Dallas Soccer: Matt Hedges
RSL – Alvaro Saborio (Terakazu Tanaka) 59
DAL – Matt Hedges 75
RSL – Saborio (Ned Grabavoy, Jonny Steele) 76
DAL – Blas Perez (Jonathan Top, Jackson) 85
RSL – Nat Borchers 90+
FC Dallas – Kevin Hartman, Jair Benitez, George John, Matt Hedges, Zach Loyd, Bryan Leyva (Carlos Rodriguez 79), Daniel Hernandez, James Marcelin (Jonathan Top 82), Andrew Jacobson, Jackson, Blas Perez.
Substitutes Not Used: Chris Seitz, Victor Ulloa, Moises Hernandez, Scott Sealy, Bruno Guarda.
TOTAL SHOTS: 12 (Blas Perez 4);
SHOTS ON GOAL: 5 (Jackson 2);
FOULS: 9 (Jackson 4);
OFFSIDES: 2 (Jackson, Blas Perez 1);
CORNER KICKS: 2 (Bryan Leyva 2);
SAVES: 4 (Kevin Hartman 4).
Real Salt Lake – Kyle Renish, Tony Beltran, Nat Borchers, Terakazu Tanaka, Jamison Olave, Ned Grabavoy, Yordany Alvarez, Luis Gil (Jonny Steele 70), Will Johnson, Alvaro Saborio, Fabian Espindola (Sebastian Velasquez 90+).
Substitutes Not Used: Eduardo Fernandez, Emiliano Bonfigli, Paulo Junior, Chris Estridge, Enzo Martinez.
TOTAL SHOTS: 16 (Alvaro Saborio 4);
SHOTS ON GOAL: 7 (Alvaro Saborio 3);
FOULS: 14 (Yordany Alvarez 3);
CORNER KICKS: 4 (Ned Grabavoy 3);
SAVES: 3 (Kyle Reynish 3).
RSL – Yordany Alvarez (caution) 37
RSL – Fabian Espindola (caution) 90+
Referee: Abiodun Okulaja
Referee’s Assistants: Kermit Quisenberry, Scott Kachmarik
4th Official: Tyler Ploeger
Time of Game: 1:53
Weather: Cloudy, 65 degrees
His club is still in better shape than FC Dallas.
RSL will try to extend its home winning streak to five Saturday night when Dallas looks to end its eight-match winless stretch.
Playing for the first time since a 1-0 victory at Seattle on May 12, Real Salt Lake (8-3-2) will be without goalkeeper Nick Rimando, Alvaro Saborio, Will Johnson and Kyle Beckerman on Saturday as they're all on international duty. The club also could be missing defender Chris Wingert (hamstring) and midfielder Javier Morales (quadriceps).
Kyle Reynish is expected to make his second start of the season in goal for RSL, while midfielders Yordany Alvarez and Luis Gil and defender Chris Schuler could see plenty of minutes against Dallas.
"We want to try to rotate the team in a way that we keep a strong spine or core group of players," Kreis told RSL's official website. "We will certainly hope for the same throughout the rest of the season."
Real Salt Lake, one point back of MLS-leading San Jose, is hoping to maintain its edge at Rio Tinto Stadium, where it is 5-1-0. The club's last five-game home winning streak was May 1-June 9, 2010.
RSL is 4-0-1 at home against Dallas since Rio Tinto Stadium opened. Real Salt Lake holds a 12-4 scoring edge in those contests.
That does not bode well for an FC Dallas club that's 0-5-1 on the road in 2012. Dallas (3-7-4) joins Portland and Toronto as the only teams without a victory away from home.
Dallas doesn't have a win on any field since a 2-1 victory over expansion Montreal on April 14. A 2-1 loss in Chicago on Wednesday stretched the team's winless streak to eight, two shy of the franchise record.
"We need to get points any way we can, a win, a tie, whatever," rookie defender Matt Hedges told the Fire's official website after scoring his first MLS goal Wednesday.
If the club is going to pick up any points Saturday, it will have to do so without midfielder Brek Shea, who will complete his three-game suspension after kicking the ball at an assistant referee in a 2-1 loss to Columbus on May 12.
