Dallas Soccer: Maicon Santos
On his team’s defensive performance:
I thought our defense gave some silly balls away and I think [D.C. United] capitalized on it. It was something that we talked about before the game, “don’t give the balls away in the defending third and don’t give the balls away in the middle third,” and I thought we did that fairly well. It just seemed that before they scored the second goal there was a period of time when we had a hard time getting the ball and keeping it. Our defense was just under a lot of pressure and it showed.
FC Dallas Defender Ugo Ihemelu
On his team’s performance:
It was a disappointing game. We knew coming here that they didn’t have a win, were at home, and wanted to get a result and they were going to fight to the end. First half, we had opportunities which we capitalized, but we just let down. That was it.
On what went wrong:
We just let down, there wasn’t enough energy. We knew they were going to come out hard and fight for a win; they weren’t going to settle for a tie. So, we have to match that energy and go after them – we are on the road. We knew what to expect.
FC Dallas forward Blas Perez
On his team’s performance:
Despite not winning, I have to say [D.C. United] is a great team, with players that stand out. We have to keep working. It was a hard hit that won’t let us sleep, that’s the truth. We must try to get a win on Thursday and forget about tonight.”
On his scoring:
I have a lot of faith that I will score more goals, and that’s what I’m working for. I wanted to score more here but I needed to get better balls. Luckily, I was given one by D.C.’s central defense and I was able to score. It’s good for my self-confidence but it’s useless because the team didn’t get a win, tie or add points. So, I leave with a bitter taste.
D.C. United Head Coach Ben Olsen
On the win:
First off, it’s nice to win for the fans here. We haven’t given them much but I thought we put on a pretty good show. It was probably a pretty entertaining game to watch back and forth early.
On making changes at half:
In the second half I thought we were pretty good. We executed some of the things we talked about all week very well and we scored two goals.
On Danny Cruz and Nick DeLeon:
They had a big impact on the offensive end but they also had a big impact on the defensive end. I certainly appreciated the way they worked on both sides of the ball. I would hate to play against him [Cruz]. He’s a really competitive guy and just doesn’t quit. Nick [DeLeon] has very good soccer instincts for a young kid and I thought both of them played very well.
D.C. United forward Maicon Santos
On his first goal:
I’ve been trying every game I’ve been playing for D.C. United. You guys know that. I’ve been trying to shoot from long distance. That’s what I do. Work and shoot from long distance.
On playing with Dwayne De Rosario:
We know each other, so we understand. He knows where I’m going to be, so we work together.
On the result:
That’s a big win for us. It makes us relax.
D.C. United goalkeeper Joe Willis
On United’s performance:
We came out well. We had a lot of fight in us and I think it showed. I guess they caught us ball watching a bit at the beginning but I was able to make the saves and we got rejuvenated after that. I think the team played really well. I just did what I was supposed to do.
“They’re a team that hasn’t won yet and that’s always a dangerous team to play because their focus is so much on their first win,” Hyndman said. “What they bring is I think is a lot of emotion right now, trying to get that first win. They bring a very good strike force with two good forwards - Maicon Santos and Hamdi Salihi. He’s a very good player, Albania type of player. We don’t know too much about him but obviously a box striker. The key player to them is [Dwayne] De Rosario. He really is a difference maker, Golden Boot winner last year. He can play up front. He can play attacking midfield but he’s a player if you let him do what he wants to do, he’ll hurt you.”
Santos logged 11 games with FCD and scored two goals after coming over in the trade for Eric Avila with Toronto FC early last August. Saragosa was in Frisco between 2006 and 2009, seeing time in 54 total games. The Brazilian midfielder returned to MLS this year after spending his last two seasons in Azerbaijan.
Of course, these are two players Dallas coach Schellas Hyndman knows well, so it’s natural that he offered some kind words about both of them.
“Those are two really good guys. Marcelo Saragosa is one of my all-time favorite players that I’ve coached, just a wonderful human being, hard worker, real competitor,” Hyndman said. “Maicon Santos, he went through it with us last year and a very good player that we were unable to continue to keep but has the technical ability to be a very good striker, so it will be good to see both of them.”
On one hand, it’s a pretty glaring indictment of how badly the trade with Toronto FC that brought the South American striker to Frisco for off the bench energy guy Eric Avila has gone that FCD would give up on Santos this early.
On the other hand, there is plenty in Hyndman’s background, even at the professional level, to illustrate this is business as usual for the soccer sensei. Trust is a very big thing with Hyndman and after Santos underwent a dental procedure without the team knowing, and then chalked up his lack of finishing on the field to the medication he was on following the procedure, it was clear SH was more than a bit miffed about the whole situation.
In short, Santos had delivered a fatal one-two gut punch to his relationship with Hyndman, a blow that basically signaled that his time with FCD would be short.
One, Santos' lack of finishing on the field, where he did his best impression of former baseball player Kurt Bevacqua who Dodger manager Tommy LaSorda once said couldn’t hit water if he fell out of a [expletive] boat, gave Hyndman legitimate concerns about him going forward. And two, the whole tooth thing just cemented that lack of trust from the gaffer’s end.
To his defense, Hyndman was totally in the right. Here’s a guy in Santos who is new to the club who gets a dental procedure done without the team’s knowledge and when his form stinks, he chalks that up to the medication he’s on. How’s that for shattered trust?
