Hut Park since a 2-1 victory, Aug. 30, 2008.
- FC Dallas last won at Crew Stadium on Oct. 6, 2007, the Crew winning the next two meetings before last year’s tie.

Coaches record:
Schellas Hyndman v CLB: P7 W1 L4 D2 …
Robert Warzycha vs. DAL: P7 W3 L2 D2

FC Dallas won for a second consecutive match, rolling to a 4-0 victory against the Portland Timbers on Saturday evening at Pizza Hut Park. FCD has 31 points from 15 games on the season, in a tie for second place in the Western Conference.

- FC Dallas scored more than three goals in a game for the first time since Sept. 12, 2009, a 6-3 win against the LA Galaxy.
- With striker Fabian Castillo training with Colombia’s under-20 national team in advance of the FIFA U-20 World Cup, Hyndman was again forced to reconfigure his attack.
- In addition, Jackson moved into a midfield role, his first start since May 28. He had played primarily as a fullback in each of his previous appearances this season.
- Including Jackson’s late strike, three of the FC Dallas goals were scored by players listed as defenders.
- FC Dallas also scored two goals from corner kicks, giving them five on the season from corners, second-most in MLS (along with Chivas USA) behind Seattle Sounders FC (7).
- On Tuesday, a late Milton Rodriguez goal gave FC Dallas a 3-2 win against USL PRO Orlando City SC in the round-of-16 of the U.S. Open Cup. Goals from Jackson (39) and Ricardo Villar (50) answered a Max Griffin goal for Orlando, then a stoppage-time goal from Yordany Alvarez tied the game before Rodriguez’s heroics minutes later.

The Columbus Crew won their consecutive match in impressive fashion, easing to a 4-1 victory against the Colorado Rapids on Sunday evening at Crew Stadium. The Crew have 24 points from 16 games on the season, in a tie for second place in the Eastern Conference.

- The Crew scored four goals in a game for the first time since a 4-0 win against New England on Sept. 6, 2008. They also played with a man advantage for the seventh time this season after an opponent’s red card.
- The Crew once again allowed a goal in the opening 10 minutes of a game. They’ve allowed five in the opening quarter-hour, third-most in MLS, behind Toronto FC (8) and Portland Timbers (6).
- Andres Mendoza has now scored six goals in the last seven games, his seven goals now one behind the league lead held by Charlie Davies (DC), Landon Donovan (LA) and Thierry Henry (NY).
- Tommy Heinemann scored his first MLS goal, making a fifth start in the last seven games.
- Andy Iro made his first start of the season at center back, as Julius James was unavailable after suffering an adductor injury.
- On Tuesday, the Crew were the only MLS team to go down to defeat in the round-of-16 of the U.S. Open Cup, falling 2-1 to USL PRO side Richmond Kickers. After Nozomi Hiroyama gave the Kickers a 20th-minute lead, Cole Grossman equalized for Columbus 15 minutes later, but Matthew Delicate hit for the match-winner five minutes from the end.

FC Dallas, Columbus pit hot offenses

July, 1, 2011
Columbus and FC Dallas had little trouble scoring in their most recent league matches. Dallas, however, was far from productive against the Crew in the teams' first 2011 meeting.

Looking to build on their latest offensive efforts, the Crew and Dallas each try for a third consecutive victory when they meet Saturday night in Texas.

Andres Mendoza scored twice in Columbus' 4-1 victory over reigning MLS champion Colorado on Sunday. It was the first time the Crew (6-4-6) scored four goals since a 4-0 win over New England on Sept. 6, 2008.

"We had a good performance, and to be able to score four goals and dominate the game is very encouraging going into July," coach Robert Warzycha told the Crew's official website.

Mendoza has scored six of his team-leading seven goals in the last six matches.

"We've been working really hard," Mendoza said. "It's not just me."

Dallas (9-4-4) got goals from three defenders in a 4-0 win over Portland last Saturday. It was the first time it scored more than three goals since beating Los Angeles 6-3 on Sept. 12, 2009.

Kevin Hartman had two saves for his MLS-leading eighth shutout.

