Dallas Soccer: D.C. United

DC United loss tough for Hyndman, FCD to put behind them

April, 4, 2012
No matter how one looks at it, FC Dallas’ 4-1 loss at D.C. United on Friday night at RFK Stadium was a very unexpected result, considering D.C. had not only been winless heading into that match, but also that the Black-and-Red had scored all of one goal before breaking out against Dallas for four in a huge win for Ben Olsen’s club.

FCD head coach Schellas Hyndman discussed how tough it’s been to put that disappointing and totally shocking three-goal defeat behind him on Tuesday afternoon.

“I reviewed the video with individuals yesterday and today but I think they really had a good performance of a few key people. Balls seemed to bounce right for them, which is a big thing. The crosses they made were right on the money and then I thought they brought a lot of energy and fight for 90 minutes,” Hyndman said. “On the other hand, I thought we had a pretty good 45 minutes with them and could have been up 2-0 in the first nine minutes.”

But as has been the case already for much of this season, the Dallas gaffer lamented what has become a major issue with his club, an alarming lack of consistent possession.

“We gave a lot of balls away. Team possession was less than 50 percent. I think it was 40, 41 to 42 percent,” Hyndman said. “That’s supposed to be one of our strengths. Glad to get that game out of our heads and glad to have another game quickly so that we can now focus on something else. But games like that make a difficult week of training and it makes it difficult to get it off your mind.”

FC Dallas hosts upstart D.C. United

July, 15, 2011
Back-to-back wins have eluded D.C. United for more than two years. FC Dallas has already prevented the club from notching consecutive victories once this season.

United again tries to make it two wins in a row and pick up a rare victory at Pizza Hut Park when they face Dallas on Saturday night.

D.C. (5-5-7) is coming off a surprising 1-0 win over New York last Saturday, handing the Eastern Conference-leading Red Bulls their first home loss in five matches.

Dwayne De Rosario, playing against his former team for the first time since being traded June 27, scored in the 61st minute and Bill Hamid had four saves as United snapped a five-game winless streak.

"What we've been striving to do is stay compact. We did a good job," said Hamid, who had yielded eight goals in his previous four games. "The chemistry is there. You can see it. We came to play."

However, recent history suggests that building on that victory could be tough, as D.C. has not won two straight games since June 4 and 13, 2009. It had a chance to put an end to the incredible drought in its first meeting with Dallas on May 7, having defeated Seattle 2-1 three days earlier, but the teams played to a scoreless draw.

"We have not done a good job of putting good performances after a good performance," coach Ben Olsen told United's official website. "That's our focus right now as a group: putting on consistent performances where we can start moving up the table."

It also could prove difficult for D.C., five points out of a playoff spot, to make up any ground in a road matchup with Dallas (10-5-4).

Dallas is 7-2-2 at Pizza Hut Park, and 2-0-1 against United at home since a 4-0 loss Sept. 1, 2007.

"They've done well at home," De Rosario said. "We have to be mentally focused for a tough challenge."

Dallas defeated Real Salt Lake 2-0 in the quarterfinal round of the U.S. Open Cup tournament Tuesday, avenging Saturday's 2-0 loss to RSL in an MLS game. Dallas had outscored opponents 8-1 in winning three in a row prior to last weekend's defeat.

"Soccer gives you a chance to get revenge and this was one of those ones," Dallas defender Jair Benitez said through an interpreter. "Luckily, it came fast so we could just get it out of the way and take care of business."

Benitez and Jackson Goncalves scored Tuesday, and Kevin Hartman, the MLS leader with nine shutouts this season, blanked Salt Lake without making a save.

Hartman earned his second shutout of 2011 against D.C. in May, finishing with three saves.

Kevin Hartman delivers in scoreless draw

May, 7, 2011
WASHINGTON -- Kevin Hartman made two close-range saves against Charlie Davies and three overall to help F.C. Dallas draw 0-0 with D.C. United on Saturday night.

The result helped Dallas (3-3-2) push its unbeaten run to three games with just its second shutout of the season. D.C. (3-4-2) also held an opponent scoreless for the second time.