Santos clearly has talent but while some were quite happy to see him come over from the Reds for a fan favorite in Avila, those a bit more detached from the situation wondered why TFC would cut him loose with so little fanfare.
Sure, Toronto has made some questionable personnel moves ever since they joined MLS but now that Mo Johnston is no longer pulling the strings up there, the moves have gotten much better and getting rid of Santos, at least from their standpoint, was a move they were more than willing to make.
It’s clear that things didn’t work out for Santos north of the border and now it looks like things haven’t gone so well for him here. That’s not an indictment of his character by any means but one has to wonder about him now that it’s happened twice. If it happened once, it could be chalked up to a difference in opinion or philosophy. But now that he will likely be leaving his second club in less than a year, one has to wonder.
Above all else, Hyndman is big on everyone being on the bus. Those that aren’t or who show no signs of coming aboard quickly fall by the wayside. Maybe the Santos thing is as simple as that. But from what he’s shown since he’s been here, it’s really no big loss, even with FCD’s current dearth of players up top.
Maykel Galindo and Maicon Santos both had their contract option declined by FCD. Galindo was on a quite affordable $55k salary, but was an injury gamble when he signed and just didn't pan out due to more injuries. Santos on a much less easy to swallow, but by no means obscene, $126K salary just didn't deliver the good of a top line striker.
Clubs may still sign their Re-Entry Process eligible players through December 2. Additionally, eligible players may opt out of the Re-Entry Process between now and 5 p.m. ET on December 2.
The Stage 1 Draft of the Re-Entry Process will take place on Monday, December 5 and the Stage 2 Draft will take place on Monday, December 12. The two drafts will take place via teleconference with all 19 clubs represented. MLS will release the results following each of the calls.
The rules for the re-entry stuff are a bit convoluted, but suffice it to say that teams in MLS can pick up these players at their current contract or similar (stage 1) or get the player with an offer of a contract (stage 2). Clubs may not select their own players in Stage 1. If both stages pass without a player being selected he becomes a free agents.
By the way FC Dallas picks 10th. Keeping in mind most of these players were placed on here to dump their salaries. Yet there are still some names on this list worth a look.
Four to Drop
Edson Edward D---Seeing this guy make the opening-day roster in preseason 2010 was one heck of a great story, especially with him being from an NAIA school in Canada. He even got to make his MLS debut late last season. However, a knee injury sidelined him for all of 2011 and it would have been unlikely to see him make the roster anyway. Still, he’s a great kid with some solid skills who could get another shot in this league or maybe in the NASL.
Maykel Galindo F---Galindo came to FCD with a great attitude and a great mentality. However, there was one small issue with the Cuban-born striker, he wasn’t exactly fit when he arrived here early in the year. That lack of fitness ended up costing him dearly as it seemed like every time he got close to regaining his health, he suffered a setback in the form of some nagging ailment. He did get healthy toward the end of the year and did log some minutes with the first team but the results just weren’t there. It was worth a shot but this is one experiment that just didn’t work.
Jeremy Hall D---Hindsight is always 20/20 but there are few who follow this club that liked this deal from the start. After all, the trading of Eric Alexander out of the midfield was unpopular on several fronts. One, it sent to Portland a kid who had become a fan favorite and two, it ended up being a bad move because midfield depth wasn’t exactly the strength the FCD brass thought it was and this team definitely could have used Alexander down the stretch. Hall still has a great upside but hasn’t really cut it with New York, Portland or now with Dallas. Maybe it’s time we all realize he’s nowhere near the player in MLS that he was during his college days at Maryland.
Josh Lambo GK---Nothing against Lambo but he hasn’t really shown a great deal since he’s been here. Sure, there have been several injuries for him to contend with and he has been a Generation Adidas player but for a guy who was drafted so highly not all that long ago, where are the returns on this pick? Some thought him getting married during last off-season would result in a more mature and focused ‘keeper and for some of the time, it did. But with the emergence of Richard Sanchez from the FCD Academy, there really isn’t room for Lambo, so if indeed he graduates from GA status, he’s likely gone before 2012.
Four to Keep
Daniel Cruz M---Sure, Cruz didn’t exactly set the world on fire in his 10 games with FCD, six of which were starts. However, he did have one goal and one assist and did show flashes of some solid skill while on the ball. For a team whose midfield depth has now become somewhat of an issue, especially down the stretch of the recently-concluded 2011 season, keeping Cruz at least to start the season makes absolute sense. Now if he doesn’t show something else early on, it wouldn’t be a huge shock to see him go because if Dallas fans know anything, it’s that gaffer Schellas Hyndman is never afraid to make a move if he feels it will better his club.
Bruno Guarda M---Guarda saw time in 11 games, five of them starts and contributed two assists in 2011. And it is a fair point that he hasn’t even come close to being the star he was during his college years at SMU. But when healthy last season, he gave FCD a viable option in the middle of the park and at times, he was a more than able fill-in at linking mid with starter Andrew Jacobson battling knee issues for much of the year. If not just from a depth standpoint, Bruno has value on this team. The big question is whether or not Hyndman can find an upgrade over the former Mustang this off-season. If that’s the case, then Guarda’s time playing under Hyndman will effectively be over.
