Dallas Soccer: Kevin Hartman

FCD's defense looks to string two wins

July, 18, 2012
7/18/12
11:28
AM CT
The San Jose Earthquakes avoided matching their longest winless streak of the season with their most lopsided victory of 2012 last week. Now, they'll look to solidify their MLS lead when they take on an FC Dallas club that's played strong defense during a four-game unbeaten run.

The Earthquakes face Dallas for the second time in three games as they try to continue their home dominance in the series Wednesday night.

San Jose (12-4-4) played Dallas to a scoreless draw July 7, failing to break through as Dallas twice cleared the ball off its goal line and Kevin Hartman made spectacular saves on Shea Salinas and Chris Wondolowski in the final 10 minutes.

That left the Earthquakes on the verge of tying their season high of three straight games without a victory, but they convincingly averted that Saturday. Wondolowski recorded a hat trick to give him a league-best 17 goals as San Jose defeated Real Salt Lake 5-0.

Wondolowski, held to three goals in his previous seven games, earned MLS player of the week honors.

The victory moved the Earthquakes four points up on Salt Lake in the Western Conference. San Jose can further expand its lead Wednesday in advance of Salt Lake's next contest this weekend, but the league's highest-scoring team will take on a Dallas club that has been tough to crack defensively of late.

Dallas (4-7-9) has given up two goals in going 1-0-3 in its last four and earned its first victory in 14 games Saturday, 2-1 over Colorado. Fabian Castillo's goal in the 81st minute put Dallas in the win column for the first time since April 14.

"Once we start collecting more wins then we can start thinking about celebrating," said Castillo, who also assisted on Carlos Rodriguez's tying goal in the 60th.

Hartman has only faced 12 shots over the last four games after opponents put 36 on goal in the previous six. Dallas went 0-5-1 in that stretch as Hartman allowed 12 goals.

"We're a group that really works hard and it has been disappointing to put together a winless streak as long as it was," Hartman said after the victory. "There hasn't been a lot of rewarding ourselves lately, so to have gotten a win in a very difficult environment tonight, it means a lot to us."

San Jose has proved to be a challenging environment for Dallas to earn victories, going 1-2-4 in its last seven there. The Earthquakes won 4-2 on Oct. 22 in the last matchup at Buck Shaw Stadium, with Simon Dawkins scoring twice for San Jose.

Dallas has been shut out in four of those last seven road meetings and is 1-1-7 away from home this season.

Wondolowski had recorded three goals in the previous two matchups with Dallas before he was denied by Hartman on July 7. One of the shots Dallas cleared off the goal line also came from Wondolowski.

FC Dallas looking to add scoring punch

July, 14, 2012
7/14/12
11:29
AM CT
The Colorado Rapids are hoping newcomer Tyson Wahl can help shore up their defense.

A trade for Julian de Guzman could help FC Dallas increase its scoring opportunities.

Colorado tries to avoid back-to-back home losses for the first time in four years Saturday night while Dallas looks to end its franchise-record 13-match winless stretch.

After Drew Moor's botched play led to the only goal in a 1-0 home loss to Vancouver on July 4, the Rapids (7-10-1) gave up two scores off corner kicks in last Saturday's 2-1 loss at Seattle.

"You've got to be big, you've got to be strong, but unfortunately that's what's killed us now," Moor told the league's official website.

Perhaps the 6-foot-2 Wahl can help with that after being acquired from Montreal on Friday for a 2014 international roster spot.

"Tyson is a natural left-footed defender with good skill and size," Rapids technical director Paul Bravo told the club's official website. "We're excited to be able to add such an experienced player without compromising our roster flexibility as we move into the second half of the season."

The Rapids, who last dropped two straight at home July 27 and Aug. 9, 2008, open a stretch of three matches in eight days with their second game against Dallas this season.

Jaime Castrillon and Martin Rivero scored in the second half to help Colorado snap a four-game road losing streak and defeat Dallas 2-0 on May 6. That was also FC Dallas' first home loss of 2012 after opening 3-0-2.

Dallas (3-9-7) makes its lone trip to Commerce City this season -- it lost 1-0 there Oct. 1 for its first 0-4 skid in MLS play since 2004 -- without a win since April 14 against the Impact.

However, coach Schellas Hyndman's club is coming off three consecutive draws, the latest scoreless with Western Conference-leading San Jose last Saturday.

Dallas goalkeeper Kevin Hartman has surrendered just one goal during that stretch.

"Maybe our luck is changing a little bit defensively, so now if we could get a few goals, it would allow us to enjoy the fruits of our labor," Hartman said.

The team hopes de Guzman can deliver some offensive punch after he was acquired from Toronto on Friday for midfielder Andrew Wiedeman.

"He also has a bit of toughness to him that will help us win 50-50 balls and control the central midfield," Hyndman told Dallas' official website of de Guzman.

