Dallas Soccer: Jason Kreis


On the overall performance of his team:

“I got a lot out of the team tonight; disappointing last goal, there was a lot of physical play out there, a lot of bodies. I thought that we had done enough to come away with a point.”

On if the game could be encouraging in any way:

“Well, there was some good play from Jackson and from Perez, basically they are the only two who are attacking and the rest of the guys are filling holes right now. It is encouraging to come back twice and to not give up and to see the fight that our guys put out there.”


On if tonight’s performance was encouraging for FC Dallas:

“Yeah, certainly we can find the silver lining. The most disappointing thing for us is that we worked so hard for so long and to leave again without any points, you feel like a little piece of you dies every time you lose a game. It’s been a rough patch for us and it’s easy to point fingers and it’s easy to blame, but at the end of the day we all have to raise our level.”

On the difference between the first and second half of the match:

“Obviously once they scored then we had to begin attacking a little bit more. Once we scored the first there was a little bit of a belief that we were going to be able to get a second. Maybe the altitude plays a factor, maybe guys zone out a little bit and before you know it we’ve conceded a second.”


On the overall performance of FC Dallas:

“We showed a lot of character coming back when we went down 1-0 and then went down 2-1 and came back. Unfortunately, we couldn’t sustain and keep the tie. At the end of the day we dropped another three points and it’s frustrating.”

On what’s coming up for FC Dallas:

“We’ve got two weeks now to rest and really work on stuff. Hopefully the second half of the season we’ll make a push and hopefully make a playoff spot.”

On what FC Dallas needs to work on during the layoff:

“I think the most important thing is to get guys back, get guys healthy, we have a lot of injuries. I think the main thing as far as the back line goes is that we’ve given up way too many goals so far this season. We need to really get on the same page and start getting some shutouts.”

Real Salt Lake Head Coach Jason Kreis

On the Match:

“To be a season ticket holder right now…we’re giving them their money’s worth for sure. Another crazy game tonight, FC Dallas played really hard, there was no give up in them and that made our night difficult for sure. I am very pleased to get the three points against what I think is a very difficult opponent. When you’re missing guys like Kyle Beckerman, Nick Rimando, Javi Morales and Wingert..Four very strong leaders…to be without them and have the guys react how they did is a very good sign.”

On Tanaka, Reynish, and Alvarez:

“All three did well. Obviously, Tanaka assisted on the first goal, which was a very nice cross on his part. He did well to get around his defender. I thought he had a strong performance, Yordany I thought had a pretty strong night, especially in the first half. I thought he was breaking up a ton of plays in the midfield, and was in the right spot a lot of times. He still can be a little bit cleaner on the ball for me. I think that we will have a good chance to see improvement from him with Open Cup. Renyish had a strong night. Unfortunate that he didn’t make that save that was a goal line decision. I thought he did well with that play. On the 2nd goal, I think he probably needed to do better, but those things I think come from playing more. I think he’s probably pretty relieved going around patting all the rest of the fellas on the back, especially Borchers.”

On Saborio:

“I’m really pleased with Sabo. I know it’s been a difficult stretch that he hasn’t been scoring with the way that he would like, or the fans would like, but he’s been putting in the work, so I’m appreciative that he continues to work hard and take those chances.”

Real Salt Lake FW Alvaro Saborio

On RSL taking the lead multiple times:

“Dallas is good team. We just tried to make the first one and then hopefully win from there. The last one was a great goal at the last minute and I was happy for Borchers.”

About scoring twice before leaving to Costa Rica for international duty:

“I’m happy about the game and scoring twice and I am thinking now I’m going to do a better job in Costa Rica. We will see what happens there.”

Real Salt Lake DF Nat Borchers

On the match:

“It was a roller coaster 2nd half. We felt 1-0 wouldn’t be a good enough win for us. Credit to them, they pushed forward and scored two goals on us. That was our only option to get that third goal. My hat is to our front two Fabi and Sabo who really battled hard during the whole game and wore them down and got them tired and created a lot of chances for us. I thought Yordany had a really strong game, and Tanaka had a really good game as well.”

Real Salt Lake MF Ned Grabavoy

On Borchers’ goal:

“ A little bit of mayhem after just two let downs, It’s frustrating to keep giving up leads, so it’s crazy to react that quickly and go for it and get it back. I think it’s great to show that our team can win games that way.”

Preview: FC Dallas-Real Salt Lake

May, 25, 2012
Real Salt Lake coach Jason Kreis will be missing a number of key players due to injuries and international call-ups.

His club is still in better shape than FC Dallas.

RSL will try to extend its home winning streak to five Saturday night when Dallas looks to end its eight-match winless stretch.

Playing for the first time since a 1-0 victory at Seattle on May 12, Real Salt Lake (8-3-2) will be without goalkeeper Nick Rimando, Alvaro Saborio, Will Johnson and Kyle Beckerman on Saturday as they're all on international duty. The club also could be missing defender Chris Wingert (hamstring) and midfielder Javier Morales (quadriceps).

Kyle Reynish is expected to make his second start of the season in goal for RSL, while midfielders Yordany Alvarez and Luis Gil and defender Chris Schuler could see plenty of minutes against Dallas.

"We want to try to rotate the team in a way that we keep a strong spine or core group of players," Kreis told RSL's official website. "We will certainly hope for the same throughout the rest of the season."

Real Salt Lake, one point back of MLS-leading San Jose, is hoping to maintain its edge at Rio Tinto Stadium, where it is 5-1-0. The club's last five-game home winning streak was May 1-June 9, 2010.

RSL is 4-0-1 at home against Dallas since Rio Tinto Stadium opened. Real Salt Lake holds a 12-4 scoring edge in those contests.

That does not bode well for an FC Dallas club that's 0-5-1 on the road in 2012. Dallas (3-7-4) joins Portland and Toronto as the only teams without a victory away from home.