Maicon Santos F---To put it bluntly, Santos was the soccer equivalent of ex-big leaguer Kurt Bevacqua. If you don’t get the reference, former Dodger manager Tommy LaSorda once put it oh so eloquently in a rant that is forever immortalized on YouTube saying that Bevacqua couldn’t hit water if he fell out of a [expletive] boat. It was about that bad for Santos in his 11 games, nine of which were starts this year in league play. Maicon took a total of 40 shots, 11 of which were on frame and only two of those went in. That’s a success rate of a paltry five percent for those of you scoring at home. While this cold streak was going on, it turns out that he had been bothered by a tooth issue and had taken drugs for that ailment, which was affecting his play. But what about after his tooth healed? There was little if any difference. Santos likely starts 2011 with FCD but he will be on the shortest of leashes and if there is any hint of his finishing problems in 2012, then he could join the long list of former Dallas strikers who have been cut.
Ricardo Villar M---Villar’s first few months with FCD were pretty uneventful to say the least. He did start early in the year against San Jose and the results were underwhelming at best. The Brazilian-born midfielder was a bit miffed that he wasn’t getting more playing time, to which Hyndman replied he needed to show more during training. But to Villar's credit, he did the work in training to eventually earn a spot on the field and made some fairly notable contributions during the US Open Cup, an event where Dallas advanced all the way to the semifinals. Still, the big question with him is he a starting-caliber player, especially on this team? That remains to be seen but even if he isn’t, he could still be a valuable piece if not just for his set piece prowess heading into the 2012 season.
Last night Hyndman rolled out a 4-2-3-1 to combat New York's 4-4-1-1. New York was clearly concerned about the speed on Dallas’ flanks: Hans Backe elected to play four central midfielders (from left to right Joel Lindpere, Teemu Tainio, Rafa Marquez, and Dax McCarty). Going forward, the tactic worked well for the visitors. The outside midfielders pinched-in (particularly McCarty) and helped link Thierry Henry with Dane Richards, who caused havoc with his darting runs behind center backs Ugo Ihemelu and George John.
Defensively, though, McCarty and Lindpere struggled to defend against the pace of Marvin Chavez and Brek Shea. The Dallas wingers, and fullbacks Zach Loyd and Jair Benitiez, needed only a split-second to find space before sending in their service. Early on, New York was very vulnerable along the flanks.
Hyndman took advantage of the situation by instructing his outside players to send in early crosses. Dallas' gaffer must have seen a vulnerability on film, as New York's backline struggled with the constant early service. This strategy led to numerous scoring opportunities for the Red Stripes.
But, in what has been a theme, Dallas' attackers didn't finish their chances. A 14th minute miss by Chavez and a 40th minute shank by Jackson were the most glaring failures. Jackson's miss was galling; his unmarked header from seven yards wasn't even close to being on target.
The sheer volume of opportunities - Dallas had 14 total shots and 7 shots on goal to New York's 6 and 6 - spoke wonders of Hyndman's tactical acumen, especially since Dallas had a slightly lower percentage of possession (51% to 49%). However, one personnel choice should be called into question. Hyndman's inclusion of Jackson over the more traditional Number 9 Maicon Santos didn't make sense in light of the amount of crosses sent into the box.
Jackson normally interchanges very well with Shea and Chavez, but against New York he stayed in the middle in anticipation of the waves of crosses. The Brazilian demonstrated his lack of a striker's instinct on more than one occasion, notably the 40th minute miss. Santos, a second half sub, had just one opportunity to head the ball toward goal and his effort from outside the box forced Frank Rost to make a save.
Granted, Santos was otherwise anonymous. But that was merely symptomatic of Dallas' problems in the latter half of the season. The front three, particularly the striker, failed to take advantage of excellent build-up and then a series of blunders at the back (John, Loyd, and Ihemelu all made mistakes on New York's opening goal) doomed the squad to a loss. Hyndman may look back on this match as the epitome of his squad's 2011 campaign, promise unfulfilled.
Blake Owen is the editor and publisher of futbolforgringos.com.
Dallas was missing 6 starters with Brek Shea, Ricardo Villar, Kevin Hartman, Daniel Hernandez, and Andrew Jacobson all being left in Dallas for rest and recovery. Jackson was also suspended for the match due to yellow cards. “Some of the players we left at home are injured,” said Hyndman. "They wouldn’t have been at their best, and we might have made the injury worse. And a couple of them we just wanted to rest."
With Real Salt Lake tieing Portland earlier in the day, a FCD win would have seen them move into 3rd in the West and earn a bye in round one of the playoffs. It has to be wondered if resting those player will pay off since FCD now has an extra game against either New York or Houston (depending on the Houston/LA result on Sunday).
Chris Seitz started in net with Jeremy Hall, Jack Stewart, Maykel Galindo, Bruno Guarda, Bobby Warshaw and Maicon Santos filling in for the other missing players.
It all went sour for FCD in the first half, shortly after RSL had stumbled, FCD proceeded to give up four goals in a span of just twelve minutes. One of the four goals was a PK by Chris Wondolowski allowing him to tie Dwayne DeRosario for the MLS Golden Boot with 16 goals on the season. Seitz made several second half saves to deny Wondolowski the outright title.