Midfielder David Ferreira, the 2010 MLS MVP, is coming off his first start in 14 months due to a leg fracture, and midfielder Ricardo Villar returned last Saturday after missing 13 games due to a right foot injury. But Dallas leading scorer Blas Perez (five goals) could miss a fifth consecutive league match with a right foot sprain.

It's uncertain if Rapids first-year coach Oscar Pareja -- a former FC Dallas player, assistant coach and director of player development -- will start Omar Cummings, who is working his way back from a sprained ankle that sidelined him for more than a month.

Cummings scored his fourth of the season last Saturday as a second-half substitute.

FC Dallas, 0-3-2 in its last five games at Colorado, is trying to avoid its first five-game road losing streak since Aug. 21-Oct. 9, 2004.

FC Dallas' win drought reaches 13 with draw

July, 7, 2012
7/07/12
11:09
PM CT
FRISCO, Texas -- Defenders Hernan Pertuz and Carlos Rodriguez each cleared shots off the goal line and Kevin Hartman made two spectacular saves in the final 10 minutes to preserve a 0-0 tie for FC Dallas against the San Jose Earthquakes on Saturday.

The tie was the third in a row for FC Dallas (3-9-7), the Western Conference's worst team, and extended their franchise-record winless streak to 13 games (0-7-6).

The result allowed San Jose (11-4-4) to maintain its spot atop the MLS overall standings and preserved the league's best road record at 6-3-2.

After captain Ramiro Corrales was ejected in the 80th minute for his second yellow card within three minutes, San Jose was forced to finish the match with 10 men for the first time this season.

Still, the Earthquakes had two prime opportunities down the stretch but were unable to solve Hartman, who made outstanding saves on Shea Salinas and Chris Wondolowski in the final minutes for his MLS-record 109th career shutout.

Dallas pushed forward until the final whistle, but its last-gasp attempt in the 93rd minute, a 30-yard blast from Rodriguez, was expertly punched out by Earthquake goalkeeper Jon Busch.

Busch made three saves for his fourth shutout of the season.

Each side had chances to snap the scoreless tie in the first half.

Dallas nearly took the 1-0 lead in the 31st minute when Busch slid out to stop a shot from Brek Shea, but was unable to corral the ball.

The loose rebound bounced out to Fabian Castillo about 15 yards out, and his shot deflected off Busch and then was blocked by defender Justin Morrow.

Six minutes later, San Jose came close when Wondolowski sprinted past Pertuz into the penalty area alone. As Hartman came out at him, Wondolowski, the MLS' leading scorer with 14 goals, chipped it over him for what appeared to be a goal, but Pertuz hustled back and managed to clear the ball just before it reached the goal line.

San Jose nearly got the game's first goal in the 58th minute when a corner kick found Corrales on the far side of the box for a volley shot that bounced past Hartman, but this time, Rodriguez was there to clear it off the goal line.

Dallas' best chance in the second half came in the 76th minute when Jackson drilled a 20-yard blast just over the crossbar.

The match marked the return to the starting lineup of Dallas star David Ferreira, the 2010 MLS MVP who led the squad to the MLS Cup Final that year. Ferreira, making his second appearance and first start after missing 45 games due to ankle and foot fractures sustained April 23, 2011, played all 90 minutes.

In addition to Ferreira, FC Dallas also got the return of midfielder Ricardo Villar, who missed the previous 13 games due to a right foot injury. Villar entered the match as a second-half substitute and registered a shot in the 73rd minute.

FC Dallas hangs on for tie vs. Toronto FC

July, 4, 2012
7/04/12
11:30
PM CT
FRISCO, Texas -- Kevin Hartman made a lunging hand save in the 84th minute to preserve FC Dallas' 1-1 draw with Toronto FC on Wednesday night.

Zach Loyd scored in the fifth minute for FC Dallas (3-9-6). The 38-year-old Hartman, playing in his MLS-record 400th career game, helped the club avoid a loss but it still extended a franchise-record winless streak to 12 matches (0-8-4).

"It's obviously a pretty big accomplishment for me," Hartman said of the milestone.

"When I was a kid, all I wanted to do was play soccer a lot, play professionally, so to play 400 league games means a lot to me. I thought we did everything we needed to get the three points. It was disappointing."

"I thought we gave everything we possibly had to in the game," said Dallas coach Schellas Hyndman. "It's not what we wanted but it wasn't through a lack of effort on their part."

Danny Koevermans tied it for Toronto (2-10-4) in the 31st minute with his ninth of the season.

"I can't speak highly enough of my boys, taking the game to Dallas in the second half," said Toronto coach Paul Mariner, whose squad is unbeaten (1-0-4) in their past five. "I thought maybe we didn't get off to the greatest start but we fought back well."

"It was perfect. They had us 1-0 and we had to fight back and we did it," said Koevermans, who has scored in five straight games. "We got some chances, so I think a draw is a good result for us."

David Ferreira, who won the 2010 MLS MVP award and led Dallas to that year's MLS Cup final, returned after a 14-month absence following a broken ankle in April 2011 that required multiple surgeries. The 32-year-old Ferreira entered the match as a substitute in the 57th minute.