Shea scored on a penalty kick in first-half stoppage time in a 1-all draw against visiting RSL on April 25.
Dallas played that match without suspended striker Blas Perez, while Real Salt Lake did not have forward Fabian Espindola and defender Jamison Olave available after both were red-carded in a 3-1 loss at San Jose on April 21.
Real Salt Lake is on a season-best 3-0-2 run since ending a two-game losing streak in last month's match with Dallas.
RSL's last six-game point streak was a 3-0-4 stretch June 11-July 23.
These teams conclude the season series Aug. 18 in Utah.
DAL – Matt Hedges 41
CHI – Sebastian Grazzini (Marco Pappa) 45
CHI – Marco Pappa 63
FC Dallas – Chris Seitz, Jair Benitez, Matt Hedges, George John (Carlos Rodriguez 46), Zach Loyd, Bryan Leyva (Scott Sealy 72), James Marcelin (Bruno Guarda 46), Daniel Hernandez, Andrew Jacobson Jackson, Blas Perez.
Substitutes Not Used: Kevin Hartman, Victor Ulloa, Jonathan Top, Moises Hernandez.
TOTAL SHOTS: 15 (Blas Perez 4);
SHOTS ON GOAL: 3 (Blas Perez 2);
FOULS: 15 (Andrew Jacobson, Zach Loyd 3);
OFFSIDES: 2 (Carlos Rodriguez, Andrew Jacobson 1);
CORNER KICKS: 7 (Bryan Leyva 4);
SAVES: 4 (Kevin Hartman 4).
Chicago Fire – Sean Johnson, Dan Gargan, Jalil Anibaba, Austin Berry, Gonzalo Segares, Patrick Nyarko, Rafael Robayo, Sebastian Grazzini (Pavel Pardo 76), Logan Pause, Marco Pappa (Corben Bone 89), Dominic Oduro (Orr Barouch 59).
Substitutes Not Used: Paolo Tornaghi, Hunter Jumper, Danil Paladini, Federico Puppo.
TOTAL SHOTS: 15 (Sebastian Grazzini 6);
SHOTS ON GOAL: 6 (Sebastian Grazzini 4);
FOULS: 21 (Marco Pappa 4);
OFFSIDES: 4 (Dominic Oduro 3);
CORNER KICKS: 3 (Marco Pappa 2);
SAVES: 4 (Sean Johnson 4).
DAL – George John (caution) 30
CHI – Dan Gargan (caution) 36
CHI – Marco Pappa (caution) 64
CHI – Orr Barouch (caution) 69
CHI – Rafael Robayo (caution) 90
Referee: Hilario Grajeda
Referee’s Assistants: Peter Balciunas, Kevin Klinger
4th Official: Abiodun Okulaja
Time of Game: 1:52
Weather: Sunny, 78 degrees
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.”
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.
It was a disappointing result. We were unable to score. I think that led into the pressure late in the game. Montero comes on the field. We know what he’s all about. He’s a very good player. He’s a difference maker and obviously tonight he scored two goals. For us, I thought we had probably 70 minutes of our best soccer of the year, getting the ball, moving the ball and I don’t want to emphasize the players we were missing. I thought the players we had on the field today were very good. They played hard, determined and, as you know, they had a very difficult game on Sunday that took a lot of energy out of them. I thought the first half Seattle was responding to us. I think we took the game to them. Rosales did have a great chance that (he) was unlucky not to finish, but if you look at the number of opportunities we had, the number of times we got behind the defense, we should have done better with it.
On the two Seattle goals…
The first goal I thought we were a little bit out of shape and then when (Fredy) Montero got the ball we had two guys who were right on him trying to make a tackle and somehow he got free. I think the players were almost in each other’s way at a point. He got free maybe 10 yards away from the goal and hit it to the near post. He hit it with so much power that Kevin (Hartman) couldn’t get a hand on it.
The second goal was really goofy. This is just us being a little bit naďve. We doubled up on the player with the ball and we left an open space in the zone. When we didn’t win the ball, we were out of shape. The ball went into the left side of the field. The guy came in and I think Montero probably beat George to the ball and that’s what Montero does. He’s a shark. He’s a finisher. He made a difference in the game. I thought we did a very good job with (Mauro) Rosales, who is probably their best player, and in comes Montero.