One bright spot late was the first career MLS goal for FCD starlet Ruben Luna who netted in the 90th minute.
SJ – Simon Dawkins (unassisted) 26
SJ – Rafael Baca (Steven Beitashour, Khari Stephenson) 27
SJ – Chris Wondolowski (penalty kick) 34
SJ – Simon Dawkins (unassisted) 38
DAL – George John (Jack Stewart, Daniel Cruz) 46+
DAL – Ruben Luna (Bruno Guarda, Jair Benitez) 90
SJ – Bobby Burling (caution; Reckless Tackle) 77
FC Dallas – Chris Seitz, Jeremy Hall, George John, Jack Stewart, Jair Benitez, Daniel Cruz (Victor Ulloa 81), Maykel Galindo (Andrew Wiedeman 63), Bruno Guarda, Bobby Warshaw, Fabian Castillo, Maicon Santos (Ruben Luna 73)
Substitutes Not Used: Richard Sanchez, Moises Hernandez, Bryan Leyva, Zach Loyd
TOTAL SHOTS: 12 (Fabian Castillo 3); SHOTS ON GOAL: 7 (7 tied with 1); FOULS: 5 (Maicon Santos 2); OFFSIDES: 3 (Maicon Santos 3); CORNER KICKS: 3 (Daniel Cruz 3); SAVES: 5 (Chris Seitz 5).
San Jose Earthquakes – Jon Busch, Steven Beitashour, Bobby Burling, Jason Hernandez, Justin Morrow, Rafael Baca, Ramiro Corrales, Sam Cronin, Simon Dawkins (Ellis McLoughlin 85), Khari Stephenson (Joey Gjertsen 62), Chris Wondolowski.
Substitutes Not Used: David Bingham, Nana Attakora, Chris Leitch, Matt Luzunaris, Brad Ring
TOTAL SHOTS: 19 (Chris Wondolowski 7); SHOTS ON GOAL: 9 (Chris Wondolowski 4); FOULS: 10 (Sam Cronin 4); OFFSIDES: 2 (2 tied with 1); CORNER KICKS: 5 (Rafael Baca 3); SAVES: 5 (Jon Busch 5).
Referee: Kevin Stott
Referee’s Assistants: Adam Wienckowski, Brian Poeschel
4th Official: Yader Reyes
Time of Match: 1:51
Weather: Clear and 76 degrees
Vancouver Whitecaps fans probably don't have much sympathy for the recent struggles of FC Dallas. The expansion squad is just one point away from scraping the bottom of the table, which made them the perfect opponent for Dallas to build on a recent 2-1 victory over the Chicago Fire.
Even though the Red Stripes locked up their playoff spot in Chicago, Schellas Hyndman deployed his usual attacking lineup, presumably in an effort to leapfrog Real Salt Lake for third place in the Western Conference. Hyndman used the 4-2-3-1 that has become Dallas' go-to formation for the latter half of the season, though Jackson - as in the Chicago match - platooned for Maicon Santos up top.
Despite the absence of David Ferreira, Hyndman's 1-striker formation has continued to create scoring opportunities. The wing play of Brek Shea and Marvin Chavez - as well as Fabian Castillo and Jackson - often troubles opposing fullbacks to no end. Saturday's starters, Shea and Chavez, were obviously instrumental to the victory, as Chavez scored the opener, with Shea assisting, and Shea picked up the clincher. Both wingers demonstrated excellent skill on their strikes: Chavez dummied Jay DeMerit, a 2010 World Cup participant, and Shea calmly blasted home a half-volley.
Neither winger, however, would be able to cause such havoc without the calculated passes of the trequartista, the attacking midfielder who operates behind the striker. Earlier in the season, a number of players had the opportunity to impress in this position, but Ricardo Villar put a stranglehold on the starting spot at the beginning of August. His intelligent vision and comfort on the ball suck in defenses and let the wingers sneak behind the backline.
Against Vancouver he again showed his quality. Villar produced half of FC Dallas' key passes, services that led to a goal scoring opportunity. And though the Brazilian only completed 67% of his passes, even his unsuccessful attempts showed a willingness to try to break down the defense: all but one of his misses were targeted at a teammate in a more advanced position.
Ferreira's injury tasked Hyndman with the impossible duty of replacing the MVP, but Villar's stellar second half of the season has eased that burden and allowed Dallas' wingers to flourish. He'll need to continue pulling the strings if FCD wants to replicate last season's run to the MLS Cup final.
Then FCD went on to win the game 2-1 to not only clinch a playoff birth in the 2011 MLS Cup Playoffs, but also to bring home the Brimstone Cup for the 10th straight year. You have to go all the way back to 2001, the first year of the Cup's existence for the last time Chicago won the thing. That's a decade of domination for FCD fans to enjoy.
FCD clinched a playoff berth for the 12th time in franchise history by honor of their victory but can still move several places in the standings and perhaps even east to west in terms of brackets depending on how they do in the remaining games.
Daniel Cruz notched the eventual game winner off a corner kick Zach Loyd headed down. Cruz's half bicycle kick was very well placed past a surprised Sean Johnson to give FCD the 2-0 lead.
Chicago was forced to finish the match with 10 men when Pavel Pardo was shown a red card in the 79th minute for a slide tackle from behind on Villar.