"I think having David back, you could tell the way that he kind of orchestrates our entire attack," Hartman said. "Tonight, he showed that. I think seeing things like that really excite us, having a guy like that back."

"When I saw David on the bench, I knew what was coming," Mariner added. "Really, really pleased to see David back. He's a very special player in this league. No one wants to see great players away from their team."

Dallas nearly regained the lead in the 33rd minute, but Toronto goalkeeper Milos Kocic got a hand on Fabian Castillo's 15-yard blast, deflecting it just enough for it to slam off the crossbar.

Toronto's best chance for a late game-winner came in the 84th minute when Torsten Frings' corner kick sailed into the penalty area for a header by Koevermans that forced Hartman to make the best of his three saves on the night.

"So close, great save from Hartman," Koevermans said. "I thought it was going in the moment I hit it, I thought, 'This is the winner,' but it was a fantastic save."

"Fortunately I was able to get a good read on it and get a good push and turn it away," Hartman said. "It felt good to get a big save and keep us with a point and keep us going in the right direction."

David Ferreira could return to FC Dallas on 4th

July, 3, 2012
7/03/12
4:53
PM CT
In last place in the Western Conference and mired in a franchise-worst 11-match winless streak, FC Dallas is in need of some help.

Assistance may be on its way with the possible return of midfielder David Ferreira before Dallas faces a team it has dominated.

Ferreira, who has been sidelined for more than a year with a broken ankle, could return to the pitch as Dallas hosts last-place Toronto FC on Wednesday night.

FC Dallas (3-9-5) has tumbled down the standings after a 3-2-1 start. The club set a franchise record for consecutive games without a win after a scoreless draw against Chivas USA on June 23 dropped it to 0-7-4 in its last 11.

Kevin Hartman, who is in line to become the first MLS player to make 400 appearances in this match, made one save for his second shutout this season and first since April 5. It was the fourth time FC Dallas failed to score in a match and 10th time they were held to one or no goals during their winless streak.

While it's been a difficult two months for Dallas, it could be in good position to end the winless stretch Wednesday. The club is optimistic Ferreira, the 2010 MLS MVP, could return for his first league game since breaking his ankle in Vancouver on April 23, 2011.

Ferreira helped lead Dallas to the MLS Cup finals in 2010 with 10 goals and 16 assists that year. He had three goals in six matches in 2011 before being injured.

"More than anything, I'm just happy for him to hopefully get his opportunity to get back on the field," teammate Daniel Hernandez told Dallas' official website. "I know it's been a rough 15 months for him."

Besides the potential return of Ferreira, Dallas could also be helped by facing a team it has dominated. After losing the first meeting in 2007, Dallas has won three straight and gone unbeaten in nine matches (6-0-3) against Toronto. FC Dallas is 4-0-1 at home against Toronto (2-10-3), which has the fewest points in the MLS.

Ferreira has three assists in four games versus Toronto.

Toronto opened the season with an MLS-record nine straight losses, but has taken points in five of six matches. It is coming off a 1-all draw against New York last Saturday, with Danny Koevermans scoring the tying goal in the sixth minute.

"I think what you can recognize a little bit is that it's not beautiful flowing football, but we are a little harder to beat than we have been in the past," said coach Paul Mariner, who took over from Aron Winter on June 7.

Toronto is 1-1-3 since Mariner took over, outscoring opponents 9-8 after being outscored 21-8 under Winter.

Midfielder Eric Avila will face his former team for the first time since a midseason trade to Toronto last year. In 12 games this season, he has one goal and one assist.

Toronto, which won 3-0 at Montreal on June 27 for its first road win this season, has never won consecutive league road matches since joining the MLS in 2007.

FC Dallas' slump continues with loss to Dynamo

June, 16, 2012
6/16/12
11:44
PM CT


HOUSTON -- Adam Moffat scored his first goal of the season in the 76th minute to give the Houston Dynamo a 2-1 win over FC Dallas on Saturday night.

Moffat converted a big rebound for Houston (5-4-4) after FC Dallas goalkeeper Kevin Hartman made a save on a corner kick by Brad Davis.

FC Dallas (3-9-4) is winless in its last 10 games and played the last 26 minutes with just 10 players after Jair Benitez was given a red card. Benitez hit Dynamo midfielder Colin Clark in the head.

That play started a minor scrum between both teams, but cooler heads prevailed.

Jackson Goncalves tied the score in the 59th minute when he put a rebound past Tally Hall after Scott Sealy's initial shot caromed off Dynamo Houston defender Jermaine Taylor.

Both teams created multiple scoring chances in the first half, but Houston grabbed a 1-0 lead in the third minute on Bruin's goal. FC Dallas defender Hernan Pertuz tried to clear the ball, but his attempt deflected off Bruin and past Hartman from about eight yards out.

Dallas had six shots in the first half and nearly tied the score twice. The best chance came in the 16th minute when Sealy beat Hall from 15 yards out, but his left-footed shot hit the far post.