FC Dallas defender Zach Loyd
On the team’s overall performance during the game…
I’m disappointed, obviously, with the result, especially being at home. I thought the team played well, but we didn’t capitalize on our opportunities. With the few chances they did get, they capitalized on us. At the end of the day, we got beat 2-0.
On how to rebound after losing two disappointing games in a row…
Our backs are against the wall right now and we haven’t won a game in several weeks. I think the biggest thing we can do is to come together as a team and continue to believe in one another. For the next game, we’ll have Daniel [Hernandez] back, we’ll have Blas [Perez] back, and we will have Brek [Shea] 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.
On how he can individually contribute to the success of the team…
I can continue to work hard in practice, I can continue to develop and I can get better individually. I think the most important thing is to come together as a group. I think the team needs to continue to grow and continue to progress. Our sights are the playoffs, and we still have our sights on that. This weekend would be a big swing for us if we can get three points.
FC Dallas defender Matt Hedges
On his first career start with the team…
It felt really good to get the start, but I wasn’t too pleased with the result. When I was out there, I didn’t feel like we really changed the whole way we played, and it felt good.
On how tonight’s performance can affect his future with the team…
Whenever the team needs me to get on the field for a start, I’ll be ready. I think I’ve defined my role with the team, and they know what I can do and that I can help the team, so I’m just trying to do whatever I can.
FC Dallas midfielder Brek Shea
On his health… My body felt really good. It’s just that my toe was a little sore. It’s more annoying than anything. It feels like there is something in your shoe, just poking you all the time. It did feel a lot better than it had after resting it this week. I’m wearing an insert in my boot that helps take a lot of the pressure off of it.
General thoughts on the match…
We were unfortunate to lose. I don’t think it was a 2-0 game. In the first half the chances were going both ways, but in the beginning of the second half I thought we really dominated, but that’s soccer. They had two chances and they put them away.
Are the recent struggles just a matter of the ball not bouncing the right way?
It’s not going our way right now in anything. Soccer is like that. Once you get things going in the right direction… Once things start rolling… We had it rolling at the beginning of the season. It’s not rolling right now. We have a lot of guys out, but I do think a lot of guys stepped up and played well tonight. It’s unfortunate we lost 2-0.
Seattle Sounders FC head coach Sigi Schmid
On five straight victories…
It’s great. Today was tough for us because it’s our fourth game in 10 days, so we had a lot of tired bodies out there you know, but you try to get people through it. That’s why we tried to cut the minutes for Rosales. We tried to cut Montero’s minutes as well to keep us as fresh as possible because we have another game on the weekend. But I thought our team responded well. I thought we defended well, which we’ve done all season.
I thought Jeff Parke was superb. I thought Meredith came up with a big save at a big time for us and then obviously Montero finished two good goals. There was a lot of good work by Cordell Cato on the first goal. You know so I was pleased for him in his first game.
On three straight shutouts…
Well they work for each other you know. They get in the way. They block shots. They help each other. They cover for each other. You know they take a lot of pride in keeping things away from goal. I think our goalkeepers don’t have to make a lot of big saves because we’re doing a lot of saves in front of them and when they do they’re able to come up with it and do well with it. So it’s a mindset and the mindset is with our midfielders and forwards as well in terms of making plays predictable.
On second half play vs. the first…
I think the first half we were too stretched out. I thought Rose and Evans played too deep together and so there was a big hole there. Also Strata and Johnson are big forwards that like to stay high a little bit, so we had a big hole in the middle of midfield. So basically in the first half (James) Marcelin ran the whole show and he was able to put balls to the next guy. Who then play into (Fabian) Castillo and people like that. We talked about that at halftime, and the second half Evans pushed into that hole a little bit. Montero drops into that hole, so now all of the sudden we were able to play and connect some passes into that hole and hold the ball for longer sequences and that forced them back a little bit.
Seattle Sounders FC goalkeeper Bryan Meredith
As a team this is our fifth win in a row, which is a franchise record for us. It’s very exciting. It was a great game. Sometimes you have to grind it out defensively, but the defense again did a great job. You have to give most of the credit to the defense for playing from minute 1 to minute 90 at 100 percent.