Chicago scrapped a late goal to make it close when a FCD defender failed to clear, allowing Orr Barouch to collect the loose ball. Barouch found Sebastian Grazzini in the box, who cut back to score an easy goal at the back post.
One concern for FCD is the condition of Maicon Santos who was stretchered off and into the locker room after being kicekd in the face late in the game.
DAL – Jackson (Ugo Ihemelu) 41
DAL – Daniel Cruz (Zach Loyd, Ricardo Villar) 53
CHI – Sebastian Grazzini (Orr Barouch) 85
CHI – Gonzalo Segares (caution; reckless tackle) 18
DAL – Zach Loyd (caution; tactical foul) 29
CHI – Dan Gargan (caution; reckless foul) 39
DAL – Jackson (caution; reckless tackle) 43
DAL – Daniel Cruz (caution; reckless tackle) 58
CHI – Pavel Pardo (ejection; serious foul play) 78
CHI – Corey Gibbs (caution; reckless foul) 82
CHI - Josip Mikulic (caution; reckless foul) 90
FC Dallas -- Kevin Hartman, Jair Benitez, Ugo Ihemelu, George John, Zach Loyd, Fabian Castillo (Brek Shea 63), Daniel Cruz (Bobby Warshaw 85), Andrew Jacobson, Ricardo Villar (Maicon Santos 90), Marvin Chavez, Jackson.
Substitutes Not Used: Chris Seitz, Jack Stewart, Jeremy Hall, Bruno Guarda.
TOTAL SHOTS: 12 (Jackson 4); SHOTS ON GOAL: 6 (Jackson 2); FOULS: 18 (Jackson 5); OFFSIDES: 2 (Brek Shea, Fabian Castillo 1); CORNER KICKS: 2 (Ricardo Villar, Fabian Castillo 1); SAVES: 2 (Kevin Hartman 2).
Chicago Fire – Sean Johnson, Dan Gargan (Josip Mikulic 77), Jalil Anibaba, Cory Gibbs, Gonzalo Segares (Orr Barouch 77), Logan Pause (Daniel Paladini 56), Pavel Pardo, Sebastian Grazzini, Patrick Nyarko, Diego Chaves, Dominic Oduro.
Substitutes Not Used: Jon Conway, Baggio Husidic, Victor Pineda, Michael Videira.
TOTAL SHOTS: 6 (Sebastian Grazzini, Patrick Nyarko 2); SHOTS ON GOAL: 3 (Sebastian Grazzini, Patrick Nyarko, Daniel Paladini 1); FOULS: 13 (Corey Gibbs 3); OFFSIDES: 1 (Dan Gargan 1); CORNER KICKS: 3 (Sebastian Grazzini 5); SAVES: 3 (Sean Johnson 3).
Referee: Michael Kennedy
Referee’s Assistants: Corey Rockwell, Peter Balciunas
4th Official: Chris Penso
Time of Match: 1:56
Weather: Clear, 65 degrees
And it was a similar performance for him in Saturday’s 1-0 loss to Houston. But when asked about Santos on Monday afternoon and specifically, what kind of response he expects from the striker going forward, FCD gaffer Schellas Hyndman had some interesting things to say.
“You know me, I believe actions are louder than words. We’ve really given Maicon a lot of opportunities and I think there were some issues with him in the New York game because he had just had a tooth removed and was under pretty strong medication,” Hyndman said. “And then, he played in the reserve game where he didn’t look very good and I had a word with him. He said, ‘Coach, I’ve been taking this medication and it’s really making me slow, not just physically but thinking.’ We’ve got to do a better job in monitoring the medication.”
The Soccer Sinsei did feel Santos had a much better game against the hated Dynamo.
“I thought he had some great chances again against Houston. As a striker, you think this is your bread and butter. This why you’re playing that No. 9 position and it wasn’t getting done,” Hyndman said. “And I think because it’s not getting done, there’s always that confidence thing mentally that starts to affect you. Then, it’s trying to do a little bit too much so that every time you try to do more, you’re doing less. So, I think the actions are louder than words.”
On Sunday morning, FCD and Houston met in a reserve game. Santos might not have played in that affair, but he did make a pretty strong statement in another big way.
“Yesterday, we did not play him in the reserve game and we could have. But I just thought he needed some time,” Hyndman said. “For 45 minutes, he worked on his first step, his explosion and passing. While a lot of other guys were done with their recovery, he kept on working. I think that was a statement that hey, I’ve got to do better.”
And for the record, Santos is no longer on that medication for his tooth.
He is the second FCD regular to have some dental issues this year. Earlier this season, midfielder Marvin Chavez had a couple of teeth pulled but didn’t really miss much time, only a practice or two.
“Yeah, we had taken out a couple of teeth on Chavez and were able to give him the break time. Unfortunately, because of our schedule and the importance of the games, we haven’t been able to give Maicon the break time,” Hyndman said.
However, as a striker, the gaffer knows there is one stat above all others by which Santos will be judged-goals. He has two tallies and one helper in seven league games, totals his manager definitely wants to see improve.
“But I think he’s got to get on track. He’s got to do the things he’s capable of doing and the things we expect him to do and hope him to do,” Hyndman said.