Hall finished with three saves, and Houston improved to 9-3-7 all time against FC Dallas and 6-1-3 at home against its intrastate rivals.
FC DALLAS COACH SCHELLAS HYNDMAN:

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.”

FC DALLAS GOALKEEPER KEVIN HARTMAN:

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.”

FC DALLAS DEFENDER ZACH LOYD

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.”
FC Dallas Head Coach Schellas Hyndman

On the team’s performance in the first half:

“I thought we seemed to have a bit more energy than they did, I know they played on Sunday, we played on Saturday and the trip, and playing on turf wears you down, so we wanted to come out really high and press and force their defense to make mistakes. I thought we were really doing some good things. I’m surprised it took us so long to score as it did because we were putting a lot of pressure on Anibaba and Berry in the back. But we did get a goal, we are disappointed we gave a goal up in the way we gave it up, and then of course the penalty kick, and then coming back and giving up a penalty kick. I really think the play was offside but it seems like that’s the kind of way the season has been going for us. The critical points of time, the ball’s not bouncing right and we’re not getting it done in critical times where we are making a mistake.”

On playing high pressure on defenders:

“We’re asking so much of our guys. We have nine injuries. We have four academy guys that are on the trip. We’re asking guys to help us with the one thing that they can do, and they have been doing, which is working. Our idea was to put pressure on the defense. We watched three games from Chicago, and we feel they do a great job defending, but they may not be as creative with the ball coming down the back. And without time and space, people have a tendency to make a mistake.”

On the sense of urgency or frustration that has set in to the team:

“Completely. Completely. On both levels. The urgency, you know, we played three more games than Chicago and they have more points than us. So that’s frustrating. And the other thing is the frustration. I think this is a game we could have won. But I can say this about a few of our games. I don’t know if we’re just having players getting tired, this is our third series of three games in a week, [the Fire] will feel it when they go to Columbus. You don’t get a chance to recover, and then when you get injuries, you don’t get a chance to treat things to recover. I thought the key for us was losing George John at halftime with a potential concussion. We wanted to keep it safe. That was his injury. So we’re hoping that he’ll be okay to jump back in to the game this weekend.”

On the second substitution at halftime with Guarda:

“That was a tactical substitution. We felt like we needed just a little more offensive play and Bruno Guarda came in and he’s the one that drew the penalty kick. I think tactically and with decision making we were pretty good, but I just think that there were key moments in the game where we didn’t get it done.”

On regrouping before the next match against Salt Lake:

“I’ll say this about our guys. I’m frustrated, I think the word we all use and we used it at halftime and at the end of the game, we should be pissed. Because we are giving everything we have, we’re in the game and we can’t overcome our own mistakes so we should be pissed. But we want to be and continue to be fighters. We want to show up and play good soccer. We want to put everything out there and not be victims where everything is going against us. So a lot of it is just mentality. Our injured players will come back and when they come back, we’ll be better.”

FC Dallas Defender Matt Hedges

On the importance of his goal:

“I think it was an important goal for us because we’ve been playing well all half and I think it should boost our confidence but in the end we gave up a goal a couple minutes later so it’s kind of disappointing. But the first goal, I was excited but it just wasn’t enough.”

On the team’s sense of urgency:

“Absolutely, we need to get points any way we can, a win, a tie, whatever. We have to keep working hard. We’ve been playing well but it’s not going our way. We have to start getting more points-we haven’t gotten too many points in the last seven or eight games.”

On building on the team’s play from the first half:

“We’ve had a lot of injuries and a lot of guys who don’t normally play are getting a lot of minutes so I think they’re getting good, quality experience. When we get the [starters] back, they’ll be able to help us a little more.

FC Dallas Goalkeeper Kevin Hartman

On the match:

“Obviously we are disappointed. We had our opportunity to go up in the second half. Sean Johnson made a great save on Perez’s penalty kick. It’s really disappointing. We have a game on Saturday we need to get ready for now. We have to really grab each other around the shoulders and give each other a hug and say that we have the guys and the talent and the opportunity against a really good Salt Lake team that we have a quick turn around again. We can’t really hang our heads. We have to deal with it like men and move on with it. Practices have been good and we’re just in the position now that we’re going to need someone to work a little harder and put their head in one of those 50/50 balls and maybe get a goal for us. And that might be something that will change the tide for us. I thought tonight when we had the penalty kick opportunity, I thought this is it, this is our opportunity and then Sean Johnson came up with a great save, so hats off to him.”

On the team’s performance in the first half:

“I was really content with it. I thought we didn’t give up too many opportunities, but you can’t give Grazzini a free kick from the 19 yard line. He’s just too good of a player. Maybe we were a little naďve on that. We have some new guys on the park. Zach [Loyd] comes in and plays inside and plays in the center and I don’t think Zach’s played in the center for a while. Matt’s [Hedges] just out of college, I think he’s performed very admirably. But unfortunately I think there was a lesson there maybe tonight that we can take something from this game and hopefully add it to one of the experiences of 2012 and it’ll make us a better team.”

