Dallas Soccer: Landon Donovan

FC Devil's Advocate: club was lucky to get a draw in LA

May, 2, 2012
5/02/12
10:05
AM CT
The spin from the FC Dallas side of things after Saturday’s 1-1 draw at the Los Angeles Galaxy was understandable. After going 0-3-0 in their first three excursions away from home, Saturday’s draw was a step in the right direction. And from the glass half full perspective, getting a point against the reigning league titleholder is never a bad thing.

However, looking at this thing a bit more realistically, it’s a fair statement to say that FCD was more than a bit lucky to leave the Home Depot Center with a point for several reasons. Here are a few of those:

Landon Donovan’s Shot off the Post Early in the Game---OK, so Donovan is the guy many fans love to hate and the angle wasn’t particularly a great one, but it wouldn’t have been a huge stretch to see No. 10 bury this one and put the home side up 1-0 early. Might have to check the video and see if FCD left back Jair Benitez wiped his brow in relief after this one drew iron as it was his misplay of Robbie Keane’s ball from the middle that allowed Donovan to even have a chance at the goal in the first place.

Roy Keane’s Missed PK Late in the First Half---Sure, PKs are never a 100 percent certainty no matter the level of play, but how many kicks has a guy with the resume of Keane missed in his life, much less had where he missed the goal completely? Like anyone could even know that, but it’s surely a pretty miniscule number, proving that once again, the soccer gods were on Benitez’s side since it was his shove to the back of Donovan that drew the PK in the first place.

David Beckham’s Missed Free Kick with About Five Minutes Remaining---We’ve all seen the highlights time and time again of Becks bending a free kick in for a goal, and the accomplished Brit almost did it again with about five minutes left in Saturday’s match. His effort ended up sailing a bit high but if it was down about a foot or so, it would have been in because he did an unbelievable job of bending his boot around the wall, so well that FCD goalkeeper Chris Seitz would have had no chance of even getting a finger on it.

Scoring Summary:
DAL – Brek Shea (PK) 61
LAG – Pat Noonan (Chad Barrett) 92+

FC Dallas – Chris Seitz, Zach Loyd, Ugo Ihemelu, George John, Jair Benitez, Jackson, Brek Shea (Hernan Pertuz 76), Daniel Hernandez, Andrew Jacobson (Matt Hedges 82), Fabian Castillo (Scott Sealy 93+), Blas Perez.

Substitutes Not Used: Richard Sanchez, Bruno Guarda, Bobby Warshaw, Ruben Luna.

TOTAL SHOTS: 14 (Blas Perez, Brek Shea, Jackson 3);
SHOTS ON GOAL: 5 (Brek Shea 2);
FOULS: 14 (Jair Benitez 3);
OFFSIDES: 3 (Fabian Castillo, Blas Perez, Jackson 1);
CORNER KICKS: 6 (Daniel Hernandez 2);
SAVES: 2 (Chris Seitz 2).

L.A. Galaxy – Bill Gaudette, Sean Franklin, David Junior Lopes (Pat Noonan 81), A.J. De La Garza, Todd Dunivant, Landon Donovan, Juninho, Mike Magee (Chad Barrett 74), Robbie Keane, Edson Buddle (Adam Cristman 74).

Substitutes Not Used: Brian Perk, Tommy Meyer, Bryan Jordan, Michael Stephens.

TOTAL SHOTS: 16 (Edson Buddle 4);
SHOTS ON GOAL: 3 (Pat Noonan, Landon Donovan, Robbie Keane 1);
FOULS: 18 (Edson Buddle 7);
OFFSIDES: 4 (Robbie Keane 3);
CORNER KICKS: 4 (David Beckham 4);
SAVES: 4 (Bill Gaudette 4).

Misconduct Summary:
DAL – Brek Shea (caution) 4
DAL – Fabian Castillo (caution) 19
DAL – Jair Benitez (caution) 48
LAG – Bill Gaudette (caution)
LAG – Adam Cristman (caution) 83
LAG – David Beckham (caution) 95

Referee: Ricardo Salazar
Referee’s Assistants: Peter Manikowski, Mike Kampmeinert
4th Official: Alejandro Mariscal

Attendance: 23,249
Time of Game: 2:02
Weather: Clear, 64 degrees

FC DALLAS HEAD COACH SCHELLAS HYNDMAN

On the performance:

“We withstood a lot of pressure. I’m really proud of the guys. They played as hard as they have, this is our third game in seven days and you couldn’t tell that we had just played on Wednesday night.”

