Dallas Soccer: Kofi Sarkodie

U.S. U-23 team beats FCD in eventful game

February, 22, 2012
FC Dallas’ final tune-up before heading to Orlando, Fla., later this week came on Wednesday morning against the United States’ Under-23 team. FCD fell 2-1 to an opponent who finished the game with just nine players.

And it was none other than Brek Shea who scored the winning goal for the U-23s, banging one in after a solid cross from Freddy Adu just six minutes into the final frame. However, by the 75th minute, Shea was gone after receiving his second yellow of the game.

His ejection came some 17 minutes after U.S. teammate Kofi Sarkodie was sent off with a second yellow, albeit a questionable one after a tackle on a FCD speedster just outside the Dallas box.

Andrew Jacobson had the lone goal of the day for Dallas and it came 15 minutes in, just four minutes before the U.S. drew it level thanks to a header by ex-Wake Forest standout Ike Opara. Then, there was an Adu PK attempt in the 36th minute that Dallas goalkeeper Kevin Hartman stopped.

But overall, it was a solid game where the FCD starters, including David Ferreira, who was seeing his first action of the preseason, played significant minutes. Still, considering they played the final 15 minutes with a two-man advantage, it was a bit disconcerting that Dallas didn’t at least draw things level, their best chance to do so being a Blas Perez free kick five minutes from full time that struck the right post.

So, it’s understandable that the gaffer wasn’t too pleased about today’s loss after it was in the books.

“I don’t know if I’m more hurt by the fact that we lost or the fact that we didn’t score being up two men. Basically, they really couldn’t do anything,” Hyndman said. “We had them pretty much locked in and I thought either the last pass wasn’t good enough or the service wasn’t good enough or the finish wasn’t good enough.”

However, seeing Ferreira back on the pitch, albeit for just 22 minutes, was a huge positive for FCD. The highlight of his first preseason action came when he delivered a solid long ball perfectly to the feet of Castillo on the right side.

“We had planned play him 10-15 minutes and then he wanted to go back in the second half. So I think we gave him another 10 minutes in the second half. I think you probably saw the same thing I saw, once he got on the field there seemed to be a little bit of possession in the game,” Hyndman said. “There was a little bit of purpose in the game and we got away from just trying to break them down with one pass, a through ball, a long ball or an individual play.”

And for Dallas supporters who follow this team closely and were in attendance for this morning’s scrimmage, it was a bit weird to see Shea squaring off with FCD starting right back Zach Loyd as enemies instead of teammates as they normally are.

“Yeah, they’re both head bangers. I thought they both had some good battles. Surprised that they were going at each other as hard as they did considering they’re teammates. But again, they both want to compete,” Hyndman said.

Observations from Today’s Scrimmage

- Blas Perez absolutely blistered the free kick he took in the 85th minute, raising the possibility that FCD’s set piece issues from 2011 could be a thing of the past.

- There were some flashes from David Ferreira today, but he is still a long way from returning to his 2010 MVP form, if he even does at all.

- Hyndman is legitimately concerned about the health of his central midfield of Daniel Hernandez and Andrew Jacobson going into the season, especially should he choose to go with a 4-4-2 formation going forward.

- Left mid could be a sore spot for FCD this year, especially if Brek Shea is gone for Olympic qualifying as well as for the Olympics and several World Cup qualifiers. Some feel newcomer Carlos Rodriguez is a viable option there, but when Hyndman says he’s not an attacking player as he has said about Rodriguez, why would you put him in a spot where he’s destined to fail?

- The ideal situation at center back would obviously be for George John to return from his loan to West Ham United and renew his solid partnership with Ugo Ihemelu. There is an obvious language barrier between Ihemelu and Colombian newcomer Hernan Pertuz, something that clearly concerns Hyndman.

- Today was the start of FCD facing tougher competition, which leads one to wonder if today’s loss is indicative of similar outcomes in Florida or if today was more of a mere aberration?