"I think we need those type of performances to continue to get those three points," coach Schellas Hyndman told Dallas' official website.

Hyndman's squad is not playing like the group that lost 2-0 at Columbus on April 1, when Mendoza converted a second-half penalty kick and Eddie Gaven added a goal in extra time for the Crew.

Dallas has gone 9-2-3 since that defeat and won four of five in June. Midfielder Brek Shea, who leads Dallas with seven goals, has scored once in each of the last three games.

FC Dallas faces a Columbus team that has not won at Pizza Hut Park since a 2-1 victory Aug. 30, 2008.

Though the Crew have played well of late in MLS action, they hope a 2-1 loss to the Richmond Kickers of the United Soccer League Pro division in the U.S. Open Cup on Tuesday won't have any lingering effects this weekend.

Columbus, which started five rookies who have seen little league time, was the only MLS team to lose in the round of 16 of the Open Cup -- a competition open to teams at the pro and amateur level in the United States.

"I'm disappointed," Warzycha said. "This is a group (of players) fighting for one of the starting positions. I'm so disappointed."

The Crew lost to Seattle in the finals of the Open Cup last season.

Talking tactics: FC Dallas-Columbus

April, 2, 2011
The uneven results from the first two matches -- in which Dallas outplayed its opponents but still lost or drew -- were partially to explain for Schellas Hyndman shaking up his personnel. Gone were Eric Alexander, Zach Loyd and Milton Rodriguez, with Jackson, Ugo Ihemulu and Ruben Luna filling their respective positions.

New players, same shape, similar defensive errors

While the less-than-flattering opening matches certainly influenced Hyndman's personnel decisions, the Columbus Crew and their 4-2-3-1 certainly had something to do with the changes.

For the first time this season, one of Dallas' fullbacks was pinned back. Jair Benitez provided consistent threat on the left, but Ihemulu, excepting an eighth-minute burst toward the endline, rarely ventured past Crew winger Robbie Rogers.

Hyndman clearly respected the threat offered by Rogers and his counterpart on the right, Eddie Gaven. But Ihemulu's deep positioning compounded Dallas' problems in the middle. With the silkier Alexander on the bench, Jackson was called upon to link Hernandez with the front four. Columbus, though, equaled Dallas' numbers in midfield, negating a man-advantage the Hoops enjoyed in the first two matches. The additional opposing central midfielder, and Jackson's unimpressive distribution, forced Dallas to the wings. Since Ihemulu was sitting back, almost all of the threat came from the left flank.

And a predictable team is a defensible team. Other than a few half-chances for Luna created from Castillo crosses, Dallas rarely bothered keeper William Hesmer. As the squad got frustrated, the fouls began to pick up and Jackson eventually earned two yellows in quick succession.

Shea shows inexperience

The Jackson dismissal naturally changed the match. Intriguingly, Columbus needed a formation change to find the back of the net. As the second half opened, manager Robert Warzycha brought on a striker (Emilio Renteria) for a midfielder (Dejan Rusmir) and switched his shape to a 4-4-2. Without an attacking midfielder, Columbus' strikers took turns dropping into midfield, changing the interplay between Hernandez and Shea/John.

Earlier, Hernandez tracked the runs of attacking midfielder Emmanuel Ekpo as he advanced toward the center backs. Shea or John would then pick up Ekpo when he moved into the final third. Now that the strikers provided the linking play, Shea and John followed a forward into midfield before Hernandez took up the marking.

On the sequence that led to the penalty, Shea needlessly tracked striker Mendoza all the way to Hernandez. Ekpo subsequently had space to run into and John was forced to chase down the midfielder on the edge of the box. Castillo didn't help matters. He failed to note that Gaven had tucked inside, giving the midfielder plenty of time to pick out a pass to Ekpo.

Hyndman, though, can't escape blame for the defensive foibles. His commitment to attacking play is commendable, but after the red card, he refused to compromise his style for a chance at a draw. Playing a man down with 3 attack-minded players made a Columbus goal all but inevitable.