On building consistency:

“This is our ninth game and we’ve had nine different lineups. We’ve yet to get any consistency, because people are getting call-ups or injuries or suspensions from the disciplinary committee, so for us to come out tonight and fight as long as we did against a very good team … I’m not worried about us.”

On how even the game was:

“We played a very good team tonight. I think if you look at everything from the stats we’re very similar all the way across. Both teams had great scoring chances. I think what we take away from this is, if you’re a fan watching it on TV you’ve got to love this type of soccer from both teams.”

On the Galaxy offense and the tying goal:

“I can’t think of a team in the league that you would want to be one goal up on at their home (less) than the Galaxy. Because they have so many weapons, they serve the ball so well, they’re very physical in the box, they’ve got a lot of firepower. That goal they got at the end was probably one of their weaker chances.”

On getting the first road point:

“Your whole mentality is to get points. For us we were talking about, we have yet to win on the road and we have yet to get a point on the road. We were two minutes away from getting that first win, but I’m proud that we come away with not only a point but, I think, one of our better performances to date.”

FC DALLAS GOALKEEPER CHRIS SEITZ

On FC Dallas’ first road point:

“Obviously we’ve had a nasty bit of luck as of late on the road so to get out of LA with a draw is not a bad thing. At the same time, we put ourselves in a great situation to win and I think the team defense for the majority of that game was outstanding. The guys put a lot of heart into what we were doing and the game plan.”

On the Galaxy’s late pressure and the tying goal:

“I don’t know how many guys they had forward at the end, but they definitely didn’t make it easy. They had great services coming into the box and they had big guys in there trying to win first and second balls. For a good 10-15 minutes we won the majority of the second balls, one squirted out and a guy was in the right place at the right time. It’s unlucky; we put in a heck of an effort.”

On Robbie Keane’s penalty kick:

“It’s one of those things where you just try to stay big. I thought he was going one way and he ended up going the other. I don’t know what he saw, but when you go to a side you just try to stay as big as possible and those things happen, so we were a bit fortunate with that.”

FC DALLAS MIDFIELDER BREK SHEA

Overall thoughts on the Galaxy:

“They spread us out well, they kept the ball well. They were hitting long balls into their forwards and they have big forwards that like to fight. I think our center backs and defenders did well, just unlucky.”

On getting the road point:

“Obviously we’re excited for the point, but it also sucks because I think we should’ve had three. I guess we’ve got to start somewhere. As much as it sucks, we have to look at it as a positive because it is our first point on the road.”

FC DALLAS MIDFIELDER ANDREW JACOBSON

On the team’s performance:

“It’s a long season, a lot of games, if you can play like that for a whole season you’re going to gain a lot of points. Maybe this time you gain one point, but if you can do that consistently, you’ll be getting three points a lot.”

On playing with the lead:

“We have a lot of great attacking players and we can’t try to be something we’re not. We need to come out and attack. We want the ball, we’ve got guys that can beat guys and if we come and sit back we’re not using them.”

On playing three games in seven days:

“Three tough games, going into Vancouver, flying home two days later playing Salt Lake, then flying out the next morning to play LA. We got two points out of the week, but it was good performances, those were very good teams. Everyone’s going to be up there at the end of the season, so it’s something we’re going to have to draw on later on in the season when we have that third game in a week again.”

LA GALAXY HEAD COACH BRUCE ARENA

On Landon Donovan not taking the PK:

“I don’t know the detailed discussion Robbie (Keane) and Landon (Donovan) had. Robbie wanted to take the kick and Landon said ‘fine’. Now I’ll be honest with you, if any team has the choice between Robbie Keane and Landon Donovan or (David) Beckham taking penalty kicks, you’re real happy. The easiest thing to do in the aftermath is be critical and say ‘missed a kick.’ There aren’t any better players in the world to take penalties than Robbie Keane and Landon Donovan. We missed it tonight.”

