Dallas Soccer: Dominic Oduro

FC Dallas Manager Schellas Hyndman

On the team’s performance against the Fire:

“I think they had some trouble dealing with our pure speed and it’s not just them, a lot of teams have trouble dealing with that. I thought in the first half we really created some opportunities but gave too many balls away. It was frustrating. I thought the player we were most concerned about was Oduro because he knows us and he’s been really hot and I thought that he had a quiet night tonight. But a great goal by the Fire and for us, we’ve had a really difficult month in September with all the traveling and CONCACAF games, and cards and injuries, so for us to get the win here was huge. Now we know we are in the playoffs and maybe start to focus a little more on that.”

On the threat of the Fire getting another goal in the remaining minutes of the match:

“Of course, always. Always concerned. I thought some of the situations – we knew what the Fire were doing. They were trying to get it out wide and come back in the middle and hit shots and maybe get a second ball and then get the free kick. And those things were happening. We were very concerned. The funny thing about this team is we play better against eleven players than we do against ten. Sometimes people just let up a little bit. But again I give the Fire a lot of credit for fighting. It was a great goal and it was well earned.”

FC Dallas Defender Zach Loyd

On being satisfied with the road win:

“Yes, I think September was a rough month for us. I think fatigue caught up with us last month. But with international break, I think a lot of guys got their legs back, got some time off and mentally got their heads right. Today we came in here with the energy we were bringing in a couple months ago and I think it showed in the result.”

On having lots of shots on goal in the first half:

“It just shows the energy we brought. Earlier in the season, we had guys like Marvin [Chavez], Castillo, Jackson, Shea, all with their speed so we can just hit them and put the defenders on their heels. I think tonight it really showed with rest a lot of the guys have so much more energy.”

On how the team is looking to finish the rest of the season:

“We’re looking to get on a roll here. You always want to get on a little win streak before the playoffs, get your confidence up because anything can happen in the playoffs so hopefully we can go into this next week and qualify for Champions League and get a couple more wins in the league.”

FC Dallas Goalkeeper Kevin Hartman

On the match:

“I thought you could really tell we got a little bit of a rest. We’re a very athletic team and I think you can tell by the amount of speed that we have up top and the athleticism in the back. When you’re fatigued that’s really going to affect you quite a bit. Tonight, after a bit of a rest, and an international weekend, I thought that you could tell we were able to really win balls in more advantageous parts of the field. And when we did sit, I think that we could tell we were attacking with pace and certainly at halftime I felt that it could have been more than it was.”

On the team’s end of season focus:

“It wasn’t just a physical rest we got, we got a mental break. We’ve been playing two games a week since July 1st, so it’s been pretty fatiguing. We are not a group that really likes to make excuses and we get out there and do our best. I think you could tell as the games wore on and on, we were just not having as much success. We weren’t able to put the pressure up top that we wanted to, we weren’t able to win balls 30 yards from their goal; we were really kind of disjointed. I thought today we got back a little more to the FC Dallas that we are proud to be and get a victory. It’s something we are extremely proud of.”

Frank Klopas, Chicago Fire interim head coach

Thoughts on the match:

“We didn’t have the start that we wanted. We came out a little bit flat and that was a concern of mine. I wanted to put the U.S. Open Cup match behind us right away. I talked to the guys and told them that they needed to stay focused, that we still have a lot to play for ahead of us. We were flat from the beginning, we weren’t sharp. We were just one step behind everything. Give credit to Dallas. They made it difficult for us. But we pushed the game late and we got something going. In the end, we gave up two soft goals that hurt us. We’re disappointed. Not only to lose but to lose at home. Now our chances are very slim for the playoffs.”

On timing of his substitutions:

“We made a change during the game when I felt Dominic could help. We had a hard time keeping up with Dallas’ wing plays. When we gave up the second goal, we had to make changes. Because when you lose 2-0, 3-0 it doesn’t matter, you have to push the game and try to get a result.”

Dominic Oduro, Chicago Fire forward

On the remainder of the season:

“We’re not mathematically out of it right now, but I don’t think we helped our chances of making the playoffs at this point either.”

On the team’s performance:

“I’m very disappointed. We started out flat and we gave them momentum starting off and it was hard for us to fight back after going down 2-0. We just need to keep our heads up. We fight every game and that’s what we need to continue to do. We still have a small chance of making the playoffs and we have to give all that we’ve got in the two games left, then we’ll see what happens.”

On Dallas’ defense:

“It was really difficult for me to get behind the defense. They just dropped back the whole time, so we had to change tactics in the second half. I had to go play on the right and I think I was able to get to a few more balls on the right. Technically, they did well the whole time by just sitting back to try and stop a run from behind and they did great with that.”