Frank Klopas – Chicago Fire Head Coach

Comments on the match…

“Obviously just a great win for our club. I thought it was important for us being at home and coming out with a lot of energy from the beginning. We pressed higher up the field instead of waiting and going a goal down, and then starting to play. I felt that in the beginning we were a little bit flat and tired, and Dallas did a good job of really stepping high and pressing us. I thought that they were the bigger team and winning most balls. We gave up that goal, but we had a good response from the group. It’s just a huge win. We scored from behind again which shows a lot of character for the group. It’s all about the group and the team. It was a great performance and we scored the two goals and then created some more opportunities to put the game away. In the last five minutes, you have to say a couple prayers. It was just a great win for us and now we have to move on to the next match.”

On the goal by Grazzini...

“We gave up that goal in the 41st minute of the game, which is never a good time to give up the goal before going into the locker room. Sebastián scored a fantastic goal-a world class goal. Those are the type of goals that he can score with his ability. I felt that the group was positive and that the goal lifted us going into halftime. We talked more about strategy at the half and they came out with good energy and pushed hard. Sometimes it is difficult with the road trips...we came back from the trip to Portland and we had a great response from the group tonight.”

On the tendency to give up goals and having to battle back...

“I don’t know if it is a tendency. We talked about about playing from the beginning until the end and being more consistent. I was worried to see how we would start off because of the short week. It took us a little bit of time, but their goal came from nothing. From set pieces we need to get better. The positive thing is that we never gave up. The trend in this league is that the team that gives up the first goal normally does not win. I’m proud of the guys because they believe in themselves."

On scoring from set pieces and the corner kick...

“I think it helped when they went with a smaller group in the second half. George John came off with an injury, then James Marcelin came off. Then we felt pretty good with the set pieces. I don’t think that we lost one aerial battle. The key was the second balls because we were getting a little bit stretched. It’s an area that we have to keep working on.”

On Sean Johnson stopping the penalty...

“It was huge for a morale standpoint and also for him. After that save, you saw a different Sean with more confidence and command in his box. It was also important in giving the whole team new energy. It was an important moment in the game.”

On playing at Columbus on Saturday...

“It’s great because last year it was my first win as interim coach and it was really something special because normally before the games I don’t go outside the locker rooms...I’m superstitious at times and do the same routine. I knew that when they came in from the warm ups that it was great because they came back and were in awe to see the amount of fans that we had there. There was a positive feeling in the room. There has been some special players and special teams at this club. I believe that then and now. It is time to write our own history and be remembered forever, like the team in ’98. That’s what it is all about. It was a great win and it was great to see so many of our fans there. It's a difficult match-its a very good team, it's a rivalry. We’re looking forward to it. We need to assess everyone tomorrow and if we need to make some adjustments, we will. Now we have a couple days and not that long of a trip. We look forward to the match.”

Sean Johnson, Chicago Fire goalkeeper

On his PK save:

“Most importantly the save was big for the team at that point in the game to help turn things around. There was a spell there where they were putting a lot of pressure on us – they got the ball into a deep spot and we gave up the foul, which was unfortunate. We needed that stop to keep sp in the game – it’s all about making crucial saves in the game when we need them. “

On the result:

“It was a team effort tonight and we were able to put one back on the other end of the field and come away with three points.”

On his confidence after the PK save:

“It’s always good to save a big save in the game like that to help turn things around and get the team going a bit. The second half was definitely better for me personally.”

On seeing the ball on the PK save:

“I was just trying to read it and get a good jump, and once the ball was out safely then you can regroup as a team and get things back in order and organized for the next play.”

Marco Pappa, Chicago Fire midfielder

On the slow start:

“After the first half when we came into the locker room we talked about how we needed to push ourselves more in the game. We knew we had to give a better effort in the second half of the game. We had some extra motivation after Sean’s [Johnson] penalty kick save.”

On his goal:

“I always said that before the ball goes into the net that I need to find the ball and stay with it. I made the sprint and the ball came to me, and it resulted in three points for the team so I’m happy with that. The best thing for me is that if I score the winner, everybody is a winner in the locker room, it’s good to get three points. “

Chicago’s Sebastian Grazzini:

On the result:

“It was definitely difficult today because they were definitely crowding the midfield. It seemed like they were playing with three defensive midfielders and it was difficult to break through, but we were able to create some space and score in a timely manner. It was definitely a wonderful victory to have here at home. “

On his goal:

“I thought it worked out really well. I’ve been connecting a lot more with Marco [Pappa] and Rafa [Robayo] a lot and it was an excellent wall for me to place it over and put it in. I’m just happy that it came at a good time to help tie the match.”

The Report Card: FC Dallas vs Philadelphia Union

May, 20, 2012
5/20/12
2:02
PM CT
First Touch: Two teams missing enough starters combined to make a third full side.

Second Touch: The above predicted the ugly soccer match that resulted.

The Finish: Dallas is a club desperate for something good to come their way, in the meantime grinding out a point here and there is all Hyndman is going to get from this mishmash of parts.