On diving save to end the first half…
He hit it across the goal and I don’t even know who it was. The ball just got up and kind of floated to the upper 90 and I just did everything I could to get a little tip on it.
On stepping in to play…
It’s been fun. You’ve got to be ready to step in and done the job at any time, which sometimes makes a backup position tough. I was prepared correctly before every game and luckily I’ve been able to extend our win streak.
Seattle Sounders FC forward Fredy Montero
It’s a great feeling coming off the bench. I try to do my best and do what Sigi told me and it was a big surprise for me to score those two goals and get the three points. Obviously when you are winning games you want to keep working and doing the same stuff. We tried to jump into the field and just enjoy the game. Try to be honest with us and try to be honest with the team and work hard for each other. We had a great battle today. We scored two goals and we got three points, which was super important for us.
On the second goal…
It was a little touch by the defense and the ball came to me and I just jumped and guided the ball into the net.
On the first goal…
It was a really fast play. I was battling for the ball and when I got the ball I tried to fake one defender and when I looked up I was right in front of the keeper. Then I just tried to put the ball into the net. It was a goal and a big moment for me.
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.
FC DALLAS -- OUT: MF David Ferreira (R foot surgery); MF Ricardo Villar (R foot strain); MF Andrew Wiedeman (sports hernia repair); MF Carlos Rodriguez (L elbow dislocation); MF Bobby Warshaw (R foot fracture); DF Ugo Ihemelu (concussion symptoms); QUESTIONABLE: MF Brek Shea (L foot turf toe)
Concussion symptoms is not something you want to see in a player who has had a concussion before.
Either Matt Hedges or Hernan Petruz are likely to fill in for Ihemelu.
Hyndman even went so far as to compare the 22-year-old Hedges to current FCD center back George John, a comparison that continues to gain steam in his eyes. The ex-Tar Heel has appeared in three games thus far and it’s a fair statement to say his new coach is impressed with his body of work thus far.
“Quite honestly, I think Matt Hedges is another George John. I think there’s a lot of similarities when you look at size and the success they had at the university, determination, the character, strength, courageous,” Hyndman said.
However, the only thing keeping the rookie defender from logging more minutes with the first team is the fact Dallas currently has a glut of center backs.
“We have so many center backs right now, so he may be suffering a little bit because there’s not an opportunity. But I thought putting him in late in the game, we felt like we were getting a lot of chances getting forward there at the end, which would create free kicks and create corner kicks,” Hyndman said. “The first corner kick we had, he had a great header on it and it was deflected by a defender. I think it might have gotten by the keeper. I think he’s doing fine. He just needs more playing time.”
And having your coach’s confidence is never a bad thing no matter the level of competition. “Feeling good, getting into a couple of games recently just shows the coach is starting to get more confidence in me and I’m glad. I’ve been performing well in practices. He’s always told us that if we’ve been performing well in practices and in games that we’ll get a chance and it’s true. I couldn’t be happier,” Hedges said.
He’s not the only UNC product currently playing in the back for Dallas as right back Zach Loyd is the other and while his fellow Tar Heel has helped him acclimate to the professional ranks, it two other fellow defenders who have been especially helpful.
“I think it’s Ugo [Ihemelu] and George [John that have helped me the most],” Hedges said. “They play the same position as me. They’ve given me some pointers and have been really helpful in adapting my game to the next level.”
But even though he has already appeared in three games, that doesn’t mean his adjustment process hasn’t been any easier. “You’ve just got to think faster, the speed of play is a lot faster than the college level. You’ve just got to be quicker thinking and you’ve got to anticipate a little bit better,” Hedges said.
Going from being in the first 11 on a regular basis at UNC to coming off the bench in MLS has been another adjustment, but playing in reserve games has definitely helped keep him game sharp.
“Yeah, they’ve kind of broken up the practices, but I’m not worried about not getting a lot of minutes so far,” Hedges said. “Every day’s a chance to get better, whether it’d be practices or reserve games. So I’m taking the opportunity to do that.”
Another story of that game was the MLS debut of one Matt Hedges, who came on for George John in the second half after John took a ball to the face. Hedges nearly had his first career goal were Fabian Castillo’s corner kick not ruled to have gone over the touchline.