Dallas doesn't have a win on any field since a 2-1 victory over expansion Montreal on April 14. A 2-1 loss in Chicago on Wednesday stretched the team's winless streak to eight, two shy of the franchise record.

"We need to get points any way we can, a win, a tie, whatever," rookie defender Matt Hedges told the Fire's official website after scoring his first MLS goal Wednesday.

If the club is going to pick up any points Saturday, it will have to do so without midfielder Brek Shea, who will complete his three-game suspension after kicking the ball at an assistant referee in a 2-1 loss to Columbus on May 12.

Shea scored on a penalty kick in first-half stoppage time in a 1-all draw against visiting RSL on April 25.

Dallas played that match without suspended striker Blas Perez, while Real Salt Lake did not have forward Fabian Espindola and defender Jamison Olave available after both were red-carded in a 3-1 loss at San Jose on April 21.

Real Salt Lake is on a season-best 3-0-2 run since ending a two-game losing streak in last month's match with Dallas.

RSL's last six-game point streak was a 3-0-4 stretch June 11-July 23.

These teams conclude the season series Aug. 18 in Utah.

Match photos: Real Salt Lake at FC Dallas

April, 26, 2012
Photos from the game between Real Salt Lake and FC Dallas.

Here's a direct link to the photos is you'er having trouble seeing them here.

FC Dallas head coach Schellas Hyndman

General thoughts on the match…

I thought we really came out very slow. I thought that first 10, maybe 15 minutes, they had numerous opportunities in our attacking third to create shots and put the ball in the back of the net and we were able to survive. I thought after that we started picking it up, putting a lot of pressure on them, probably the latter 20 minutes of the first half, a lot of crosses, which is something we were talking about. We felt like with (Jamison) Olave out they would have a little trouble adjusting and we came close, but weren’t able to get the goal. We got a PK called. I didn’t see it, but the way the ball went off, I thought there might have been a hand ball.

The foul count was 12 to 5 in the first half and that was a real concern. It was very disruptive and a real concern. I think when Carlos (Rodriguez) went down with a dislocation of the elbow, it must have taken a lot out of the players. You don’t know what that does when a teammate is injured and everybody is looking at it, so I don’t think we had a very good second half, but we had an effort.

On the performance of Chris Seitz…

Chris is a solid keeper. As you know, a couple of years ago, he started for Philadelphia and I think it might have been the wrong place for him, an expansion team, giving up a lot of goals. I think, mentally, he was shot. We were able to pick him up and I think he finally has confidence. Last week when he went in, he wasn’t prepared. Kevin got hurt in the warm-ups, so (Seitz) really wasn’t nervous or scared, he just went in. So I was very interested to see how he would respond in this game, being able to sleep on it and prepare himself mentally and I think that he had a good game.

FC Dallas goalkeeper Chris Seitz

General thoughts on the match…

I think we came out with really good intensity. Towards the end of the first half we were really putting them under pressure. We created a lot of good chances. Defensively, we did well. We limited their chances and they’re a good team. They have been really successful on the road. The draw is a little disappointing for us, but as they say, on to the next one.

Did the early save you were forced to make give you confidence?

Yeah, anytime you get to touch the ball early in a game, you feel more comfortable. All ‘keepers want to get a feel for the ball early. Defensively, we held them to a decent amount of shots. We did pretty well.

Talk about your save on Saborio in the second half.
It was one of those where, you kind of hope he takes a big touch, but he didn’t take one big enough that I could come out and make a play. Brek made one heck of a run back to make his next move predictable for me and that gave me time to come out and close him down. But honestly it all started with Brek making that trek back following a free kick deep in our attacking third of the field.

FC Dallas midfielder Brek Shea

You were attacking for a lot of the first half, what were you able to take advantage of in RSL’s defense?

They crowd the middle so much and play so much in the center that we were able to take advantage out on the flanks and get some good centering passes and crosses off.

Talk about your penalty kick goal

It’s good to get a goal. Doesn’t matter how you get it. I am glad that I was able to covert it and help the team.

Were you glad to get a point out of this match considering all the injuries?

We have some new players, injuries, suspensions… It was good to get a point. I thought we should have won, but it’s good to at least get a point.

FC Dallas forward Jonathan Top

How did it feel to make your debut?

It felt good to get those first minutes in against Salt Lake. We weren’t able to get the win, but everyone worked hard and now we have to focus on our match Saturday against L.A.

What does it mean to you to get playing time?

It means a lot. It means a lot for any of the younger guys to get playing time. Whenever one of us gets time, we are all happy for one another. We’ve worked hard for it and we are always pushing each other. We just need to be ready whenever that time comes.

What did Schellas say to you before you went in?

He said just to play with confidence and work hard – make it difficult for them to play out of the back. That’s what I tried to do.

Was the speed of the game faster than what you were used to?

It was a little faster, but we see that in training every day. I did need to adapt quickly to it but overall I felt fine out there.

Real Salt Lake head coach Jason Kreis

Does having not won in Dallas get into guys’ heads?

I don’t know. That’s a better question for the players. I’m pleased with a point, but I wanted all three. That’s kind of where I am at. We’re pleased with a result. We’re pleased we didn’t lose our third game in a row. With a little bit more and a little bit better, we come out of here with all three.

On the penalty kick call…

I am again disappointed in another referee’s decision. I have not watched the replay yet. For me, there is just no way that can be called a penalty kick. Whether it hits the player’s arm or not, it just seems indifferent. The Dallas player has not even touched the ball so it’s not like they were making an attempt on our goal. Someone who reads the game or is involved with the game more, knows that is never a penalty kick.

What did you do at halftime?