Hartman charged to deny a wide-open Davies eight minutes in after Brek Shea's defensive giveaway, with Ugo Ihemelu and Andrew Jacobson each blocking rebound attempts from Davies and Andy Najar.

Then in the 89th minute, Hartman sprawled to his right to push away Davies' header after Josh Wolff's cross found Davies unmarked inside the 6-yard box.

Najar left under his own power in the 72nd minute after apparently hurting a foot or ankle in a tangle with Shea.

Surging FC Dallas visits D.C. United

May, 6, 2011
FC Dallas is brimming with confidence after beating one of MLS' top teams in its first game without the reigning league MVP.

D.C. United goalkeeper Bill Hamid is feeling the same way following one of his best performances of the season.

Dallas and Hamid look to build on their recent showings when they meet Saturday night at RFK Stadium.

Dallas suffered a major setback when David Ferreira fractured his right ankle in a 2-1 win over Vancouver on April 23. Ferreira led Dallas (3-3-1) with eight goals and 13 assists last season and had a team-best three goals with an assist in six games this year.

Playing the next three months without Ferreira likely won't be easy, but Dallas still looked like an MLS Cup contender in a 2-1 win over Western Conference-leading Los Angeles on Sunday.

"It was the first game without our MVP," midfielder Daniel Hernandez told Dallas' official website. "Guys had to step up."

Fabian Castillo got Dallas on the scoreboard first with his first career MLS goal in the 47th minute, and Brek Shea broke a 1-all tie in the 87th.

"For us to go in with the adversities and come away with three points, I think it's huge," coach Schellas Hyndman said. "It will continue to build the confidence of our players. It feels really good."

Dallas, which outscored D.C. 4-1 in winning both meetings last season, is looking to win three consecutive games -- something it hasn't accomplished since August.

United (3-4-1) avoided losing their third straight with a 2-1 victory over Seattle on Wednesday.

Hamid made a season-high four saves, two in the waning minutes, after surrendering eight goals in losing the previous two games.

"I finally feel like I can grow off this win," Hamid told United's official website. "Not get too cocky, get too big-headed because I made a couple saves, but stay focused and work hard."

While Hamid won't have to worry about stopping shots off the foot of Ferreira, there are other goal scorers on Dallas' roster. Shea is second on the team with two goals and five Dallas players have one.

United's offense is centered around rookie Charlie Davies, the MLS leader with six goals.

Davis and Josh Wolff each had a goal and an assist Wednesday for D.C., which scored more than one goal for just the third time this season.

"It was a good night," coach Ben Olsen said. "But we need to forget about it very quickly and make sure that we continue with that type of effort for the weekend."

Monday morning gaffer: FC Dallas at D.C. United

August, 16, 2010
Make no mistake, despite the win this was a poor overall performance from FC Dallas. The fact FCD managed to win the game is a big reason why they should be legit contenders this season for a MLS Cup. To win on the road without your best game is a hallmark of a really good team. But let's not let the win paper over the cracks. There are some problem spots in this team still.

El Bueno (The Good)

- With the win, FCD ties a MLS record for unbeaten road games at nine. That's a terrific accomplishment. There are so many tough places to play on the road in MLS, heck any road game is tough. The resilience and work rate it takes to perform on the road time after time is a terrific sign for FCD. Grit and guts won this in the end for FCD, but it wasn't pretty.

- Kevin Hartman is by far the Man of the Match for me. Those four colossal saves in the first half stole this game for FCD. In MLS about all you can ask for from a starting keeper is to be solid from game to game. It's a pure bonus when a keeper steps up and gets you three points on the road. Kevin Hartman won this game for FCD. Without that first half performance FCD is getting routed.
"Up until that point [the first Dallas goal], there was some pretty good stuff. It seemed like after we missed Danny's chance, we took it the wrong way. I felt like there was some air let out." - Ben Olsen

"It was one of those games where you make an early save and have confidence." - Kevin Hartman

- Zack Loyd wasn't great, but he wasn't bad either. For a rookie to step into Ugo Ihemelu's shoes and put in a solid game like that is a terrific thing for any coach and team. At 5'9" Loyd is surprisingly good in the air, something Ihemelu does well, so there wasn't much trouble there. Loyd reads the game well and played in good combination with John.