FCD head coach Schellas Hyndman had plenty to say about the ex-Tar Heel’s solid league debut. “He’s everything we wanted when we drafted him. You remember how happy I was when we got him,” Hyndman said. “It’s kind of an awkward situation for him because we didn’t really expect George [John] back, so now we’ve got another good center back. And I think Hedges has the capability of being as good as George but he needs playing time. I thought he did a lot. Obviously that goal that was called back, he skied on that one. He’s strong in the air. He’s powerful and he’s just going to get better and better.”
And the Dallas gaffer admits he sees more than a few similarities between John and Hedges. “You take a look across the league and Tommy Meyer is starting. We took him [Hedges] before Tommy Meyer. I think sometimes you have to be at the right place."
"George was here. We were looking for center backs and he was in the right place. He made his mistakes and when Danny Torres got hurt, he went in and he did a pretty daggone good job,” Hyndman said.“So he played his first year and if you remember he had a lot of injuries and second year, he got better and better. He started taking care of his body a little better. We started getting the right recovery, the right flexibility exercises. He was working real hard with Michael Johnson and a really good second year. I think again, the reflection of Matt and George is so similar.”
General thoughts on the game…
“I thought it was a really exciting game. I thought we played well the first half. I thought Fabian (Castillo) was causing a lot of problems that they were not able to handle and we created some nice scoring chances. The second half, I thought we came out a little bit slower. I thought their tactic of getting a little bit more depth so Fabian wouldn’t be able to run by them was good for them. But, I thought in this game we probably created more quality chances. Looking at the clock going down to 90 minutes, it looked like it was going to be a tie, but both teams were really going after the three points.”
On Ricardo Villar’s status…
“We’re not sure. He twisted his foot. We’ll get an X-ray on it and see how he is.
On George John’s status…
“I think with all the recent studies on concussions, you always want to favor the protection of the player. I thought we did everything right and he will be evaluated by the experts.”
On Ugo Ihemelu’s game-winning goal…
“The goal was great. I don’t know if you all noticed or not, but he was cramping when he came over to the side and he and I had a discussion about pulling him out because he didn’t know if he was going to be able to get that cramp out of his leg and I shared this with the team after the game. One of the things we’d talked about (pre-game) was to challenge yourself tonight and to challenge your teammates and what a great example for a captain to stay in there and wanting to play to the end and then come out on top with the game-winning goal.”
Defender Ugo Ihemelu
On the ball played in by Zach Loyd that led to the winning goal...
You have to compliment Zach for stepping up and being brave enough to put himself in that position. He sent a ball in a little earlier that was really dangerous and got us a corner kick. Right before the one I scored on, he made eye contact with me so I knew he was coming to me. All the compliments go to him.
On playing through cramping late in the match…
I went off and Josh [FC Dallas Head Athletic Trainer Josh Watts] was trying to work out the cramp, but it wasn’t going away. I knew we had one more sub left and I didn’t want us to have to use it on another injury, so I just tried to stay out there for as long as I could. Fortunately, after Josh worked on it, it calmed down a little bit, I stayed in and it worked out for us.
On the team’s focus heading into tonight’s match…
Today, when the game started we spoke about putting in a solid 90-minute performance. We talked about staying positive, playing well the entire game. Tonight we were able to maintain our focus and work for each other. This puts us back on track where we want to be. It gives us something to build on moving forward.
FC Dallas defender Matt Hedges
Feelings on his first professional appearance…
It feels awesome. I am always ready to come in and help the team. It makes it even better that tonight when the opportunity came, we were able to get a win.
On how FC Dallas played tonight…
It was a good overall performance by the team. We kept the ball. We moved it around. We got some good opportunities. Again, it was a good overall performance by everybody.
On New England…
New England had put together two solid wins in a row against strong opponents, so we knew we were going to have to play well to pull out a victory. We had a good showing and we were able to get the result we wanted.
New England Revolution head coach Jay Heaps
General thoughts on the game…
I thought Dallas dodged just as many bullets as we did. We did a good job. We had 60 percent possession of the ball. Unfortunately at the end there, when it felt like we at least had a chance to get a draw, we didn’t finish it well.