For much of the match, Dallas played what may well have been its most fluid soccer since the early summer. Brek Shea and Jackson strung together a dazzling series of touches to create a scoring opportunity for the right winger (14th minute). Maicon Santos, Jackson, and Ricardo Villar easily slipped through the Dynamo defense in the 21st, allowing Villar an unmarked shot. And in the second half, Jackson, who often combined intelligently with substitute Marvin Chavez, continued to trouble goalkeeper Tally Hall.
The most encouraging aspect of these opportunities, particularly the first half chances, was how they were created from a variety of locations. In fact, not only did Dallas create scoring chances from different areas, multiple players pulled the strings. Eight players - Santos, Shea, Chavez, Jack Stewart, Andrew Jacobson, Ricardo Villar, Ugo Ihemelu, and Daniel Cruz - produced nine key passes (services that led to a shooting opportunity). A couple of inches difference in the trajectory of a few shots, plus a less stellar day from the outstanding Hall, and the postgame talking point would be the resurgent Dallas attack.
But the great saves made by Hall, the woodwork's triple-irritating interference, and the lax defending on an 87th minute corner guaranteed the chatter would be on yet another disheartening loss.
Surprisingly, much of the defensive inadequacies came from captain Daniel Hernandez. The normally hard-nosed and well-positioned captain tellingly didn't attempt a single tackle on the evening, an indication that he was rarely in a position to cover for his teammates. He was often too far afield of his center backs, leaving plenty of space for Houston attackers to sneak into. Brad Davis made the most of these opportunities. The midfielder completed a number of passes in the area normally patrolled by Hernandez.
Going forward, Schellas Hyndman has to continue to believe in his system. The unflappable Hernandez rarely performs at anything but the highest standard, and if the squad continues to produce such fluid attacking soccer, the shots are liable to start landing on the correct side of the post.
Blake Owen is the editor and publisher of futbolforgringos.com.
General thoughts on the match …
Look, we did more than enough being up two goals at home to secure the win. It’s not even closing down the game. At the end we weren’t competing enough. They got two balls in from the outside, which we should be close enough to even block them. Then we let two guys get in on the back door not necessarily unmarked but not challenged like they should be and they scored two goals which is a credit to them.
On the performance of FC Dallas…
They played well. The whole game through they tried to just grind it out because obviously they are just coming backfrom their road trip in Toronto and I give them all the credit in the world for coming back. Great goals they scored.
On the red card…
The three red cards in the last five games at home doesn’t help. We could talk all day about that stuff but we’ve been down that road so many times. It’s old for me there is nothing to talk about on that side. It is what it is. We have to be able to play in those situations and we have to be able to compete and we didn’t do it and that is something that we will be dealing with this week.
On dealing with crosses and set pieces coming into the area…
It’s not that everybody stopped competing. When there’s balls on the outside getting played in. First off the cross can be denied and then also you can still get on your men. The guy doesn’t always have to hit a good cross. Sometimes he over hits it or its to short and we’re not close to men. I have to see it again, but on the set piece goal they score after we were up 2-0 I think we only had one person in the wall. And that is lack of organization so these are some things I’ll have to review.
On the first half performance…
I think the first half for a while there we were very good, we were on them. They took it over a little bit. Not took it over but had a little too much of the run of play in between our two lines. I thought we definitely sorted that out in the second half. But you can talk about that all day.
On missing the chance to move closer tothe top of the Eastern Conference…
The fact of the matter is we had a chance with all the other results that were out there and the way we played today we could have easily put ourselves in a very good position here being one point behind Columbus. We didn’t take advantage of it. Teams that want to have success, you have towin these types of games and we didn’t do that today so we have some work to do for sure. We have some real work to do. There is no doubt that I know that it stings in all the guys right now but winning is everything and giving upgoals at the end like that is something that you have to compete for and wedidn’t do that.
Sporting Kansas City midfielder Roger Espinoza
General thoughts on the match…
I thought we did really well, I mean even though they scored one goal we weredoing pretty well with 10 men on the field. Our mental breakdown was in the80th minute when they scored their second goal and at that point I said ‘OK, I’ll take the point”.
On losing the lead…
I don’t know what happened from there, we lost concentration. It’s frustrating this is about the fourth time this has happened this season, we either have to settle for a point, or we lose. This is the second time at home.
On positives to take away from the match…
First half was really tough for us. I thought the game was kind of crazy, everybody was flying into 50/50 balls, but I thought in the second half we were able to play a little bit and I thought we were able to keep the ball. When we wereable to keep the ball we already thought we had won it.
Thoughts on the atmosphere tonight at LIVESTRONG Sporting Park…
It’s great for us we need to win games if we want fans to keep coming. If we are losing, people aren’t going to want to come. So hopefully next game against the LA Galaxy we’ll be able to show them a good game and win the game.
Sporting Kansas City defender Michael Harrington
General thoughts on the performance…
Obviously just disappointed. Another 2-0 lead and we’re thinking we have the game pretty much won and we fell apart. Obviously the red card didn’t help us it put us down a man, with a lot of pressure at the end they were able to find the goal. Disappointed we thought we had the game there. We thought we had it won there.
On what can be improved upon moving forward…
We need to continue to take advantage of our chances and continue to put pressure on teams right away. Just playing as a team, just have to find a way to close it out.