- Is Jeff Cunningham starting to heat up? Three goals in two games is very nice. He always was a guy that needed to be challenged. Time to start thinking about getting two strikers on the field or keep him as a late game counter attacking threat?
"Historically, Jeff, as has been noted many times by many people, is a streaky player. And he's at his best in the hot months – July and August is when he traditionally starts to pick up. So we're right where he's most comfortable.

Jeff's getting motivated. He’s having better practices. He’s more focused. He’s more team-oriented. Before, he was hitting the crossbar. Now the ball is going in. If he's productive, we need to get him on the field more." - Schellas Hyndman to the Dallas Morning News.

- This just in, Andy Najar can play. He might be the only good thing to come out of DC this season.

- Ruben Luna in the 18 is a win for FCD. Next home game get him 10 to 15 minutes at the end.

- A very short stint from Jackson, but you can see why Schellas Hyndman wanted him. Pace, some foot skill, some soccer savvy, this kid's got some game. From today, the over under on Jackson starting at right back is 2.5 more games.

- Count me on board the Ben Olsen will be a great coach bandwagon. He needs to be an assist a little bit, but couple season down the line he will be ready.

- Some terrific pics of this game can be found here.

El Camino Central (Middle of the Road)

- Except for the fact he scored and had an assist, ok it was an amazing assist, I would have put Eric Alexander on the bottom section. He has such great little moments, shows such class here and there; but to much of the game he's just drifting, not nearly intense enough, and far to casual. There are to many turnovers and to many soft moments. I was one of the first people this spring to sing this kids praises. I think he eventually could be really good. But right now he's not focused and concentrating for 90 minutes, and that will keep him out of the lineup when Dax McCarty returns. I still think Alexander is better right now than the other options, Avila and Guarda, but he could be so much more.

- Milton Rodriguez is doing a ton of hard work playing striker by himself. That's not an easy gig, particularly for a guy who is really an off striker. He brings a lot of smarts and understanding to the game, see his assist on the Alexander goal, but he does need to get some goals here. I'm not by any means worried, but I really look forward to seeing what he can do with a playing partner.

No Tan Bueno (Not So Good)

- I don't think you can undersell how much this team misses Dax McCarty. It's not just McCarty's possession, although that is a big part of it. But also his linking play and and passing. McCarty is one of the few players on this side that can make a simple move, touch, or pass to get out of trouble and relieve pressure. Letting the defense move out or the offense get forward is very important in a possession team. Not to mention McCarty's knack for quick little defense grabs to snip the ball away.

- It's probably a symptom of a couple above points, but there were far, far to many turnovers in midfield. Hartman saved FCD's bacon several times, but almost any other team than DC would have pounded FCD for those mistakes. Multiple turnovers resulted in odd man rushes for DC and that's a sure fire way to lose most games. If, that is, the opposition is capable of scoring at all. Imagine the score line if that had been LA or Columbus. Ouch.

- Heath Pearce's Magnum PI mustache... good lord man, that's horrible!! Funny, sure. But this isn't 1976.

- For the first 30 minutes FC Dallas got played off the park. When FCD stole that first goal against the run of play DC basically folded. Up until that point FCD had been beaten in every single facet of the game. After the goal DC backed down and sat deeper, allowing FCD to develop their possession game. This first 30 showed a new model of how to handle FCD: play high pressure, physical defense to kill the FCD flow. In Dallas it's so hot that won't really work. In this one FCD showed they can counter attack and punish you if you can't maintain the intensity and focus. Is there a team that can pull it off for 90?
"Everything was there. The pressure, the energy, we were actually keeping the ball and moving it. It's tough going into the locker room wasting that much energy and not being up." - Devon McTavish

- Some people aren't to fond of me ripping Jair Benitez, so I'll just say this one thing. The own goal is a mental brain fart and lapse in concentraion, and Benitez does that at least once every game. At the higher levels of play, one lapse is all it takes to cost a game.

- Atiba Harris' form in front of net continues to be shocking. Refined he isn't. If Harris had some finishing class he'd be one of the best right mids in MLS. Instead he's looking like a trouble spot between the turnovers and poor choices in the final third.