Overall thoughts on the game:

“Both teams played real hard and getting a goal in extra time (we) can’t be complaining about the point (gained). It’s that simple. We missed the penalty. We had some good chances during the game. There weren’t a whole lot of chances in the game by the teams. But we had enough to get ourselves two or three goals and didn’t, so we put ourselves in that position. It was a great finish opposite by Pat to get us the point.”

On David Junior Lopes:

“I thought he made a couple of mistakes, that’s obvious. He’s aware of that. We have to try to grow with the player. Give him more experience with our team and hopefully eliminate those mistakes. He’s a good defender, you just have to cut down a few mental errors and he can be a very capable center back. I don’t know if you can call it concentration—mistakes. It is very easy for all of us. We’re the experts when we’re sitting on the bench or the press box or whatever. It is not as easy as it looks out there. I don’t think it is concentration, but there were certainly some mental lapses.”

LA GALAXY MIDFIELDER LANDON DONOVAN

On Robbie Keane’s penalty:

“He did everything right he just miss hit it a little bit. The guy has taken many penalties and has made many penalties. I am sure the next time he takes one it will go in. It’s been a while since those guys have hit the net and we are trying to get them more chances we are not doing a good enough job getting them chances in front of the goal so I thought I would help a little bit.”

On his missed opportunities:

“The first one got a way from me a little bit. I was a little bit in between steps but I should have done better. The second one I just kind of reacted and (Chris) Seitz made a good save. It was sort of one of those nights that we need one of those to fall our way if we were going to win this game but still a great effort to get something out of it.”

On Bill Gaudette’s performance:

“It was great. It was seamless. We are all thinking about Josh (Saunders) and making sure that everything is going okay with him. For coming in on short notice I thought he was great. We probably should’ve had a shutout tonight.”

LA GALAXY FORWARD PAT NOONAN

On the game-tying goal:

The ball was up in the air and landed at Chad’s feet and he did a nice job of pulling the ball up and he laid it off perfectly for me. I just tried to put it on net. I’m looking at him, I don’t think he was looking at me, but he heard me— that’s what he said. He laid it off perfectly.

On the Galaxy creating scoring chances:

“We are creating chances that is the positive if we weren’t then we would be worried about that but we are creating chances and sooner or later they are going to go in and when they go the flood gates are going to open.”

LA GALAXY GOALKEEPER BILL GAUDETTE

On getting the start tonight:

“Every player in this locker room wants to be on the field, that is what we are all here for and that is what we work hard for everyday. My number was called and I was excited obviously I would have been more excited if we would have gotten the three points.”

On tonight’s game:

“I felt like we created the better chances, but things didn’t fall (our) way. That’s part of the game. Some days they are going to fall your way some days they won’t. But luckily Pat (Noonan) was able to come in and provide a huge boost for us in that tie. Sometimes a tie is a good thing. We are not happy. We are not satisfied. Obviously we are home and we want three points but at the end of the day it is a hard fought tie. Dallas came in did their job sat back counter attacked us hard and that is what teams are going to do here at home. They are not going to come out and push numbers forward they are going to wait for us to kind of get stretched out and create chances like that. At the end of the day we are happy that we came out with a point but we are not satisfied with the result.”

LA GALAXY MIDFIELDER DAVID BECKHAM

On tonight’s game:

“I think it’s a good point at the end of the day because we both had luck at times but we also had a lot of chances throughout the game. I think we had more chance in the first half than the second half. Our overall play wasn’t as sharp as it has been in the last few weeks but we definitely deserved the point, so we’ll take it. Dallas came here and have had a couple of hard games recently and they came here, worked hard and made it hard for us and good pace on the break. It’s up to us to come back but we are happy with the point.”

On the missed penalty kick:

“Landon (Donovan) is obviously a penalty taker. Robbie [Keane] is a penalty taker. So between them two they decided. It is just one of those things; you’re brave enough to step up for a penalty kick. Sometimes you score, sometimes you miss, but I have always thought anyone who steps up is a brave person.”