Hyndman didn't even make any changes until late (Rodriguez and Loyd came on for Castillo and Chavez in the 77th). Down a goal, he was forced into another retroactive formation change. Dallas switched to a 3-4-2 and gamely tried to find the net. Columbus was rarely troubled, and the new formation gave the home side plenty of room to push into on the counter. Gaven took advantage to tally in extra time.

Blake Owen is the editor and publisher of futbolforgringos.com.

Loss at Columbus keeps FC Dallas winless

April, 1, 2011
COLUMBUS, Ohio -- Andres Mendoza converted a penalty kick in the 55th minute and Eddie Gaven scored in stoppage time to lead the Columbus Crew to a 2-0 win over FC Dallas on Friday night.

William Hesmer made seven saves to earn his second straight shutout for Columbus, which improved to 1-1-1.

Columbus midfielder Emmanuel Ekpo drew a foul from George John inside the box after they collided as Ekpo dribbled toward the goal, and Mendoza shot the penalty kick under the arm of goalkeeper Kevin Hartman.

Dallas (0-2-1) was already down a man as Jackson Goncalves went reckless into Dejan Rusmir and Gaven a minute apart for cautions to draw an automatic ejection in the 33rd minute.

Jeff Cunningham seeks history against FCD

March, 31, 2011
Jeff Cunningham was a big reason FC Dallas reached the MLS Cup in 2010. Now back with Columbus, the veteran forward has a chance to make history against his former club if he can only get on the field.

Jeff Cunningham
Layne Murdoch/Getty ImagesJeff Cunningham (9) scored 34 goals for Dallas before returning to Columbus.

One shy of tying the record for most goals in MLS history, Cunningham hopes to face his former team for the first time since leaving Dallas when each club tries to record its first win of the season Friday night at Crew Stadium.

The 34-year-old Cunningham recorded 34 of his 132 career goals the previous three seasons with Dallas. He posted a team-high 12 in 2010 but declined to renew his contract with FCD and was selected during the December re-entry draft by Columbus (0-1-1), where he spent his first seven seasons.

Though he needs one goal to tie all-time MLS leader Jaime Moreno and also become the Crew's career leader with 63, it's uncertain if Cunningham will get the chance to accomplish both Friday.

After playing 61 minutes in a 3-1 loss to DC United on March 19, Cunningham remained on the bench throughout the Crew's scoreless draw with New York on Saturday.

One reason for Cunningham's benching could have been coach Robert Warzycha's displeasure with the team's distribution of the ball in the opener. Things were not much better versus New York.

"Offensively, we lack something right now," goalkeeper William Hesmer told the Crew's official website. "It seems we have lots of guys capable of dribbling, wiggling and juking, but no one has yet to step up with that killer instinct."

Dallas (0-1-1) finds itself in a similar situation without Cunningham through the first two matches.

Fourth in MLS last season with 42 goals, Dallas has only a Milton Rodriguez goal in their season-opening draw with Chicago. More troubling was that it did not register a shot on goal in Saturday's 2-0 loss to San Jose until the 55th minute.

Dallas could get a boost after highly touted Colombian forward Fabian Castillo made his debut against the Earthquakes. The 18-year-old Castillo, who had three goals in 10 professional matches in Colombia, impressed coach Schellas Hyndman.

"I thought he was very good," Hyndman told FC Dallas' official website. "He's very explosive, which he showed when I went to Colombia. He's a player that moves as quick with the ball at his feet as he does without it."

Dallas also could benefit from the expected return of midfielder Brek Shea, who missed Saturday's loss after he received a red card versus Chicago. Shea had five goals and four assists in 2010, with two more assists in the playoffs.

While Dallas is off to a slow start, there is no need to panic after it opened 0-1-4 last season before regrouping to come within a goal of winning the franchise's first MLS Cup.

"I think [slow starts] are probably more of my trend as a coach, as a builder," Hyndman said. "Of course it's not what we want -- two home games and only one point -- but I think we are a team that's going to get better."

After two ties in 2010, the all-time series between Dallas and Columbus sits at 15-15-8.