Gonzalo Segares, Chicago Fire defender:

On how the team will approach the final two games:

“Like Frank [Klopas] said we need to regroup, go to D.C. and look for the win. We’ve been pushing pretty hard for the past couple of months and it got us pretty close to being in the position where we’re fighting to make the playoffs. With the result today, it’s really tough to swallow but we have two more games to play and we need to go out there and get wins.”

Pavel Pardo, Chicago Fire midfielder:

On his red card ejection:

“It was a play that I came in a little bit late and I know it was a foul. But I think sometimes this is a foul you make 10 or 20 times in a game, but this is the referee’s decision. That is no excuse, I got the red card and I apologize because when you have to play with 10 players it’s difficult to try to win.”

On his future with the Fire:

“Of course I’d like to come back. I was talking about this situation with the people from the Fire and they want me to here next year. And I want to be here also, but not for one year, I’d like to be here for more years. I’ve integrated with this team, the club and the fans. I’m very happy playing here with the Chicago Fire.”

Sean Johnson, Chicago Fire goalkeeper

On the result:

“I tried my best to keep the team in it, but unfortunately these things happen. I try and limit my mistakes, I pride myself on being consistent day in and day out. But it’s just one of those things, you do your best to try and save the ball. On this night they were the better team and deserved to win the game.”

FC Dallas faces Chicago, looks to end scoreless skid

October, 11, 2011
It has been a miserable last several weeks for FC Dallas. The team has suffered four consecutive shutout losses and is on the verge of the longest scoring drought in franchise history.

Despite all of those troubles, it is one win way away from clinching a playoff spot.

FC Dallas again tries to shake its recent woes and secure a postseason berth Wednesday night when it visits a Chicago Fire team that must win to avoid being eliminated from playoff contention.

Dallas (13-11-7) is in control of the first wild-card spot for the playoffs and owns a six-point advantage over Portland -- the last team out. It also owns the tiebreaker with the Timbers and can earn a second straight trip to the postseason with one victory in its final three matches.

Winning, however, has not come easy for Dallas lately.

The team has been outscored 5-0 in losing four straight MLS games since beating Sporting KC, 3-2, on Aug. 27. Its scoreless streak now stands at 360 minutes, and if Dallas fails to manage a goal in the first four minutes against the Fire, it will break the franchise record set in 2003.

Maybe some time off could help. Dallas hasn't played since a 1-0 loss to Colorado on Oct. 1.

"I think the team is just anxious and I think they're frustrated," coach Schellas Hyndman told the club's official website.

Besides the scoreless streak, Hyndman's club could set another franchise record with a fifth consecutive defeat. This is the seventh time in the franchise's 16-year history Dallas has lost four straight MLS games and the most recent since May 8-29, 2004.

"We need to finish the season off on a good note and compete for that playoff spot and then feel good about being in the playoffs," Hyndman said. "We've done very well to put ourselves in the position we are, but we don't want to give teams the chance to catch us or bypass us, so we have to be focused on winning and getting points."

Dallas has done a good job of picking up points against Chicago.

The teams played to a 1-all draw in the season opener March 19, and Dallas is 11-2-3 in its last 16 games in the series. Dallas is 4-0-1 all-time at Toyota Park.

Chicago (7-8-16), however, has won four straight home games and is 5-1-1 overall since Aug. 21.

This late push has given the Fire a slim shot at the playoffs, but one more loss would dash those hopes. They're seven points behind Houston for the final playoff spot with three games remaining.

They blew a chance to make up some ground with a 1-all draw in Houston on Oct. 1. Dominic Oduro tied the score in the 43rd minute for his fifth goal in seven games, and he leads the Fire with 12.

With their playoff chances looking bleak, Chicago had its sights set on capturing a U.S. Open Cup championship last Tuesday against Seattle but came up short. The Fire allowed two goals in the final 13 minutes in a 2-0 loss.

"We're disappointed," interim coach Frank Klopas told the league's official website. "We put a lot of effort into it."

Is Marvin Chavez the reincarnation of Dominic Oduro?

July, 23, 2011
First off, that goal by Brek Shea on Wednesday night in Toronto was simply scintillating and displayed the sort of individual effort fans of every sport will never get tired of watching.

But enough about that, if there’s one thing some who follow FC Dallas are wondering about, it’s what in the wide, wide world of sports is up with the finishing (or lack thereof) for speedy Honduran midfielder Marvin Chavez?

It might be extreme but some might even wonder how he would compare to former FCD striker Dominic Oduro? Well, besides the obvious differences, Oduro was a true forward while Chavez is a midfielder by trade who by necessity is playing out of position. But both had blinding speed that would make life difficult for opposing sides. However, neither was terribly adept at finishing and the numbers dictate that.