On LA’s goal in stoppage time:

“I think it shows the character of the team, getting it back late. Sometimes you have to fight all the way to the end of the game, the final whistle. If you do that, there is always a chance you will get a goal. We felt we should have had a couple goals in the first half. We had some really good chances in the six yard box. We might have been fortunate to get the draw but we also could have won the game. I think you’re always proud as a player of a team that comes back from a goal down or comes back to win a game or draw a game. We’ve done well to come back from this tonight.”

On Bill Gaudette’s performance:

“It is great for Bill (Gaudette) to come in. He’s done a great job and to fill Josh’s [Saunders] boots after last week is difficult but he came in and had a strong performance. He kept a few good shots out and also he’s very commanding in coming for the ball. It was a good night for him.”

Brek Shea goes 90+ for US in friendly

September, 3, 2011
9/03/11
11:18
AM CT
FC Dallas midfielder Brek Shea started and played 90+ minutes for the US on Friday night in a 1-0 loss to Costa Rica. Shea was particularly strong in the first half but may have tired late with the massive amount of games he has played in the last few weeks.

Despite the heavy work load, Shea was singled out by his coach in the post match TV interview as being a dangerous attacking force. Perhaps the best US chance was created by Shea and Altidore combing down the left side. After beating a few defenders Shea found a charging Landon Donovan at the wide open back side of the bos, only to have Donovan miss the far post.

In coach Jurgen Klinsmann's 1-11 no name, Shea was wearing the #11 a very appropriate number for a winger. Zach Loyd had originally been called into this US camp with Shea, but was replaced due to injury.

USA : 1-Tim Howard; 2-Timmy Chandler, 4-Michael Orozco Fiscal, 5-Carlos Bocanegra (capt.), 3-Edgar Castillo; 6-Maurice Edu, 10-Landon Donovan, 8-Jose Torres; 7-Robbie Rogers (16-Sacha Kljestan, 66), 9-Jozy Altidore (18-Juan Agudelo , 63), 11-Brek Shea

PS. Came across this nice little off-field Q&A with Brek Shea on the US site. It's worth a quick read.

Talking tactics: FC Dallas at LA Galaxy

August, 8, 2011
8/08/11
1:32
PM CT
Until Marvin Chavez's 9th minute goal, FC Dallas had completed 11 more passes (46 to 31) than the Los Angeles Galaxy. Over the remaining 81+ minutes, Dallas ended up on the losing end of a 276 to 219 passes completed deficit. LA's possession advantage created plenty of opportunities for David Beckham to work his magic.

But those opening 9 minutes were full of promise. Schellas Hyndman stuck with his 4-2-3-1 and gave striker Maicon Santos his debut. Santos showed that he should be able to bridge the gap between a traditional target forward (Ruben Luna) and a speedster (Marvin Chavez). Santos looked equally comfortable holding up the ball or racing beyond defenders. On Saturday, it was his pace that created Dallas' goal. The Brazilian chased down a Zach Loyd chip and then set up Marvin Chavez at the top of the box.

On paper, Hyndman's 4-2-3-1 gave Dallas a man advantage in midfield against LA's 4-4-2. The positioning of Landon Donovan, ostensibly lined up at left midfield, evened the numbers. Donovan, whose successful passes can be seen at right, spent most of his time in front of center midfielders Juninho and David Beckham. Without Donovan's presence in the middle, it's unlikely Los Angeles could have held possession so easily.

LA's strategy was not without risk. Donovan's positioning meant left back Todd Dunivant was the only defender responsible for Chavez. Dallas, though, didn't exploit the isolated left back. Central midfielders Bruno Guarda and Daniel Hernandez rarely sent the ball Chavez's way. The winger only attempted 17 passes on the day. Donovan did an admirable job tracking back, but Hyndman may second-guess himself for not force-feeding Chavez. On the other flank, Brek Shea was held in check by two fullbacks, AJ DeLaGarza and Sean Franklin.