Just a couple of small tactical adjustments. I asked the guys for a little bit more, for a little bit better. This is the second game in a row where we were in a tough spot. We gave up a goal right before halftime and that can be very mentally draining. We stuck together and played a much better second half. I am very pleased with both of our second half responses in our last two games so we’ll see if we can’t stretch that 45 minutes into 90.

Real Salt Lake defender Tony Beltran

On the penalty kick call

I’m going to have to see it again to really comment on it, but just from what I thought happened during the play, I cleared it off of somebody and it came back and barely grazed my elbow. I was pretty disappointed with the call at the time. There is really no chance for me to get out of the way of that ball. I have to check it out again and then I will be more able to comment on it.

Real Salt Lake forward Emiliano Bonfigli (through a translator)

On making a difference in the game right away…

You work hard to get as many minutes as you can and luckily today I was able to get a lot of minutes. I’m proud to be able to come in and score a goal to help the team out and get a point.

Real Salt Lake midfielder Will Johnson

On the goal by Emiliano Bonfigli…

I just turned, saw him making a run and just tried to put it in (Bonfigli’s) path. I think he did the hard part. I’m just happy that we got the goal back and we were able to get a good road point.

Everyone’s really happy for him. He’s been working really hard in training and in the reserve games. Obviously with the Espindola suspension tonight, it was probably more than likely that he was going to get an opportunity to come in. This game is all about taking your opportunity and he’s certainly done that tonight. It’s put him in a good spot for more extended playing time in the future.

On Real Salt Lake being winless in Dallas…

Every game’s different and for whatever reason we haven’t been able to get a win down here, but we’ve played well at times and we’ve had opportunities at times, but it just hasn’t quite happened for us yet. But, we’ll take a road point in Dallas any day. On the road, we just try to get to a point where we give ourselves an opportunity to win. We gave ourselves that opportunity tonight and we’re unlucky not to come out of here with the three points.
US Soccer dropped Bob Bradley today as it's coach of the national team. I for one think it's time for a change and Jason Kreis should be the guy.

I've know Kreis a long time because of covering FCD. He's been planning to be a coach for years. He started studying and planning way back in his 20s to be a pro coach. He learned a lot about what it takes to be a pro and what it takes to win from Leonel Alvarez and Oscar Pareja.

So here's five reasons for the US to tap Kreis...

1. He wins. The guy is already a proven winner. He turned RSL, with some help I'm sure, into a winner fairly quickly. He was the youngest coach to ever win MLS Cup and he took the first ever MLS team to the CONCACAF Champions League final. Winning is the bottom line is it not? It's the reason our team competes, it's what we are after.

2. RSL plays a modern, flexible system. They have a deep squad with some interchangeable parts. Given the limitation of MLS Kreis still has a good set of depth and pieces he can move. RSL has show the ability to adapt, staying toward the top of the standings despite losing their best player.

3. Kreis has proven he can win in a non-league cup type competition. Winning on the road in foreign/hostile countries isn't easy to do. Sometimes it takes a tough tie-on-the-road and survive mentality. This is exactly like playing in World Cup Qualifying. Group play followed by knockout play is just like a World Cup. He already knows what it takes in these environments and he did it while playing a regular season schedule.

4. Kreis has shown a willingness and ability to look and find talent outside of the normal channels. Small schools, community colleges, non-US youth national teams, and some lesser know foreign locations. Point being that be may be willing to explore some of the untapped sections of our country to look for some top tier talent. Perhaps he may look outside the same old same old youth nats and maybe find some diamonds.

5. Lastly I'd like to see Kreis get the nod because he's not part of the Bruce Arena clan. No offense to Arena or his fellow coaches all of who appear to be excellent coaches, but it's been darn near 15 years with the same people running the US National team in essence. It's time for some fresh blood and some fresh ideas. Its time for someone not raised on Bruce Arena's method to run things. Sometimes change for change sake is good, and Kreis is a good change that would serve the US well.

So that's why I hope Jason Kreis gets the nod.
FC Dallas head coach Schellas Hyndman

One of the things we talked about was the difficult month of July and the quick turnaround game after a disappointing result losing in Salt Lake the other day. Coming back here many times you want to play the next game as quickly as you can, get that one behind you. I thought our guys stepped up tonight. We showed them a little video of some of the areas that we were concerned about against Real Salt Lake, told them that they probably would come out with their best team, and we had to be ready to shut them down. Our midfield played extremely well today, which we were missing the other day. We put some pressure on the ball. Jair, what a great free kick… the interesting thing is the other day in practice he hit two of those in a row and didn’t get a chance to hit any in Salt Lake, but it was a great shot. Of course, Jackson, again, I asked him is there a position you cannot play? And he said, “I’d rather not play goalkeeper.” But, [it was] a good performance on our part. We did a good job rotating players. Our players came out with a lot of character and we did things to Salt Lake that they didn’t like for us to do.

FC Dallas defender Jair Benitez
On his free kick goal…
Before we went to Salt Lake, I took two free kicks from the same position on the field during Friday’s training session and made both of them. So going into tonight’s match I felt very good, very confident about taking them. If you count tonight’s goal, I am three for three. It was a nice goal. I am very happy about it. I am glad I got the opportunity to take it.

On the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup…
It is a very important tournament. That is why we played with a lot of first team players tonight. Real Salt Lake also played with a lot of their top guys. Everyone is doing their best to win it.

FC Dallas midfielder Bobby Warshaw
On the win over Real Salt Lake…
Tonight was about competing. It is always about competing. But with some of our more important guys out – I don’t even know what to say about it. We fought hard and we had two really good players score two really good goals.

On the strong play of the midfield…
Bruno [Guarda], [Ricardo] Villar and [Eric] Avila in the middle were awesome. Those guys are so good on the ball. They work hard. It’s just easy to play with them. And in behind them, I can clog lanes and I can tackle – but the bottom line is they have the majority of the work. They have the majority of the running. It’s all on them. I’m not going to do well unless they do well and they had a great night tonight.