Grades:

Hartman: 8 - Kept the side in the match when Philly decided that applying some pressure to Dallas was their best defensive move

Pertuz: 5 - Was playing a tidy match, and then like the sun rising became this week's injury victim

John: 7 - While the defense struggles overall, John is showing off new level of form

Hedges: 6 - This kid appears to be as solid as a rookie gets

Benitez: 4 - I swear he's getting paid based on attempted passes over 20 yards - successful or otherwise

Jackson: 4 - A very "meh" night for the Brazilian who still looks to be finding his chemistry with a team that never fields the same 11

Hernandez: 4 - The grizzled vet is having to work harder than ever

Marcelin: 4 - Oddly quiet and absent for much of the match

Jacobson: 5 - Great effort to support Blas, just could never complete that one creative move

Leyva: 5 - Still loses the ball too easily, looks a bit scared in 50/50 situations - but we are promised there's magic in those shoes. His set pieces are superior to Hernandez.

Perez: 6 - Simply having to come far too back to get involved. His struggles are more about the team than him

Subs:

Rodriguez: 3 - A tough score for being put in a tough spot, but he really struggled. The fact Hyndman had to play someone so clearly not match fit is very telling of just how bad the roster situation is.
Luna: n/a

FC Dallas ties Philadelphia Union

May, 19, 2012
5/19/12
10:05
PM CT


FRISCO, Texas -- Gabriel Gomez scored in the 56th minute to help the Philadelphia Union tie FC Dallas, 1-1, on Saturday night.

Blas Perez scored for Dallas in the seventh minute.

Philadelphia (2-6-2) stopped a three-game losing, and Dallas (3-6-4) extended its winless streak to seven games -- the club's longest streak since a 10-game run in 2005.

Gomez scored on a header into the left corner of the net from the top of the goalie's box. Gomez collided with goalkeeper Kevin Hartman on the play and left the game in the 58th minute as he limped to celebrate his fourth goal of the year.

The Union's Carlos Valdes fired a long ball from near midfield that bounced off Dallas' Carlos Rodriguez and to Gomez. The goal came on Philadelphia's first shot of the game. It was the first time all season that the Union did not have a shot in a half. For the game FC Dallas outshot the Union 11-9. Dallas' Perez had an open shot at the Union goal, but goalkeeper Chase Harrison blocked the shot for one of his two saves in the game.

Perez opened the scoring when he headed a shot into the right corner of the net. The scoring sequence was started after Bryan Leyva curled a corner kick from the right corner to George John. John directed the ball to Perez, who made a diving header from inside the goalie's box.

Dallas played the first of three games without midfielder Brek Shea, suspended after he kicked a ball at an assistant referee in a 2-1 loss to Columbus on May 12. The Union played without starting midfielder after Freddy Adu, suspended for picking up two yellow cards in the team's 3-2 loss to New York on Sunday.

Five quick hits on Philadelphia Union game

May, 19, 2012
5/19/12
7:47
AM CT
FC Dallas will look for its first win since April 14 when the Philadelphia Union visit FC Dallas Stadium on Saturday night. Here are five things to consider heading into that match.

Shea starts his suspension -- Saturday’s match will mark the first of the three games Brek Shea will miss after deliberately kicking a ball at an official during a loss at Columbus last Saturday. It was a dumb play from an obviously frustrated player, which might be partly due to the turf toe that has been nagging. But then again, it could be because there is a growing frustration in the room over a three-game losing streak and not winning in over a month. No matter the reason, Shea now gets a three-game timeout to think about what he did at a time his club really needs him the most.

Who’s in for Loyd? -- However, Shea won’t be the only starter sitting this one out for FCD. Right back Zach Loyd, who is the only Dallas player to start every game and play every minute so far this season, a streak that will end on Saturday, was ejected in the second half of the loss to the Crew. Sure, the call was iffy at best, but it is what it is. Now Dallas gaffer Schellas Hyndman will have to figure out who spells Loyd there. If Carlos Rodriguez is healthy, it could very well be him. Were captain Ugo Ihemelu not out with concussion symptoms, he would be a possibility there, but he continues to have symptoms, so who knows when he returns? Rodriguez appears to be the logical choice but it wouldn’t be a shocker to see Hernan Pertuz in at right back, that is unless Hyndman puts him at center back alongside George John, a spot that could also go to rookie Matt Hedges, the club’s top pick in the 2012 MLS Super Draft.

What can go wrong next? -- Not to be Mr. Glass Half Empty, but considering how many injuries, suspensions and red cards this team has had already this year, one has to wonder what could unfold for FCD against the Union? It’s a viable question considering the absolute rollercoaster this team has been on for the first 12 games. However, on the flipside, the Union are a team that is also struggling, which could make this an ideal time not just for FCD to return to the win column, but also to right the ship or at least take a step in the right direction. But if somehow or someway Dallas falls to Philly, it’s not a great way to start a rough stretch, that will also see them play at Chicago and Real Salt Lake.