FC Dallas dropped a 2-1 decision to the U.S. under-23 national team on the Adidas Field at FC Dallas Stadium. Winger Brek Shea, who was called into national team duty over the weekend, scored the game-winner for Caleb Porter’s side in the 51st minute. David Ferreira made his first appearance of the spring for FC Dallas when he came on in minute 36.

The US U-23s earned seven of the nine yellow cards handed out in the game, resulting in two ejections. Kofi Sarkodie was sent off for a 2nd yellow in the 58th minute, Break Shea departed with his 2nd yellow in the 75th minute.

FC Dallas goalkeeper Kevin Hartman had a stellar day in goal for the home side. He began by denying the U.S. U-23s of a goal with a point-blank save in the 12th minute. On the play, Amobi Okugo collected the ball in central midfield and played a ball over the top to Juan Agudelo. With FC Dallas center back Hernan Purtuz on his back, Agudelo chested the ball out in front of him and was in alone on Hartman. Agudelo opted to take a hard shot at the back post, but Hartman punched the shot away to keep the match scoreless.

Dallas battled back and earned a corner kick in the 15th minute. Colombian forward Fabian Castillo took the kick, lining a cross to the center of the six-yard box, where Andrew Jacobson beat his defender to the ball and nodded a hard finish into the back of the net to give FC Dallas a 1-0 advantage.

The U.S. U-23s found an equalizer just four minutes later on a corner kick taken by Freddy Adu. An exact copy of Jacobson’s goal, Adu picked out Ike Opara at the top of the box and the defender headed a shot to the back post to level the score, 1-1.

FC Dallas got a boost in the 36th minute when FC Dallas head coach Schellas Hyndman brought on 2010 MLS MVP David Ferreira for the first time since he suffered a season-ending injury on April 23, 2011.

The U.S. U-23s came out strong following the half and got a goal in the 51st minute from Shea. Playing on the left flank, Shea timed his run well and beat the FC Dallas defense to a ball played over the top by Adu. In alone against Hartman, Shea cracked a hard shot high to the back post from 12-yards out to give the U.S. a 2-1 lead.

The U.S. went down a man in the 58th minute when Kofi Sarkodie was whistled for his second caution after bringing down Fabian Castillo at the top of the box. The breakout was started by Ferriera, who collected the ball in the center of the pitch before lobbing a perfectly-weighted pass into space for Castillo.

The U-23s lost yet another man in the 75th minute when Shea was shown his second yellow after coming together with FC Dallas trialist Daniel Osorno. The advantage gave Dallas a distinct advantage in possession as the home side pushed for a late equalizer.

Scoring Summary:
DAL – Andrew Jacobson (Fabian Castillo) 15
USA – Ike Opara (Freddy Adu) 19
USA – Brek Shea (Adu) 51

Misconduct Summary:
USA – Kofi Sarkodie (caution) 23
USA – Brek Shea (caution) 27
USA – Jared Jeffery (caution) 38
USA – Sarkodie (caution) 58
USA – Sarkodie (ejection; second caution) 58
DAL – Andrew Jacobson (caution) 64
USA – Shea (caution) 75
USA – Shea (ejection; second caution) 75
DAL – Blas Perez (caution) 78


FC Dallas – Kevin Hartman (Chris Seitz 69), Jair Benitez (Jonathan Top 75), Ugo Ihemelu (Matt Hedges 72), Hernan Pertuz (Christian Ibeagha 72), Zach Loyd (Castillo 81), Carlos Rodriguez, Daniel Hernandez (Bobby Warshaw 64), Andrew Jacobson (Alex Lee 64), Andrew Wiedeman (David Ferreira 36, Daniel Osorno 58), Blas Perez, Fabian Castillo (Dogba 58).

U.S. Under 23s – Bill Hamid (Sean Johnson 45), Ike Opara (Greg Garza 45), Kofi Sarkodie, Zarek Valentin, Jorge Villafana (Perry Kitchen 45), Amobi Okugo, Juan Agudelo (Michael Stephens 45), Jared Jeffery (Dilly Duka 45), Brek Shea, Freddy Adu (Bunbury 67), Teal Bunbury (Tony Taylor 45, Villafana 76).



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