With Dallas not taking advantage of Donovan's roaming, LA was free to saunter deep into the Dallas half. The Red Stripes didn't allow the home side to create many opportunities from open play, but they did concede a number of unnecessary free kicks and corners. David Beckham took advantage to set up all three LA goals from set pieces. Tired legs surely played a role in some of the defensive clumsiness, but if these two teams meet again in the playoffs, Hyndman will need to find a way to make Donovan think twice about coming inside, lest Dallas find themselves subjected to more Beckham free kicks.

Blake Owen is the editor and publisher of futbolforgringos.com.

FC Dallas head coach Schellas Hyndman
On tonight’s game…

“I thought it was a very fast paced game. Unfortunately it was a physical game. I know we were tired and it kind of showed in the second half. We started off very well and scored a great goal then we gave up three goals on set pieces. For us we are disappointed but at the same time we got the best we could out of the boys.”

On the physicality of the game…

“I think part of it was LA came in and was being very disruptive. I think [Adam] Cristman did his job, whatever that job was, it was to bang for every ball. There was a lot of physical play there and then I think because they got beat pretty well in Portland I think it was a game to show off character. They came back and played very hard and there were a lot of fouls going back and forth and I think it turned out a very disruptive game.”

FC Dallas midfielder Marvin Chavez (Translated from Spanish)
On the game…

“It was a difficult game. We knew that the Galaxy had a great team but we came here to try and get the three points but we weren’t able to. It’s time to go back and work hard and continue going forward.”

On his goal…

“I am happy about the goal but I would have been happier if we would have gotten the three points but that’s how the game is. We have to focus on the next game and not let this game worry us and focus on winning the next game.”

On the second half…

“We lost our concentration and that was fatal for us. They started to attack us and they took advantage of their set pieces and that hurt us so we have to go back and work on that.”

FC Dallas midfielder Brek Shea

On tonight’s game…

“They had more chances in the second half than us. They came out and outplayed us in the second half. Unfortunately we were tied at half time but that’s soccer.”

On the flow of the game…

“I think over the past couple of years there has been a rivalry going between us. Like you said there were a lot of stops in the game we couldn’t get any rhythm there were a lot of fouls. The rhythm kept getting disrupted.”

LA Galaxy Head Coach Bruce Arena
On tonight’s game…

“We beat a good team tonight. I think both teams were fatigued from not only a long week but a pretty busy schedule to date. It wasn’t going to be easy and I thought perhaps the difference in the game is that out team showed a lot of determination. They fought real hard over 90 minutes but it was something we had to do to neutralize Dallas. I thought Dallas came out and played real well and gave us a lot of trouble in the opening 20 minutes of the game.”

On Juninho’s game…

“He played well. He’s logged a lot of minutes this year. He’s been a little bit fatigued. I’ve been concerned, but I think tonight he stepped up. And certainly, the goal he scored was a great one. You know, when we get Juninho in or around the box, it’s good for our team because he strikes the ball quite well. I was please with him. Another good effort. Also so happy to announce his wife arrived last week. He was married months ago, and they’ve been apart. He’s a much happier person now.”

On the team not having another game until August 16…

“We have a little bit of time off now before the Champions League game. We need it. We’re a team that needs a couple of days of, get a little bit of rest, get our legs back, and get ready for what’s going to be a real difficult August, September and October for us. I think the little bit of the break we have right now is a real plus. I think for players like Juninho, Dunivant and others who have played a lot of minutes this year need a little time off.”

LA Galaxy midfielder Landon Donovan
On the game…

“It was a good game. I didn’t think it was all that chippy, but it was a good, hard game with two teams that, in my opinion, are the best in the league right now. We are happy that we won.”

On the team’s goals…

“We have our goals that we have set. The first one is winning the Supporters Shield and this was a big step in that direction. Not only that, but for the rest of the year we don’t want to play like we did on Wednesday against Portland. If we are going to play like that, we aren’t going to win many games. We wanted to make sure we played the right way. This was a much better performance and a step in the right direction to winning the Supporters Shield this year.”

LA Galaxy Midfielder David Beckham
On the match…

“It’s nice to set up goals, but it’s more important that we are six points clear to be honest. That’s something we aimed to do, and it was a good performance to night. We started off slow in the first 15 minutes. I think, we were still in Portland, but then our character came through. Then we started fighting.”