Who will step up? -- If there has been one truly disconcerting thing about this current bad run of form for FCD, it’s that even with so much upheaval in the first 11, there really hasn’t been anyone to step up and refuse to accept anything less than a win for their club. Backup goalkeeper Chris Seitz fared well in his three-game relief stint while starter Kevin Hartman was out with back spasms, but other than that, who has really stepped up for this team? Blas Perez has been great but that was expected. Great teams or good teams for that matter are clubs where even if the best players are out, there are others who step up and answer the bell. There has been little of that going on in the first 12 games, which could signal a greater problem for FCD going forward.

Start of another tough stretch -- At long last, there is finally some rest on the horizon for FCD. However, the problem is that rest won’t come until after Dallas finishes a three games in a week stretch to finish out its May schedule. That tough slate begins Saturday night against Philadelphia. Then, FCD will play yet another midweek game at Chicago on Wednesday and won’t return home until after the gauntlet ends next Saturday night at Rio Tinto Stadium against Real Salt Lake. This stretch will mark the third time this season that FCD has played three games in a short period of time and will be the final three of their six matches in the month of May. But for a club that hasn’t won since April 14 and who will be without Shea for the next three games after he was suspended, this stretch definitely has the look of the Bataan Death March more than anything. However, if FCD could get through this with a win, even two or maybe even a draw or two, it would give them some much-needed momentum heading into June.

Preview: FC Dallas at Columbus Crew

May, 12, 2012
5/12/12
10:10
AM CT
FC Dallas has been shut out in two straight matches, part of a lengthy victory drought since its best stretch of the season.

That mirrors what's happened to the Columbus Crew.

Meeting for the only time this season, Dallas and Columbus will each try to snap a five-game winless streak Saturday night at Crew Stadium.

"It's going to be two desperate teams looking to get a result," Columbus goalkeeper Andy Gruenebaum told the club's official website. "They're a very dangerous team and very potent offensively."

That hasn't been the case lately, as Dallas (3-5-3) has scored just twice -- both on penalty kicks by Brek Shea -- since its last victory, 2-1 over expansion Montreal on April 14. That was the team's second consecutive win after defeating New England 1-0 on April 5.

Dallas is 0-2-3 since those victories, but the team has reason for optimism heading into Saturday. Daniel Hernandez and Blas Perez will return from red-card suspensions, and Shea likely will be back in a starting role after being a second-half substitution Wednesday due to turf toe.

"I think the biggest thing we can do is to come together as a team and continue to believe in one another," defender Zach Loyd told Dallas' official website following Wednesday's 2-0 loss to Seattle. "For the next game, we'll have Daniel back, we'll have Blas back, and we will have Brek back in the lineup, so I think we're going to see a huge improvement with the team. Hopefully going forward we can see better results."

FC Dallas' last single-season, six-game stretch without a win was an 0-3-7 slide July 2-Sept. 10, 2005.

The Crew (2-4-2) are trying to avoid their first winless skid of that length since going 0-1-5 from Aug. 27-Sept. 28.

Columbus is 0-3-2 since winning back-to-back matches to close March.

"I've been very happy with the last three games, to be honest with you," coach Robert Warzycha said after Sunday's scoreless draw at Portland. "We were unlucky last week (a 1-0 loss to Vancouver), but overall, we're playing pretty good, pretty solid and steady games. We're making progress."

The Crew, though, have been shut out in three of their last four matches and have scored six times all season. With midfielder Dilly Duka and forward Olman Vargas questionable due to injuries, Columbus could get a boost Saturday if midfielder Chris Birchall makes his debut. He was signed this week after making 18 starts during Los Angeles' run to the 2011 MLS Cup.

Both sides could be without their captains as Dallas' Ugo Ihemelu and Columbus' Chad Marshall are dealing with concussion symptoms. Rookie Matt Hedges will likely get a second straight start if Ihemelu can't go, while Eric Gehrig could get the call again if Marshall is a scratch.

Dallas goalkeeper Kevin Hartman, a native of Athens, Ohio, made five saves in a 2-0 home win July 2 to end the Crew's four-game point streak in this series. Hartman's teams have not won in 13 consecutive games in Columbus since the Galaxy's 4-2 win there May 17, 1998.

Warzycha was playing for the Crew at the time.

Scattershooting with Schellas Hyndman

May, 11, 2012
5/11/12
2:18
PM CT
Here are a couple of other random subjects that FC Dallas head coach Schellas Hyndman was asked about Friday:

How great is it going to be to get Blas Perez back for the Columbus game?

Hyndman: He’s the one that we brought in. He’s the one that’s going to help us get goals. I thought yesterday’s game in some ways was one of our better performances. If he’d been on the field, I think he would have found himself at least in front of the goal with the ball.

Jair Benitez has delivered strong performances in the last two games. Do you feel like his confidence is back up to where it was before his knee injury?