FC Dallas Manager Schellas Hyndman
On his team’s attitude…
I said to our players what is it about you? You never give up when things are going against you. We were playing against a very good team at home. We have had a very difficult couple of weeks or I should say a couple months. A sellout atmosphere, a tremendous atmosphere, what is it about you guys? It really comes down to leadership and character. I don’t think anybody should ever expect FC Dallas to give up. I think tonight was an example of great leadership and character.
On the performance of Brek Shea…
I think at the end Brek sent some quality balls in. I think the field itself wasn’t really quality enough for either team, but I think what it does is really help theattacking team. Brek got free a couple of times there at the end, served some great balls and obviously being down a man it was really difficult for Sporting Kansas City to get players to attack and defend.
On the dynamics of a 2-0 match…
When you’re up two goals it’s a dangerous time in a game. A lot of people don’t realize when you’re up two goals its not a great time in a game. You have to kill the game and if you give a team a chance to get one then they have the confidence to get more.
On the timing of the first goal for FC Dallas…
It is always about timing isn’t it? While they are still celebrating on their second goal we get a free kick and I think it was probably Brek that got fouled and Hernandez hits it into the box trying getsomebody to get a head on it and it just gets through everyone. Unassisted goal but it was huge timing.
On Sporting Kansas City and LIVESTRONG Sporting Park…
I think Sporting Kansas City had such a difficult start being on the road as much as they were. Coach Vermes did a fantastic job keeping the guys confident to keep them within striking distance once they got the stadium built.
The atmosphere is fantastic. You guys should all be very proud of your team. Your front office, what a great job they’ve done getting people here in the stands and very passionate people. When we talk about passionate soccer and Kansas City, I mean, it’s fantastic.
FC Dallas goalkeeper Kevin Hartman
General thoughts on the match...
I’m just really excited about the guys really hanging in there. We made a mistake on the first goal, their guy came through and we couldn’t really do much about it, and the second goal is us needing to work on our marking on free kicks. There are things we can improve on certainly, but I think the most important thing is that we were a group that stayed level-headed and continued to compete and have opportunities. To walk out of KC with the three points is crucial for us. Tonight was really a good step for us.
On returning to Kansas City and playing at LIVESTRONG Sporting Park…
I saw Cliff [Illig] before the game and I congratulated him. It’s something they should be proud of. The field obviously needs to continue to come along, but it’s kind of new growth, it doesn’t have deep roots yet. The field will come along and will get to a point where they’ll be able to play the kind of soccer that they really want and play more possession and get results they’re looking for, they’ve certainly done really well so far.
FC Dallas midfielder Brek Shea
General thoughts on the match…
First off, great stadium, great crowd, I really enjoyed the environment. I think it was back and forth pretty much all game. They went ahead in the first half, and could’ve been up 2-0, I thought maybe we could have got a goal as well. The second half they got up 2-0, but this team showed what we’re all about and we didn’t give up, we kept fighting.
On playing their second match this year against Sporting Kansas City…
I think Kansas City after that 4-1 win in Dallas, they were on a roll and were playing really well. I think we really wanted to come in here and get a win. On a personal level, they came into our house and beat us, we wanted to come in and do the same thing. We pulled it out.
On 3.5 games in a week…
I love playing games, but I don’t know if my body agrees with me right now. But we’re trying to do everything we can to get ready for it. I think we’re excited, it’s the semifinals [of the Lamara Hunt US Open Cup]. Hopefully we get a win there then win the final.
FC Dallas forward Maicon Santos,
General thoughts on the match…
We knew this was going to be a tough game for us. To come back in a game like that, is very difficult. We kept pressing and pressing and got our first goal and then we kept it going and got three goals.
We’ve been fatigued with travel, but as a team, we should not give up. We play well, and want to keep up and score goals.
FC Dallas defender Bobby Warshaw
On his goal…
That’s why Brek [Shea]’s the man. He can win you a game, save you a game any moment. That’s why he’s Break Shea right now. When Brek gets the ball, you know he’s going to do special things, you work hard, get in the box and hopefully a good thing happens.
Philly give Dallas space in the midfield
Santos was instrumental to Dallas' success Saturday evening. His four key passes - defined as passes that lead to a shooting opportunity - topped the team. Santos dropped into the midfield with regularity, attempting a number of passes near the midfield line.
His forays toward his own half were a result of the tactics employed by Peter Novak in Freddy Adu's MLS return. In order to accommodate Adu, Novak unveiled a flexible 4-3-3. Adu joined Sebastian Le Toux and Jack McInerny up top. The three forwards interchanged constantly, and their movement gave the Dallas backline some problems, particularly when midfielder Justin Mapp joined them (one of Mapp's ventures forward led to the first penalty).
But Novak's use of the attacking trio did not come without cost. Dallas likes to break down the wing, so Philadelphia's forwards had to take turns retreating to reinforce the stretched midfield. However, there were a few sequences where one of the forwards failed to provide defensive support. The Union central midfielders were then unable to cover enough ground to prevent Dallas from stringing passes together. And when Santos dropped into the midfield, Dallas easily bypassed Phladelphia's center mids.
Though Dallas' first goal was courtesy a mistake from center back Carlos Valdes, who failed to clear a pass right in front of Santos, the second was due to the stretched Philly midfield. Shea won a challenge in his own half, and because all three Union forwards near Dallas' backline, Shea, Santos, and Chavez were able to quickly break into the Union penalty area.