Real Salt Lake head coach Jason Kreis

Coming in three days after you last faced FC Dallas, what was different?

I think the energy level tonight. We have seen it lots of time here in Dallas, where we can’t get our energy level right. It presents its difficulties with the weather for us and it certainly did tonight. If we don’t have the right energy and right mentality for games, we often don’t get results and when we do have the right mentality and energy we do get results.

Real Salt Lake midfielder Kyle Beckerman

Tough game, it was hot and they played great. They scored two great goals.

Was the heat a factor?

I think so. When they scored the goal, it seemed as though they gained momentum and just ran with it after that.

Mental mistakes cost FC Dallas against Real Salt Lake

July, 10, 2011
FC Dallas traveled to Real Salt Lake on Saturday in the first of a regular season - US Open Cup, home and home series; but came away empty handed as mental errors cost them the game. In a hard fought and physical match between two of MLS best sides little things made a big difference.

"This was a huge, huge match for us," said RSL coach Jason Kreis. "Probably the biggest one we’ve had this season against what I think is arguably the team that is in the best form right now. A positive result, doesn’t matter to me the score, to get all three points at home against them was big for us. It wraps up the series where we drew with them away and win at home."

First Kevin Hartman's un-characteristic gaff on a usually simple long range shot let the ball bounce off his hands and into the net. "It just seemed like the ball moved late," Hartman said. "They obviously had guys in the box kind of anticipating me losing it and I just thought about that too much and it maybe knuckled and got behind me. It was unfortunate. I think the most important thing for me is it really kind of changed the game."

The two sides were evenly match most of the game, aside from Hartman's gaff. But one distinct missing piece really hurt FC Dallas: the absence of captain Daniel Hernandez in midfield. Hernandez was left out of the travel squad as an injury precaution, and FCD clearly suffered in the midfield for his absence.

"We’re going without our captain and team leader, Daniel Hernandez," coach Hyndman said. "We left him behind at the last minute and I think that there was a little bit of confusion in our midfield between the three of them. But I thought they did do a pretty good job of just trying to stay compact and block the passing lanes and try to make the play predictable going out wide."

Bobby Warshaw started in the captain's place and was adequate most of the game, but FCD lacked their cohesiveness in midfield and the possession suffered. A particularly egregious pass by Warshaw as time was running out allowed RSL to get a 2nd goal at the death of the game. Fabian Espindola with the goal after Warshaw's brutal error.

Without Hernandez's calming influence and with no one of the caliber of David Ferreira to break down RSL with a game changing pass, the Reds Stripes never really threatened to light up the score board. RSL was first sides in the last month to have enough pace in the back to counter the penetrating FCD mids. Jamison Olave in particular had the closing speed to make up for his beaten teammates on multiple occasions.

The two teams will now travel to Dallas and meat again in the US Open Cup Quarterfinals on Tuesday night.

Attendance: 17,734

Scoring Summary:
RSL – Andy Williams (Kyle Beckerman) 47
RSL – Fabian Espindola (Will Johnson) 94+

Misconduct Summary:
RSL – Kyle Beckerman (caution; Persistent Infringement) 29
DAL – Jackson (caution; Reckless Tackle) 37
RSL – Jamison Olave (caution; Tactical Foul) 67
DAL – Brek Shea (caution; Tactical Foul) 71
DAL – Bobby Warshaw (caution; Tactical Foul) 90
RSL – Nick Rimando (caution; Delaying a Restart) 93+

FC Dallas – Kevin Hartman, Zach Loyd, Ugo Ihemelu, George John, Jair Benitez, Brek Shea, Bobby Warshaw, Andrew Jacobson (Ricardo Villar 30), Eric Alexander (Eric Avila 60), Jackson, Marvin Chavez (Milton Rodriguez 75).
Substitutes Not Used: Chris Seitz, Bruno Guarda, Ruben Luna, Andrew Wiedeman.

TOTAL SHOTS: 8 (Jackson 4); SHOTS ON GOAL: 3 (Jackson 2); FOULS: 14 (Bobby Warshaw 3); OFFSIDES: 4 (Marvin Chavez 2); CORNER KICKS: 3 (Ricardo Villar 2); SAVES: (Kevin Hartman 5)
Real Salt Lake – Nick Rimando, Chris Wingert, Chris Schuler, Jamison Olave, Tony Beltran, Will Johnson, Kyle Beckerman, Ned Grabavoy (Fabian Espindola 66), Andy Williams (Collen Warner 81), Luis Gil, Alvaro Saborio (Jean Alexandre 88).

Substitutes Not Used: Kyle Reynish, Arturo Alvarez, Nelson Gonzalez, Rauwshan McKenzie.

TOTAL SHOTS: 12 (Fabian Espindola 3); SHOTS ON GOAL: 7 (Fabian Espindola 2); FOULS: 14 (Kyle Beckerman, Alvaro Saborio 3); OFFSIDES: 3 (Alvaro Saborio 2); CORNER KICKS: 4 (Kyle Beckerman 3); SAVES: 2 (Nick Rimando 2)

Referee: Ricardo Salazar
Referee’s Assistants: Craig Lowry, Claudio Badea
4th Official: Armando Villarreal
Time of match: 1:51
Weather: Partly Cloudy and 88 degrees

Stream of Consciousness: FC Dallas at Real Salt Lake

July, 10, 2011
The encyclopedia says Stream of Consciousness is “a narrative mode that seeks to portray an individual's point of view by giving the written equivalent of the character's thought processes”. In other words, DJ watches games, and writes down whatever comes to mind. Sometimes prescient, sometimes odd, almost always entertaining.