On the team’s performance…

“Obviously, we wanted to get the three points, but I think our performance was more important tonight after we let ourselves down in Portland. I think that was the biggest thing tonight. Character wise it was a really good performance… all around the pitch everyone worked hard for each other, and that’s the only reason we won tonight.”

2010 MLS playoff preview: FC Dallas vs. Los Angeles Galaxy

November, 13, 2010
11/13/10
9:53
AM CT
Matchup:

FC Dallas (12-4-14) vs. LA Galaxy (18-7-5)

Gametime – Sun. November 14, 2010, Home Depot Center Carson, California 6pm ET (ESPN 2)

All-time Series: LA Galaxy lead 25-18-9

2010 MLS Regular Season Meetings:

5/20 FCD 0, LA 1 (Magee 17)
10/24 LA 2, FCD 1 (Beckham 33, Juninho 46), (Harris 24)

Team Leaders:

LA Galaxy – G: 17 Buddle A: 16 Donovan
FC Dallas – G: 11 Cunningham A: 13 Ferreira

Match Outlook:

This Sunday’s MLS Western Conference final resembles NFL Western conference finals from the early 1990’s: the league’s two best teams – one from Texas, one from California – meeting to determine who will advance to the league championship. And if the Galaxy are the 49ers, then Landon Donovan is Jerry Rice, David Beckham is Steve Young and Omar Gonzales is Ken Norton, Jr. For FC Dallas, as the Cowboys, attacking midfielder and MVP candidate is none other than Emmit Smith. Whatever the outcome of this clash, most observers and fans would agree that the winner will deserve the title of league’s best team.

Injuries:

The latest Dallas injury report lists stalwart fullback Heath Pearce and target forward Milton Rodriguez as “OUT”, two key pieces the Hoops will surely miss.

The Galaxy look far better on the injury front. Brazilian defender Leonardo is listed as questionable with knee pain. Otherwise, Bruce Arena’s squad is completely healthy.

Tactical Outlook:

FC Dallas will line up in their familiar 4-1-4-1 formation with midfielder David Ferreira orchestrating the attack. Head coach Schellas Hyndman will have to start Jeff Cunningham up top and hope for a good late shift from rookie Ruben Luna.

Bruce Arena should employ his familiar 4-4-2, with Beckham and Donovan patrolling the sidelines even as they seek to cut inside and pinch the Dallas midfield. Defensive midfielder Dema Kovalenko will be charged with stopping David Ferreira.

Positional Breakdown:

Goalkeepers

FC Dallas – Kevin Hartman

His opposite number won Goalkeeper of the Year, but Hartman was equally deserving of the award. Hartman was sensational in the second leg of the Salt Lake series, making several big saves to get FCD safely to the next round.

LA Galaxy – Donovan Ricketts

Ricketts has been a big part of the Galaxy’s success over the past two seasons. Like Hartman, he makes spectacular saves and has excellent athleticism. More importantly, Ricketts has struck a rich vein of form lately.

Advantage: FC Dallas

Defenders

FC Dallas – Ugo Ihemelu, George John, Jackson Goncalves, Jair Benitez, Heath Pearce (Injured), Zach Loyd

With Heath Pearce out, Hyndman will have to decide on a right back replacement, with Jackson and rookie Zach Loyd the obvious candidates. Jackson did well against Real Salt Lake and might be a better choice to try to contain Donovan on the wing. George John and Ugo Ihemelu are very solid in central defense. Ihemelu has come back from a bad concussion injury, leaping bravely in traffic to win headers. Left back Jair Benitez will look to continue a good run of form and keep Beckham honest defensively as he gets up and down the wing.

LA Galaxy – Omar Gonzales, A.J. DeLaGarza, Sean Franklin, Todd Dunivant, Greg Berhalter

Omar Gonzales is one of the league’s best central defender, if not the best. His partnership with DeLaGarza has really blossomed this year. Eddie Lewis played well at left back against the Sounders last week in place of an injured Todd Dunivant. At right fullback the Galaxy rely on the services of 2008 Rookie of the Year Sean Franklin, who is enjoying another fine campaign.

