Dallas Soccer: Dane Richards
Kenny [Cooper] loves Dallas. This is where his family is. He’ll have a great game. First game of the year, everybody’s excited. [Thierry] Henry obviously is a world-class player. Dane Richards can bring a lot of speed. [Joel] Lindpere is going to be the guy that probably causes us the most problems. We don’t know about [Luke] Rodgers whether he’s going to be there or not be there.
They’ve got a solid team. I saw some of the media had them picked to win MLS Cup. They’ve got the financial support. They’ve got very good players. [Rafael] Marquez won’t be playing because he was red carded last game that he played last year but I think it’s going to be a real good game. We’re really looking forward to the game, not only the season opener but we’re looking forward to the game. I think the last time we played them, we weren’t at our best. We just hit the wall and were going the wrong way but I think they’re a well-coached team and they’ve got definite talent.
Last night Hyndman rolled out a 4-2-3-1 to combat New York's 4-4-1-1. New York was clearly concerned about the speed on Dallas’ flanks: Hans Backe elected to play four central midfielders (from left to right Joel Lindpere, Teemu Tainio, Rafa Marquez, and Dax McCarty). Going forward, the tactic worked well for the visitors. The outside midfielders pinched-in (particularly McCarty) and helped link Thierry Henry with Dane Richards, who caused havoc with his darting runs behind center backs Ugo Ihemelu and George John.
Defensively, though, McCarty and Lindpere struggled to defend against the pace of Marvin Chavez and Brek Shea. The Dallas wingers, and fullbacks Zach Loyd and Jair Benitiez, needed only a split-second to find space before sending in their service. Early on, New York was very vulnerable along the flanks.
Hyndman took advantage of the situation by instructing his outside players to send in early crosses. Dallas' gaffer must have seen a vulnerability on film, as New York's backline struggled with the constant early service. This strategy led to numerous scoring opportunities for the Red Stripes.
But, in what has been a theme, Dallas' attackers didn't finish their chances. A 14th minute miss by Chavez and a 40th minute shank by Jackson were the most glaring failures. Jackson's miss was galling; his unmarked header from seven yards wasn't even close to being on target.
The sheer volume of opportunities - Dallas had 14 total shots and 7 shots on goal to New York's 6 and 6 - spoke wonders of Hyndman's tactical acumen, especially since Dallas had a slightly lower percentage of possession (51% to 49%). However, one personnel choice should be called into question. Hyndman's inclusion of Jackson over the more traditional Number 9 Maicon Santos didn't make sense in light of the amount of crosses sent into the box.
Jackson normally interchanges very well with Shea and Chavez, but against New York he stayed in the middle in anticipation of the waves of crosses. The Brazilian demonstrated his lack of a striker's instinct on more than one occasion, notably the 40th minute miss. Santos, a second half sub, had just one opportunity to head the ball toward goal and his effort from outside the box forced Frank Rost to make a save.
Granted, Santos was otherwise anonymous. But that was merely symptomatic of Dallas' problems in the latter half of the season. The front three, particularly the striker, failed to take advantage of excellent build-up and then a series of blunders at the back (John, Loyd, and Ihemelu all made mistakes on New York's opening goal) doomed the squad to a loss. Hyndman may look back on this match as the epitome of his squad's 2011 campaign, promise unfulfilled.
Blake Owen is the editor and publisher of futbolforgringos.com.
Dallas had lots chances early, enjoying lots of offensive possession and outshouting New York 23 to 12 on the night. But yet again FCD played without a true striker and was unable to convert their chances. Yet once again a lone lapse in the back led to the New York goal. Even up a man after a red card to Jan Gunnar Solli, FCD couldn't take advantage before things were even at 10 men each due to a Zach Loyd injury.
NYRB eared their first goal in the 61st minute when Dane Richards grabbed a rebound from a long range shot Hartman had saved. Richards fed Mehdi Ballouchy who found the crashing Joel Lindpere in the box. The second goal came quit late in injury time after something like 6 minutes were added for the Loyd injury. Thierry Henry scored on a long counter attack breakaway when the FCD defense had crashed forward chasing the tie goal.
NY – Joel Lindpere (Mehdi Ballouchy) 61
NY – Thierry Henry 98+
NY – Tim Ream (caution; tactical foul) 27
DAL – Ugo Ihemelu (caution; reckless foul) 31
DAL – Daniel Hernandez (caution; reckless tackle) 51
NY – Jan Gunnar Solli (ejection; serious foul play) 79
FC Dallas – Kevin Hartman, Jair Benitez, Ugo Ihemelu, George John, Zach Loyd, Brek Shea, Andrew Jacobson (Daniel Cruz 67), Daniel Hernandez, Ricardo Villar (Fabian Castillo 82), Marvin Chavez (Maicon Santos 73), Jackson.
Substitutes Not Used: Chris Seitz, Jack Stewart, Jeremy Hall, Bobby Warshaw.