It doesn't seem like a natural act to root against Jason Kreis. I can only make myself do it in 90 minute increments (plus stoppage time). And only against Dallas.

Despite the inherent disadvantages involved in playing away from home, I'm guessing every guy in hoops is secretly happy to be NOT playing in Dallas, where I believe the high today was 190 degrees. Give or take a few degrees. I've been to day games in Dallas in July. It's not so much a soccer match as it is a quest for survival.

Jair Benitez is jawing at Alvaro Saborio for taking a dive. Not that he'll be listened to. Diving is like alcoholism – those who do it can't help themselves without the intervention of a higher power.

Whoa, 20 bucks for a ticket to the US Open Cup quarterfinals this Tuesday at Pizza Hut Park, AND a free scarf? Color me there, people. Plus, it's against this very same RSL side, which means an opportunity to hurl insults at Kyle Beckerman, which is always fun. Though I freely admit he is one of my favorite non-Dallas players; I'd love to have him on our side.

And I hope he never, ever cuts that hair.

I'm a big fan of the Cup; I wish it was as big a deal as it deserves to be. In time, I think it will be. For now, it's enough for me that there is a small but dedicated group of MLS fans for whom it is a tremendously big deal. I really think this could be the year FC Dallas wins it again.

Okay, technically, it was the Burn that won it in 1997, but, you know, samey samey.

What is Sensei going to do when he has to start making hard decisions about all the schedule congestion coming up with MLS, Open Cup, and Champions League matches? In my world, MLS and Open Cup take equal priority, with CL matches getting whatever weakened rosters are forced upon him by the realities of the limits of human physiology.

I just returned from a long vacation, visiting family back east. I am the only one in my family that doesn't have a complete and utter indifference to soccer. When I talk about soccer, I get those polite nods that I imagine I would give if someone was talking to me about how awesome and exciting it is to take part in Civil War reenactments. It's sweet though, because my family is so supportive of me, like they would be if I had some sort of horrible wasting disease or mental illness. Even my Dad will offer to let me watch soccer while I'm visiting. This is as unnatural to him as, say, voting Democratic, or rooting for the Red Sox. That my friends, is love.

Not good. Andrew Jacobson comes out injured in the 30th minute. Not cool, soccer gods, not cool.

Jackson takes a crack at goal from about 30 yards out. He really thumped it, and Nicky Rimando could only tip it over the bar. I'm no soccer tactician, but I strongly believe it's important to take those kinds of shots whenever possible. It keeps the defense honest, opens up passing lanes in the box, and provides a humongous momentum bump when they go in.

Perhaps most importantly, a goal from distance is one of the most aesthetically pleasing parts of the game. And over the long run it's that aesthetic element that keeps me coming back. Waiting for little moments of beauty and brilliance, knowing they don't come often, or cheaply, but also knowing it will have been totally worth it to have waited. It's not by accident that soccer is the only sport known as “The Beautiful Game”.

No score at the half. Fun game though.

Early in the second half, and we have seen something we will probably never see again: Kevin Hartman giving up a soft goal. You'll be able to tell your grandchildren you saw this, and they won't believe you. That's how good Kevin Hartman is. They'll call you a liar to your face and need years of counseling over the trust issues they'll have as a result.

Kevin looked down at his hands as if to say “You betrayed me, how could you?”. I've played a lot of goalkeeper over the years (poorly, mostly) and I've given my hands that look many a time. It's kind of odd to see it from a great goalkeeper. It's not unlike watching Tiger Woods hit one into the water. You know it's theoretically possible, you just don't expect to see it.

And as if to make my point, he follows up the goal with an absolute robbery of Luis Gil from a one-on-one situation. Most keepers would have had to decide whether to prevent a shot and give up an easy goal by a wide open player, or prevent the pass and give up the goal. But KH did both by denying the shot with his positioning and denying the pass with his reflexes. That's why he's Kevin Hartman, and we are not. Why Kansas City decided he was redundant to their needs will forever escape me.

Fabian Espindola comes in for the last 25 minutes. That scares me.

Speaking of scary, Brek Shea is down on the deck, in a great amount of pain and holding his knee. Jamison Olave fouled him, not too badly to be fair, and Brek landed poorly and seemed to twist something. Hey, let's all watch while our season hangs in the balance, K?

Now he's back on, but limping. He's young, and tough, and a gamer. Still, lots of hearts were skipping a collective beat across the Dallas metroplex just now.

Thirteen minutes to go. Dallas pressing. Even watching on the laptop one can feel the tension building. Not an easy thing to pull off; good job by both teams. It reminds me of my favorite Dave Dir quote: “Anyone who tells me soccer is boring, I'm going to punch them in the face”. I wonder if he's ever had a chance to follow through on that. If so, I hope there's video.

Jamison Olave, by the way, is a total beast on defense for RSL. He's only 30; I wonder if some foreign club is going to snap him up, or if he's in MLS for the long run. He's big, and has the speed to match a guy like Brek Shea stride for stride. Impressive.

Oy. Jackson has an open goal, but scuffs the finish and allows Chris Wingert to clear off the line. Ugh. That was the chance, right there. Five minutes left.

I have a sick feeling in my gut after that one. Though it could be the entire box of Cheez-It Snack Mix Double Cheese I've eaten while watching the game. Don't laugh, it has two of the five good groups in there. Three if you dip them in ketchup.

Stoppage time. Three minutes. Come on boys. Come on.

Wellllll crap. 2-0. Espindola in the 94th. I knew I didn't want to see that guy in the game.

And that, as they say, is that. See you Tuesday for the US Open Cup quarterfinals.