Advantage: LA Galaxy

Midfielders

FC Dallas – David Ferreira, Daniel Hernandez, Dax McCarty, Atiba Harris, Brek Shea, Eric Avila, Marvin Chavez, Eric Alexander

Obviously, David Ferreira is the main man for FC Dallas. Real Salt Lake simply weren’t able to shut him down over 180 minutes and he made them pay by being involved in all three of the Hoops’ goals. Dax McCarty is starting to peak at the right time, having been sidelined with injury for much of the middle part of the year. His goal last week was the perfect display of tenacity and focus. Brek Shea and Atiba Harris will patrol the sidelines and look to get forward to receive Ferreira’s through balls. Daniel Hernandez will be tasked with disrupting the play of the Galaxy attack. Eric Avila, Eric Alexander and Marvin Chavez are all capable substitutes who can make an impact, as Avila showed in the first leg of the RSL series.

LA Galaxy – Landon Donovan, David Beckham, Juninho, Dema Kovalenko, Chris Birchall

Donovan and Beckham essentially have free roles in midfield. Donovan in particular can drift inside or make darting runs on the counter-attack. Beckham will also look to pinch inside on occasion, allowing Sean Franklin to attack down the right sideline. Beckham frequently hits diagonal balls over the defense, something the Dallas defense will have to cleanly deal with. LA will also look to draw fouls around the penalty box and give their free-kick specialist the chance to score. Dema Kovalenko has the hardest job, trying to disrupt and slow down David Ferreira, a matchup that may well determine the winner.

Advantage: LA Galaxy

Forwards

FC Dallas – Jeff Cunningham, Milton Rodriguez (Injured), Peri Marosevic, Ruben Luna

With Milton Rodriguez out for this match, the burden to score will fall on Jeff Cunningham. The league’s second all-time leading scorer is in good form at the moment and seemingly very focused. He has not spoken to the media since early in the season. Behind Cunningham, there are questions. Ruben Luna is likely to replace Cunningham sometime in the second half and Hyndman will be hoping the youngster can turn in a productive shift.

LA Galaxy – Edson Buddle, Mike Magee

Edson Buddle used a great run of form at the beginning of the 2010 season as a springboard to earn a spot of the U.S. World Cup team. Buddle finished the year with 17 goals and already has 2 post-season goals. Mike Magee is the other forward, a workman-like MLS player who can be relied on to give consistent effort

Advantage: LA Galaxy

Match Prediction:

LA Galaxy 2 – FC Dallas 1

The Galaxy are heavily favored in this match and with good reason. LA has a fully healthy squad, players who are in good form and a head coach with bags of experience. On the other side, Dallas is in unchartered waters. They have never advanced to a league championship final, and haven't reached a conference final since 1999, when they lost to the Galaxy. Schellas Hyndman, MLS Coach of the Year, has built a good team and his players appear to buy into his coaching philosophy. He has the league’s best playmaker at his disposal, and a prolific goal-scorer stalking the net.

This game should come down to answering a simple question – can the Galaxy disrupt Ferreira, thereby squelching the Dallas attack? LA might discover that it will take a team effort to do so, as Ferreira loves to move around the field and look for the ball. Ultimately, even if Ferreira finds the time and space to create attacking opportunities, the Galaxy will have enough discipline on defense, and enough firepower on offense to beat Dallas by a goal.

FCD drops season final in Los Angeles

October, 25, 2010
10/25/10
7:49
AM CT
FC Dallas lost their final regular season game out in Los Angeles 2-1 to the Galaxy. In a match highlighted by some perhaps sketchy referee decisions, Landon Donovan took advantage for the first galaxy goal on what appeared to be an egregious case of home cooking. Juninho had the winning goal for LA.

Both Galaxy goals were scored by untracked midfielders shooting from deep, highlighting the absence of the FCD captain in midfield. After starting Ugo Ihemelu and Daniel Hernandez last week, Coach Schellas Hyndman chose to rest both players for the final. Jackson filled in for the suspended Heath Pearce. Atiba Harris scored the loan Dallas goal.

With the loss Dallas tied the single season record of 4 losses held by the 2005 San Jose Earthquakes. The LA Galaxy win the Western Conference and the Supporters Shield. Dallas will now face Real Salt Lake in the playoffs.