Dallas errors lead to Union goals
But it was three mistakes that came to characterize FCD's evening. While Jackson and Ihemelu both committed fouls on their respective penalty sequences, neither defender should have been forced to attempt a challenge on the edge of the box. In the first half, Jair Benitez neglected to track the run of Mapp, and Ihemelu had to chase down the Union midfielder. Later on, Jackson created his own conundrum by trying to backheel a clearance, which forced him to run after Gabriel Farfan. And, of course, Jackson was only lining up at fullback because George John earned his second yellow by unnecessarily blundering into the heels of Danny Mwanga.
These gaffes must be eliminated before Wednesday's journey to Pumas. Few teams are able to overcome silly mistakes in the rigorous Champions League.
Blake Owen is the editor and publisher of futbolforgringos.com.
Santos opened the scoring in the 16th minute after pouncing on a miscue by Carlos Valdes to then loft a ball over the Union net minder. Sebastien Le Toux scored the first Philly PK after Justin Mapp and Ugo Ihemelu got tangled up and went down in the box.
Brek Shea grabbed the 2nd FCD goal after Santos and Marvin Chavez combed for a shot Chavez put off the post. A charging Shea grabbed the rebound.
George John got a 2nd caution in the 80th minute putting FCD down a man. Union capitalized in the 84th minute when Jackson fouled Gabriel Farfan in the box and Le Toux notched his second PK of the night.
With the point, FC Dallas maintains its hold on second place in the Western Conference with a 12-6-7 (43 points) mark, while Philadelphia is also second in the Eastern Conference at 8-5-10 (34 points).
DAL -- Maicon Santos 7 (unassisted) 16
PHI -- Sebastien Le Toux 2 (penalty kick) 33
DAL -- Brek Shea 10 (unassisted) 47+
PHI -- Sebastien Le Toux 3 (penalty kick) 84
FC Dallas -- Kevin Hartman, Zach Loyd, George John, Ugo Ihemelu, Jair Benitez, Marvin Chavez (Andrew Jacobson 82), Bruno Guarda (Daniel Cruz 71), Ricardo Villar, Daniel Hernandez (Jackson 67), Brek Shea, Maicon Santos.
Substitutes Not Used: Eric Alexander, Ruben Luna, Bobby Warshaw, Chris Seitz.
TOTAL SHOTS: 11 (Brek Shea 4); FOULS: 12 (Zach Loyd 3); OFFSIDES: 3 (Marvin Chavez 2); CORNER KICKS: 2 (Ricardo Villar 2); SAVES: 4 (Kevin Hartman 4).
Philadelphia Union -- Faryd Mondragon, Sheanon Williams, Danny Califf, Carlos Valdes, Gabriel Farfan, Justin Mapp (Keon Daniel 79), Freddy Adu (Danny Mwanga 62), Brian Carroll, Veljko Paunovic, Sebastien Le Toux, Jack McInerney (Roger Torres 73).
Substitutes Not Used: Michael Farfan, Stefani Miglioranzi, Amobi Okugo, Zac MacMath.
TOTAL SHOTS: 9 (Sebastien Le Toux 4); FOULS: 14 (Veljko Paunovic 5); OFFSIDES: 4 (Sebastien Le Toux 2); CORNER KICKS: 10 (Sebastien Le Toux 6); SAVES: 4 (Faryd Mondragon 4).
DAL -- George John (caution; Reckless Foul) 24
PHI -- Freddy Adu (caution; Reckless Tackle) 27
DAL -- Maicon Santos (caution; Dissent) 56
PHI -- Jack McInerney (caution; Reckless Tackle) 68
DAL -- George John (ejection; Second Caution) 80
Referee: Geoff Gamble
Referee's Assistants: -Daniel Belleau; Eric Proctor
4th Official: Drew Fischer
Time of Game: 1:56
Play Podcast Marc Stein and Steve Davis reflect on Adnan Januzaj's meteoric rise from Dallas Cup participant in April to Manchester United's savior in October before moving on to discuss DC United's victory over Real Salt Lake in the U.S. Open Cup final.
Play Podcast Steve Davis welcomes Marc Stein back to the studio from his European travels just in time to discuss the miserable weekend in the Premiership for both Manchester clubs.
Play Podcast Marc Stein and Steve Davis discuss the big City v United game and Stein's trip to West Brom for the Paolo Di Canio show.
Play Podcast Marc Stein and Steve Davis cover all the ins and outs of the United States' comprehensive victory over Mexico that clinched a seventh straight trip to the World Cup.
Play Podcast Marc Stein and Steve Davis look ahead to Tuesday night's big USA vs. Mexico showdown.
Play Podcast Pedro Pinto analyzes the Champions League draw, and Rodney Marsh discusses Liverpool's flying start.
Play Podcast Marc Stein and Steve Davis discuss Clint Dempsey's home debut and the weekend's marquee match in MLS: Seattle vs. Portland.
Play Podcast Broadcasting live from FC Dallas Stadium, Marc Stein and Steve Davis reflect on the absolute footy feast that was Saturday's TV bonanza featuring seven live games from the Premiership followed by a full MLS slate.