Back to Angry Birds for me.
FC Dallas head coach Schellas Hyndman

Opening thoughts…
“It was a difficult game for both teams. It seemed that the ball wasn’t really bouncing right for either team. I thought in the second half that we came out and played much better and created some problems. I thought they (Real Salt Lake) were getting tired and then the delay came and gave everyone a chance to rest and recover. We are disappointed with the tie and, as we always say to our players, there are three points there to be taken and we are always trying to get those three points. It’s been a while since we have gotten the strike force working together, but I thought the boys really did everything we did in practice this week. The early services came across on the ground and we missed a lot of those services in the first half in terms of quality.”

How did the rain delay affect you mentally and physically and what were you telling the team in the locker room during the break?
“The rain delay is tough on everyone and what we try to do is talk to them a bit individually, but we also realize that they need to find their own space and do whatever they are comfortable with. We have been through it before so that was a little bit of knowledge for us. I stayed completely away from the officials. Since we have been through it before, I knew there wouldn’t be a lot of things happening in the background knowing the league was going to ask us to finish playing the game once the weather breaks. So I stayed away and spent a good hour and a half cleaning my office (laughs) because I had the time to do it and I wanted to keep busy.”

What positives did you see offensively?
“Rimando made a great save, could be the save of the week that George (John) hit in the top corner. I think we were just a bit disconnected. We worked all week on coordinating our two strikers with our flank players and we worked all week on our early services, but we weren’t able to get on the end of them. Part of that is timing and part of it is that we don’t have the biggest guys up there.”

FC Dallas captain Daniel Hernandez

“I don’t think we can complain too much coming out of here with a point against a great team like Salt Lake. They always are a tough test for us, but I think the important thing is that defensively, we’re doing a great job. (We’ve gotten) a lot of shutouts the past couple of games and we still have a long ways to go. We still need to do a lot of work on our possession and work on our attacking a lot more and hopefully get a little more done. But, at the end of the day, you can’t be too upset with a tie against Salt Lake.”

On the two-hour weather delay…
“They were able to let us know ahead of time before we went out to get a brief warm-up here in the locker room before we went down. We went through this against L.A., so it wasn’t a big shock to us. Obviously, we would have liked to finish eight minutes of the game out before we had that long delay, but we had to do that against L.A. and it was just something we had to do. We were able to get loose and warm before we had to go back out.”

FC Dallas goalkeeper Kevin Hartman

Thoughts on where the team stands now…

“The fact that we got seven out of nine points at home is certainly something we are proud of. Even though we’re on the road Wednesday, we have a great opportunity against Seattle and then we head down to Houston to face our in-state rivals on Saturday.”

Thoughts on the success of the defense recently…

The success has come from hard work and their ability on how to morph into how to be successful. They have been winning more individual battles, which is making my job easier. Everything is more predictable. The shots that come from long distances, I expect to save.”

Real Salt Lake head coach Jason Kreis

Biggest challenge after a delay like that…

“To keep the guys in it, I remember at Chicago, we thought we locked down a good result, we had eight to 10 minutes left and we came out super flat. I was pleased the guys came out and were ready and gave a decent effort for the last 10 minutes.”

Thoughts and comments on what the team did during the delay…

“Yeah, you don’t know when the game is going to start. The guys kept the mood light, having the music on and joking around. It wasn’t like they were sitting there with their head in their hands.”

The play of Nick Rimando and the defense…

“The one he dug out in the left corner was phenomenal. It’s critical, when you’re not playing your best; you need two things, a resilient effort and guys in back to make plays. We’ve been getting a lot of the lately.”

Thoughts on the overall game…

“We didn’t come here and play the way that I wanted to play, it wasn’t pleasing to my eye but I'm thrilled about the result. We have to feel proud of what we did and say this is the first point we have ever picked up in Dallas.”

Real Salt Lake goalkeeper Nick Rimando

Mindset while waiting for the delay to end…

“We knew we had to be focused because the same situation happened with L.A. and they came out and lost. We were having a good time in here just staying as loose as we could.”

View on the game…

“The chances weren’t there and the goals weren’t there, but the commitment was there.”

What the team did in the locker room during the delay…

“Listen to music, juggled the soccer ball and just chatted. We just tried to stay loose. We got a result here, something we have not done here, so we are happy.”

Thoughts on coming and playing in Dallas…

“We have always been jinxed here. To get a result it’s a step, we have good feeling going into next week.”

Real Salt Lake midfielder Kyle Beckerman

Thoughts on the delay…

“It was the first time I had to do that. It is interesting because the body wants to shut down, but I had to stay focused. Our main focus was to come get a result, we wanted to get a win, to get a result was fine as well.”

Why is it tough to play Dallas in Dallas…

“When you are playing against Dallas, the humidity is a factor. It wasn’t that hot but it was humid, we were sweating more than at home, but humidity only gets to us because they are a good team, same with the altitude when we’re at home.”

Outlook on the result…

“This was a good result. We came down here and got another shutout. Hopefully some goals will start to go in for us.”

FCD looks to continue home dominance of RSL

May, 21, 2011
There's more than enough incentive for Real Salt Lake in Sunday night's matchup with FC Dallas.

The teams will meet for the first time since Real Salt Lake's chances at a second straight MLS Cup title ended in last year's playoffs against Dallas, which is seeking to improve to 10-0-0 at home all-time in the series.

Real Salt Lake (5-1-1) fell 3-2 on aggregate to FC Dallas (5-3-2) last season in the conference semifinals after winning its first MLS Cup in 2009. RSL lost 2-0 at Dallas on July 17 in the regular season and 2-1 on Oct. 30 in the first leg of the playoff series.

"We're going down there hopefully with a little chip on our shoulder, and something to prove," coach Jason Kreis told RSL's official website. "We need to improve week by week, right now in our situation."

Dallas has outscored Salt Lake 20-6 in winning all nine matchups at Pizza Hut Park.

"Hopefully there's a little extra motivation for the guys," RSL midfielder Will Johnson said. "I sincerely hope so."