FC Dallas 1, L.A. Galaxy 2
Home Depot Center, Carson, Calif.
Attendance: 24,993

Scoring Summary:
DAL – Atiba Harris 4 (Eric Alexander 3) 22
L.A. – David Beckham 2 (Landon Donovan 16) 33
L.A. – Juninho (unassisted) 46

FC Dallas – Dario Sala, Jackson (Ugo Ihemelu 75), Zach Loyd, George John, Jair Benitez, Atiba Harris, Dax McCarty, Eric Alexander (Eric Avila 60), Marvin Chavez, Jeff Cunningham (Brek Shea 67), David Ferreira

Substitutes Not Used: Kevin Hartman, Bruno Guarda, Daniel Hernandez, Milton Rodriguez

TOTAL SHOTS: 10 (Dax McCarty 3); SHOTS ON GOAL: 4 (Dax McCarty 2); FOULS: 14 (Jackson 4); OFFSIDES: 3 (Jeff Cunningham 2); CORNER KICKS: 4 (David Ferreira 4); SAVES: 3 (Dario Sala 3)

Los Angeles Galaxy – Donovan Ricketts, Sean Franklin, A.J. DeLaGarza, Omar Gonzalez, Todd Dunivant, David Beckham (Chris Klein 89), Juninho, Dema Kovalenko, Landon Donovan, Edson Buddle (Eddie Lewis 90), Mike Magee (Jovan Kirovski 84)

Substitutes Not Used: Josh Saunders, Alex Cazumba, Leonardo, Tristan Bowen

TOTAL SHOTS: 11 (Edson Buddle 3); SHOTS ON GOAL: 5 (5 tied with 1); FOULS: 12 (Dema Kovalenko 4); OFFSIDES: 1 (Edson Buddle 1); CORNER KICKS: 5 (David Beckham 5); SAVES: 3 (Donovan Ricketts 3)

Misconduct Summary:
DAL – Atiba Harris (caution; Reckless Foul) 45
L.A. – Landon Donovan (caution; Reckless Tackle) 58

Referee: Mark Geiger
Referee’s Assistants: Craig Lowry, Greg Barkey
4th Official: Baldomero Toledo
Time of Game: 1:52
Weather: Partly Cloudy and 66 degrees

NOTES:

FC Dallas wraps up the 2010 regular season with a 12-4-14 mark and 50 points. The Dallas side’s four losses on the year ties the MLS mark for fewest losses in a single season.

The loss at L.A. coupled with last weekend’s loss at Real Salt Lake marks the first time all season FC Dallas has lost in back-to-back matches.

FC Dallas is the No. 3 seed in the West and will face defending MLS Champion Real Salt Lake in the first round of the 2010 MLS Playoffs, presented by Cash America. The two teams are set to meet Saturday, Oct. 30 at Pizza Hut Park with a 4 p.m. kickoff. Game two of the series will be played at Rio Tinto Stadium in Salt Lake on Nov. 6 at 9 p.m. CT.

FC Dallas Head Coach Schellas Hyndman:

On where the team is right now in relation to where he would like them to be…

We left quite a few of our regulars off today to try to recover and really, some of our players have been doing a pretty good job. We wanted to give them a chance to play. If you look at the first half, we’ve got a ways to go. We settled down a little bit in the second half even though we gave away a quick goal. To put a number on it, I think we’re about 80 percent where we feel like where we need to be. We were hitting about 90-95 percent before we picked up all the injuries. So, we stepped back a little bit, but I think it’s going to be different once the playoffs start.

On what he’s most pleased with to this point with his team…

David Ferreira has been outstanding for us. When you look at the players like Brek Shea who’s a young 20-year-old and Jackson… They really came along… I think our defense has done extremely well, and Kevin Hartman has been tremendous. There’s no doubt about it, we miss not only his good play, but his leadership qualities and his organization. We set a goal for ourselves to get into the MLS playoffs. We reached that goal and if you look at the points that are out there today, we would have won the Supporters’ Shield last year with the points we have. It’s a compliment to all those other teams who are doing so well.

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