Hyndman: Yeah, he has. Confidence, I don’t know if it’s confidence. He had a little bit of an issue with his knee and LA game was a game where he was just coming back. I thought what he did in the Colorado game was he worked probably as hard as anybody on the field. I think now when you look at this game last night, I thought he was one of the bright spots.

Earlier in the week, you said you’d like to give one of the two games this week to Chris Seitz. Will he start Saturday against the Crew in goal or do you go with Kevin Hartman?

Hyndman: Yeah, Kevin’s played real well. I think what we’ll do is for all the tactical reasons, we’ll make that decision later.

FC Dallas' struggles continue vs. Sounders

May, 9, 2012
5/09/12
11:31
PM CT
Fredy Montero scored twice in a 3-minute span to lead the Seattle Sounders to their fifth consecutive victory, 2-0 over FC Dallas on Wednesday night.

Seattle improved to 6-1-1. Dallas is 0-3-2 in its last five games and 3-5-3 overall.

After Dallas controlled the ball for most of the first 68 minutes, Seattle's Cordell Cato won a battle in the home team's end and sent the ball toward the right corner of the goal.

Montero maneuvered around defenders Matt Hedges and Hernan Pertuz and shot just inside the right post to beat goalkeeper Kevin Hartman on his short side from 15 yards out.

Montero's second goal came in the 71st minute on a short right-footed shot from in front of the net.

Montero, the Sounders' career leader with 37 MLS goals, entered the game with one goal and one assist in eight games this season. The team has scored only 13 goals this season, but has allowed a league-low three.

Seattle goalkeeper Bryan Meredith recorded his second shutout in his second start this season.

Despite missing injured starters Carlos Rodriguez and Ricardo Villar -- along with Daniel Hernandez, out after receiving a red card Sunday -- Dallas outplayed the Sounders in the first half.

FC Dallas' first-half advantage in shots was just 6-5, but the home team put four shots on goal to only one by Seattle. Dallas also had two corner kicks to one for the Sounders.

That one Seattle shot on goal was a good scoring chance. Hartman allowed a rebound with the net open, but the subsequent shot hit the post and the Sounders kicked the ball over the goal.

Meredith thwarted Dallas' best first-half chance by punching a header into the crossbar, then covering up the loose ball in front.

Five quick hits heading into Seattle game

May, 9, 2012
5/09/12
2:51
AM CT
We’re a day, give or take, from FC Dallas hosting Seattle Sounders FC on Wednesday night in Frisco, so here are five quick hits on the game.

1. Hartman or Seitz in Goal? ---FCD head coach Schellas Hyndman said after Sunday’s
2-0 loss to Colorado that he’d like to give one of the next two games to Chris Seitz. Will this be the game where the ex-Maryland Terrapin gets the nod or will Hyndman wait until Saturday night when Dallas visits Columbus to face the Crew? That decision was likely made after a short training session on Tuesday morning on the FC Dallas Stadium field.

2. Shea Back or Not? ---Brek Shea missed Sunday’s loss with a case of turf toe that has been bothering him for the last few weeks. He didn’t train on Monday but could still be in Hyndman’s first 11 for Wednesday. However, for that to happen, the 6-foot-4 native Texan will most likely have to have gone through Tuesday’s practice with little or no issues. If Shea was to miss the Seattle game, he would have to be considered a near lock to return to the pitch on Saturday night against the Crew.

3. Who’s in for Blas Perez Up Top? ---Hyndman may or may not have a tough decision on his hands. It all depends on how one views the situation. Conventional wisdom says the Dallas gaffer sticks with veteran Scott Sealy here even though Sealy’s results haven’t been all that notable since he returned to full health. Hyndman rolling the dice with a youngster like Ruben Luna would be an interesting move, but is likely not one he’d be willing to make, especially in the wake of having two starters out on suspension.

4. Is Marcelin Ready for Prime Time? ---Newly signed Haitian midfielder James Marcelin made his FCD debut on Sunday night, playing the entire second half at holding midfield and did well enough to earn solid reviews from Hyndman. The ex-SMU coach admits Marcelin isn’t match fit, but what other choice does he have than to start him at d-mid with starter Daniel Hernandez serving a suspension for this game? Not much of a choice at all, does he?

5. How Much Will FCD Have in the Tank for This One? ---Forget the fact that Dallas has just under 72 hours between games. Sunday’s loss took a lot out of FCD in several ways but playing two men down for the final 56 or so minutes will do that. And now that Hyndman’s club will hit the pitch on Wednesday night minus two starters, this is clearly an uphill battle for them to get any kind of favorable result against a team that is playing some good football right now. Schellas labeled Sounders FC as a tenacious team that is like a shark when they smell blood in the water. If that doesn’t describe FCD right now, then it’s hard to say what does.

6. (Bonus) Who Starts for Ugo Ihemelu? ---The captain is out with concussion symptons, either Matt Hedges or Hernan Pertúz will take his place. Earlier this year Pertúz would have been the obvious choice, but of late Hedges has done well filling in. Best guess at this point is Pertúz... or it could be Hedges... wait...

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