This matchup has lost plenty of luster, with each team missing a major star. Reigning league MVP David Ferreira is sidelined by a broken right ankle for Dallas while RSL is without midfielder Javier Morales, also out long-term with an ankle injury.

"It's a different look, because if you look at Ferreira and his body of work since he's been here, the majority of the good things -- the offensive things for Dallas -- have come through him, and so it is a little bit of a different look," Kreis said. "A little bit of a different tactical shape without him."

Dallas has been more reliant on rookie Fabian Castillo, who has two goals and two assists while starting the last four games since Ferreira went down. The 18-year-old forward's play has caught his team by surprise.

"He is definitely a difference maker for us at this point in time," coach Schellas Hyndman told FC Dallas' official website. "I think what we will see from Fabian is just continued growth in his play."

RSL continues to shine on defense, allowing a league-low two goals this season, but has scored once over its last three contests.

Kreis has shortened training sessions this week because of a grueling schedule that has included four CONCACAF Champions League matches since the start of the season. RSL turned in a scoreless draw with Houston last Saturday at home.

Dallas is 4-0-1 over its last five games after last Saturday's 2-0 home win over Philadelphia. It has outscored opponents 8-1 during a four-game home win streak.

Although Morales is unavailable and RSL is struggling to score, Dallas wants to focus on defense to thwart the visitors' ability to counter-attack.

"Our defense needs to be in the right shape so we can force them wide," defender Moises Hernandez said. "Don't let them get any crosses in, don't let them come inside."

Strong work by FCD North

April, 16, 2011
We don't talk a whole lot about other MLS teams on this blog, this is after all a FC Dallas blog. But I must take a moment to praise the excellent work being done by Jason Kreis at Real Salt Lake.

RSL has had to move their game against Philadelphia Union, origionally on April 23rd, to September 3rd because they will be facing Monterrey in the CONCACAF Champions League Final on April 20 and 27. If they win they will be the first MLS club since 2000 to capture a regional club championship and be the first MLS club to participate in the prestigious, seven-team FIFA Club World Cup, scheduled for December in Japan.

Real Salt Lake travels to face reigning Mexican League champion Monterrey next Wednesday, April 20 (8:00 p.m. MT on FOX Soccer and TeleFutura), in the first leg of the two-game, aggregate goals final, and then return home to Rio Tinto Stadium for the decisive second leg on April 27 (8:00 p.m. MT on FOX Soccer and TeleFutura).

Kreis isn't the only one up their doing good things. Despite the club's instance on following through with one of the dumbest ideas in MLS history to retire Kreis' number on July 4th (as far as I know that's still on, I'd love to hear it's not), someone in the RSL promotions department is doing real nice work. This video they made for the rivalry game against Colorado is, dare I say, epic.

Friday news, notes, and links

March, 25, 2011
It's Friday and Saturday is game day, so here's some news and notes to get your soccer juices flowing.

Schellas Hyndman has a new weekly column... er... Q&A really... sorta.... well, you'll see what I mean.

My buddy Paul Gardner is once again on point.
No malice, says Evans -- and I’m sure he’s right. No malice. Just passion. Getting stuck in, as they say. Whatever, 26 stitches is a hell of a lot of stitches.

I got to know him coving Dallas Cup for years and you can believe that talking to him watching some brilliant youth soccer is just as fun, and insane, as you would imagine.

I missed it earlier this week, but Zach Loyd made the first MLS (official) team of the week. Loyd was fantastic against Chicago and I think should be keeping the left back spot.

Nice Brek Shea interview. He doesn't 100% say it, but I think he wants to stay at left mid.
If I play left mid this season, then I’ll probably play left mid for the rest of my career. If he (coach) switches me to center back, then I will probably be playing center back.
Bobby Rhine has his latest podcast up.

Jason Kreis, who has proven to be a better coach than I imagined, and I expected him to be good, just signed a contract extension.

Former FCD playmker Ramon Nunez has a new loan destination at Scunthorpe. I will always follow Nunez's career as he was, IMO, the first home grown FCD player having started training with Dallas at 15.

Soccer America on the German/American pipeline that has been helping US Soccer progress over the last 20 years.

Jason Kreis on 2011 Hall of Fame ballot

February, 18, 2011
The Hall of Fame ballots have been sent out for 2011 and FC Dallas legend Jason Krees is on the list. Kreis is among six new player on the ballot of twenty-five names.

“To be eligible for selection to the National Soccer Hall of Fame is truly an honor, especially considering the talented individuals I share the ballot with,” Kreis told ABC4 in Salt Lake City. “Having played alongside or against so many players on the list I can personally attest to the strength of this year’s candidates. Whoever earns the great distinction of being named to the ‘Class of 2011’ will certainly have earned it.”

I for one firmly believe Kreis belongs on the Hall. First American-born MLS MVP, first 15 and 15 season in MLS history, and he retired with 74 assists and 108 goals (the most in MLS history at the time). Kreis was drafted forty-third overall by the Dallas Burn in the fifth round of the MLS Inaugural Draft. Kreis scored the first goal in FCD-Burn history and the first goal in Real Salt Lake history.

Kreis was capped 14 times by the US and is the youngest coach in MLS history to win the MLS Cup.