But is Chavez the second coming of Oduro? Here’s a look at both sides of the equation so you can decide.


Their Numbers Are Very Similar

Here’s a quick breakdown of the numbers of the two:
Chavez Oduro
2009 7 GP 0 goals, 0 assists 2006 16 GP 1 goal, no assists
2010 16 GP 2 goals, 2 assists 2007 29 GP 3 goals, 2 assists
2011 21 GP 1 goal, 4 assists 2008 25 GP 5 goals, 2 assists
2009 19 GP 1 goal, 4 assists#
2010 27 GP 5 goals, 4 assists*
2011 20 GP 5 goals, 2 assists^
#-Three games in New York and 16 with Houston
*-Spent 2010 in Houston
^-Played one game for Houston and 19 for Chicago

Consider that when FCD drafted Oduro in 2006 under Colin Clarke, he was right out of Virginia Commonwealth. Once he arrived in Frisco, he was only 21. It was clear watching him as a rookie that he had considerable adjustments to make if he was going to be an effective attacking player at the professional level. It probably didn’t help his learning curve much that he had three different head coaches in his three seasons in Dallas.

Flip over to Chavez. He was 26 when he arrived in Frisco after a stint with Marathon in his native Honduras. Marvin already had his fair share of experience at both the club and international level by the time he joined FCD. The point of comparison here is that while Oduro arrived here pretty wet behind the ears, Chavez did not. He was basically already the player he was going to be at age 26. Not saying that’s a bad thing but he’s never really looked like an accomplished finisher at any point during his time here. Then again, he’s not a true forward like Oduro, so finishing isn’t exactly part of his job description.

Chavez’s Finishing Touch Seems to Dissipate at Truly Inopportune Times

During Oduro’s time in Frisco, it truly was something to behold to see him dash up and down the flanks like a gazelle. But the knock on him was always an inability to do good things with the ball once he got into the final third. Sometimes it was an ill-advised pass but when he did get a chance to finish, oftentimes it was a misfire or a completely blown opportunity.

Well, not trying to pile on here but Chavez has also had his share of misfires since joining FCD or to coin a phrase from Wayne’s World, choke on the open net. It’s arguable but none of those misses were worse than the 2-on-1 he and Jackson had on Saturday night against DC United, a chance where he instead knocked a shot wide left instead of either passing it to Jackson or trying a different route to beat DC goalkeeper Bill Hamid. That game ended 0-0 and when asked about the play afterwards, it wasn’t hard to tell that gaffer Schellas Hyndman was both shocked and dismayed about how that sequence ended.


Chavez is Playing Out of Position

Maybe the X factor in this whole thing boils down to something pretty simple-Chavez is playing out of position while Oduro was not. During Dom’s three seasons in Frisco, he was pretty much a forward and nothing else. He did see spot midfield duty on several occasions but it was clear the only spot he could truly be effective at was playing up top.

However, it’s a bit different for Chavez. This is just one person’s opinion and everyone knows the adage about opinions but it looks like Marvin is at his best as a flank midfielder on the right side. Being out wide simply allows him to make best use of his incredible pace and to also lay balls off. Simply put, if he’s not an adept finisher and he’s proven time and time again that he’s not, then why even play him at forward and run that risk? He is much better as a set-up man and maybe once Fabian Castillo returns from the Under-20 World Cup, he’ll return to forward while Chavez goes back to the flank. It’s tough to say what the first 11 will look like once reigning league MVP David Ferreira returns sometime in September, but Chavez will definitely be on the field somewhere, most likely on the right.

“Son of the Wind” Has a Few More Skills than Oduro

Nothing against Oduro but looking back, it looks like the best thing that could ever happen to him was leaving FCD. Maybe it was the fact that having three different coaches in his three seasons here filled his head with all sorts of different ideas. And maybe it was something as simple as he needed a fresh start somewhere. But Dom has done well since leaving Dallas and it’s good to see. That early stint with the Red Bulls didn’t seem to do him much good but spending a good part of two years in Houston under Dominic Kinnear obviously did. It’s a well-known fact how Dallas fans feel about the Dynamo gaffer but like him or not, he is a guy that helps many of his players realize their full potential.

As for Chavez, he seems to have a few more skills than the venerable Mr. Oduro. On one hand, maybe that’s due to his wide array of experience in the beautiful game both from his native Honduras as well as at the international level. But he’s also the sort of player who fits well in Schellas’ system, something Oduro honestly never was, which is why he was traded in the first place. While his finishing is suspect, Marvin can still get up and down the flanks, deliver a killer cross and he’s also evolved into the solid two-way player that Hyndman expects everyone he starts to be.

We might be biased here, but it looks like Chavez brings more to the table than Oduro. Still it makes for an interesting debate, doesn’t it?