TOTAL SHOTS: 23 (Jackson 7); SHOTS ON GOAL: 9 (Jackson 4); FOULS: 13 (Daniel Hernandez 4); OFFSIDES: 0; CORNER KICKS: 5 (Jair Benitez 5); SAVES: 4 (Kevin Hartman 4).
Red Bull New York – Frank Rost, Jan Gunnar Solli, Tim Ream, Stephen Keel, Roy Miller, Dax McCarty (Mehdi Ballouchy 59), Teemu Tainio, Rafa Marquez, Joel Lindpere, Dane Richards (Carlos Mendes 82), Thierry Henry.
Substitutes Not Used: Bouna Coundoul, Stephane Auvray, Juan Agudelo.
TOTAL SHOTS: 12 (Thierry Henry 6); SHOTS ON GOAL: 6 (Thierry Henry 3); FOULS: 12 (Teemu Tainio 3); OFFSIDES: 4 (Dane Richards 2); CORNER KICKS: 4 (Joel Lindpere 3); SAVES: 8 (Frank Rost 8).
Referee: Ricardo Salazar
Referee’s Assistants: Craig Lowry, Peter Manikowski
4th Official: Edvin Jurisevic
Time of Match: 1:57
Weather: Clear, 67 degrees
The Toronto trip was only tenuous because Dallas had no idea what they'd see, but rational thought by everyone would have rightly predicted a Canadian side that looked more like a makeshift 11 with half the starting lineup new to the team. Sure enough, Dallas, more specifically Brek Shea, was left largely to tromp around midfield and the final third with little in the way of defense - it just that Dallas couldn't score. Sure, Brek's game winner was of the highest quality, and continues to increase the kid's value - kinda like today's goal prices - but overall the finishing was horrid.
Dallas was very flat in the first half against Red Bull, and creating chances was the least of Hyndman's worries as his troops could barely muster possession for more than two passes. New York helped his cause by squandering their own chances, with the exception of Hernandez's clearance that banged off Agudelo and over Hartman for the half time lead.
Then something funny happened.
The second half started, and the match got interesting - almost exciting.
Marvin Chavez found himself, like many NYRB opponent's, held onside, while standing in the penalty area, with the ball and the net calling. Finally, a smart finish from the Honduran and the match was tied.
From that point on, Dallas was a different side, the one that RBNY was expecting to show up and a real live, funtowatch, soccer match ensued.
So when Chavez was left as unmarked as a forward can be on a corner kick, and he slotted it home for the lead Dallas looked to be just another in a long line of benefactors from sad Red Bull defending. Then Dane Richards was sent off on a 2nd yellow and three points should have been on the flight home to DFW.
But Red Bull have Henry, and he's still got some game.
Dallas walks with the point, four from the trip and that is nothing to be upset about. Hyndman continues to shuffle, mix and conjure up starting midfield lineups with the least amount of parts possible.
Now it's on to the untested, unknown, "I don't believe we're in Kansas anymore" waters of CONCACAF Champions League and Alianza. Hyndman probably had a far different lineup in mind when he first realized his club would be a participant, but considering what's transpired since that fateful day in Vancouver, anyone would be silly to dismiss FCD as chum for this week's roadtrip.
Hartman - 6 I wonder if he hates the electric green keeper kit as much as I do?
Loyd - 6 Don't worry kid, Mr Henry has screwed much better defenders into the turn than you
John - 7 Tim Reem, who?
Ugo - 7 Saved Benitez several times
Benitez - 6 Really struggled with Richards and some awful first half passing
Shea - 6 If you take away the Toronto wonder-goal, Brek's last two matches have shown some signs of wear and fatigue. This isn't a criticism, just a noted warning. Plus, NYRB's 1st goal came from counter after Brek stopped to complain about a non-call. Confidence is great, but he's can't start assuming he's going to get calls.
Avila - 2 A really poor performance from Eric. Terrible touch, knocked off the ball too easy, and he wasn't good in Toronto either. This is the time FCD needs Eric to prove himself, but what he's proving is why he's never become a starter after all this time.
Hernandez - 7 Hardworking battle all game, but his free kicks have fallen off of late
Alexander - 5 A quiet day - nothing new but that growing mullet
Villar - 7 His first half was almost as bad a Avila, but second half he was a player transformed. His work to help hold and retain possession was outstanding. More of that, please
Chavez - 8 A great night for a player that deserves results for his tremendous workrate and effort. But truth is, he's a tear-uh-bull forward, but a fantastic team player.
Guarda - 6 His assist was great, and its good to see him get time
Wiedeman - 6 Two long range shots, some smart time with the ball
Jacobson - 5 A full 90 on Thursday?
Match "Entertainment Value" Grade: "B+", the 2nd half rescued the forgettable first.
ed note: This wasn't intended to give overall grade of team's performance, but rather the match and its entertainment value to the viewer or person in attendance
- Recap: Henry equalizes late as NYRB tie Dallas 2-2 at RBA (mlssoccer.com)