2011 National Soccer Hall of Fame Player Ballot

Chris Armas *
Mike Burns
Mauricio Cienfuegos
Raul Diaz Arce
Marco Etcheverry
Robin Fraser
Chris Henderson
Cobi Jones *
Jason Kreis *
Roy Lassiter
Carlos Llamosa *
Shannon MacMillan
Joe-Max Moore
Victor Nogueira
Peter Nowak
John O’Brien
Cindy Parlow
Eddie Pope *
Tiffany Roberts
Danielle Slaton *
Earnie Stewart
Steve Trittschuh ^
Carlos Valderrama
Tisha Venturini-Hoch
Peter Vermes
* First year of eligibility ^ Final year of eligibility; moves to Veteran ballot in 2012

FC Dallas to face Real Salt Lake in MLS playoffs

October, 25, 2010
The MLS playoff brackets are set, and in the opening round FC Dallas will face perhaps the toughest and hottest in team in the league: defending MLS Cup Champion Real Salt Lake. FCD will open the playoffs at home this Saturday, Oct 30th, at at 4 p.m. Central Time at Pizza Hut Park. The game will be broadcast live nationally on Fox Soccer Channel.

The return match with be November 6th at Real Salt Lake.

With former Dallas Burn star Jason Kreis at the helm for RSL, there are plenty of connections between these two club. FC Dallas split its regular season series with Real Salt Lake, winning 2-0 at Pizza Hut Park on July 17. Dallas fell 2-0 against Real in Rio Tinto Stadium in Sandy, Utah on Oct. 16.

FC Dallas has also invited all fans to stay and watch the Texas Rangers in game three of the World Series in the Stadium Club at Pizza Hut Park which start at 6 PM CT following the FC Dallas match.

FC Dallas will host a pre-playoff rally at Mockingbird Station Tuesday evening from 7 to 9 p.m.

2010 MLS Cup Playoffs Schedule

Western Conference Semifinal Series
#1 LA Galaxy v. #4 Seattle Sounders FC
#2 Real Salt Lake v. #3 FC Dallas (Sat., Oct. 30 & Sat., Nov. 6)

Eastern Conference Semifinal Series
#1 New York Red Bulls v. #4 San Jose Earthquakes
#2 Columbus Crew v. #3 Colorado Rapids

Conference Championships
Thursday, November 11 OR Sunday, November 14 (ESPN2)
Saturday, November 13 (Fox Soccer Channel)

MLS Cup 2010
Sunday, Nov. 21 – 6:30 p.m. MT – BMO Field – Toronto, Ontario, Canada

About the Western Conference Semifinal
The Western Conference Semifinal Series is contested as an aggregate goals series in which no weight is placed on away goals. Should FC Dallas and Real Salt Lake be tied in overall goals across the two games at the end of regulation of the second leg in Sandy, the squads will square off in a 30-minute mini-game (played in its entirety) to determine a winner. Should that end even, the teams will then decide advancement to the Western Conference Championship by kicks from the penalty spot.

A season of FC Dallas records, with more to come

October, 5, 2010
2010 has been a terrific season by almost any measure for FC Dallas. One of the most fascinating aspects has been all the records that are falling. So here's a quick list, and I hope I didn't miss any, of all the records FCD has broken or has a shot at this year.

Longest MLS unbeaten road streak: FCD knocked this one off a little while ago in Columbus. Their current road unbeaten streak is 12 and counting. Dallas has a chance to extend the record when they travel to Salt Lake City on Oct. 16.

Longest MLS unbeaten streak in a single season: FCD is currently tied with the 2004 Columbus Crew at 18 games.

Longest unbeaten streak in MLS history: 19 games by Columbus over 2004-2005. As motioned, Dallas is at 18 games and ties the mark with one more game unbeaten.

Ties in a season: FCD is currently tied with four other teams with 13 ties. Chivas USA (2006), Columbus Crew (2004), DC United (2009), and Houston Dynamo (2006).

Club record for ties in a season: FCD has already broken this one with 13. Old record was 12 set in 2008 under Steve Morrow, Marco Ferruzzi, and Schellas Hyndman.

Fewest losses in MLS season: FCD currently has 2 losses, the previous best in any given season was 4 losses set by San Jose back in 2005.

Club fewest losses in a season: Previous record was 7 losses in 1999 under Dave Dir. With 3 games left, 2010 FCD will break this one even if they lose out.

(Before you ask, club record for wins is tied at 16 wins, 1999 under Dir and 2006 under Colin Clarke. [For which Clarke was fired. Shocking, I know.] FCD at 12 wins can't break this mark even if they win out. )

Club record points in a season: the record 52, held by the 2006 FCD, squad is in reach. Dallas sits on 49 points, just 3 from tying the record, with three games to play.

Club record fastest to 40 points (the magic playoff number): already broken... 2010 FCD reached 40 points in 22 games. Previous record held by the 2006 club which reached 40 points in their 24th match.

Club record goals against: 35 goals against in 1999. Currently sitting at 22 goals agaisnt FCD should smash this one.

(goals for record is 54 in 99 and 00; FCD is at 39 this year, not even close.)

Club record points per game: Not really an official stat, but one I keep because of the changes in the length of the MLS seasons. The previous best mark is 1.78 in 1999. FCD is sitting 1.81 so this is a record that could fall.

Club goal differential: Current record is +19 in 1999. FCD is at +17. So it's possible.

All-time MLS career goals: Jeff Cunningham is currently tied with Jamie Moreno at 132. Incidentally, Cunningham dominates goals from run of play 113 to 89 as Moreno has 43 PKs to Cunningham's 19.

Single season FC Dallas assist record: David Ferreira at 13 assists is two assists from tying Jason Kreis' club record 15 assists in 1999. The year, by the way, Kreis was MVP with 18 goals and 15 assists (the first 15-15 season in MLS history).

Individual single season MLS goals against: Pat Onstad currently holds the mark at 0.82 GAA in 2007. Kevin Hartman is sitting at 0.62, which leads MLS this season. Real Salt Lake’s Nick Rimando (0.65) is second and LA goalkeeper Donovan Ricketts is third (0.84).

Career saves: Not really a record Kevin Hartman is going to break cause he already holds the mark at 1291, it just keeps counting. Joe Cannon is second at 1161.

So what did I miss?