Thoughts on deciding factors for the game’s outcome…
The chances [Dallas had] came from when we gave the ball away, when we made a few mistakes. Dictating the pace of this game was important for us. We are at a point where we need a little time to get our legs back.
Thoughts on the loss…
It is a tough way for the game to finish. It felt like we played well enough to get at least something out of the game whether it was a draw or three points. At the end of the game, we got ahead of ourselves a little with the momentum and we just couldn’t keep up.
Revolution midfielder Shalrie Joseph
On Kelyn Rowe…
From day one Kelyn came in and worked hard, you tell him what we need and he just puts his head down and works for the team. And that’s what we need. He’s good on the ball and he’s good when he is going against people. He can use both feet. He’s a good kid. He works hard and the sky is the limit for Kelyn.
Revolution midfielder Kelyn Rowe
On suffering a tough loss…
It’s tough that we played well. We really came out especially in the second half and played tough. We created some chances that unfortunately we couldn’t put away. We slipped up for five seconds and they did well to score a goal.
Were there any adjustments at half time?
Coach [Jay Heaps] made no adjustments position-wise or anything like that. He came in like, “look you guys are doing all right, just keep your heads up and let’s go out there and give them what we know we have. We saw it against L.A. We saw it against Portland. We need to see it again here and tonight.” And we did.
Revolution goalkeeper Matt Reis
How did you feel about how you guys played in that first half?
We did all right. We definitely did not play our best game. We were a little bit off and we were not as cohesive as we needed to be. That being said, it was 0-0 at halftime. We came out in the second half and really turned it up a notch. We had them on their back foot for most of the second half. Unfortunately, we didn’t do the right things at the end of the game.
They had some good opportunities in the beginning of the game, and you made some nice saves, talk about how you did individually.
I did what I needed to do back there. I kept us in the game as long as possible.
What was your experience with the tornados that came in town?
The weather came in, the hotel got on the intercom and said there was weather coming our way and it would be best if we seek cover. The hotel was great. The staff was great and everything was very orderly.
Are you happy with the way you guys played up until the goal?
No, I think we definitely did not play our best game. We did enough to at least get a point, but it was not in the cards tonight.
Will the 2010 version of David Ferreira return or is he gone for good?
Ferreira didn’t make his preseason debut until Feb. 23 against the U.S. Under-23 team. While there have been flashes of his old self, he did suffer an Achilles injury during last week’s trip to Florida and was in a walking boot, casting considerable doubt as to whether or not he’ll be ready for Sunday’s season opener with the New York Red Bulls. “El Torito” was known for taking a beating during his MVP season but the cumulative effects of all those knocks finally caught up with him last year when he went down with an ankle injury just six games into the season.
Verdict: Mixed, while there have been flashes of the 2010 version, prompting some to drink the Kool Aid and say he’s completely back, those statements are a bit premature. Ferreira is more than likely a shell of his former shelf, which is still pretty good. FCD head coach Schellas Hyndman said he was at 80 percent late last week, which isn’t bad. But the fact he might not be as durable as he once was is a huge concern heading into the season.
Who will step up at right mid?
With 2011 starter Marvin Chavez traded to San Jose late in 2011 and likely heir apparent Jackson playing in his native Brazil, there was some question as to who would start at right midfield. Fabian Castillo has pretty much claimed that spot as his own. Sure, there have been some nice preseason performances by one Andrew Wiedeman, but his six goals all came against college competition and there’s still some question about whether or not he’s a starting-caliber player in MLS. So, your starter at right mid will be Castillo on Sunday. Wiedeman could be a nice option off the bench, maybe even as an energy guy sort of like Eric Avila was over the last few years, but he’s not a starter, at least not yet.
Verdict: Resounding, Castillo has been by far the top choice at right mid. Sure, Hyndman would like to see him handle his defensive responsibilities better, but with his pace and ability to get up and down the flanks, he gives FCD exactly what they need in that spot-a playmaker. He is still young and relatively inexperienced but the upside associated with this speedy Colombian remains quite high. That alone means he’ll be the starter.
Will the health of Daniel Hernandez and Andrew Jacobson be a concern going forward?
When healthy, the central midfield combination of holding mid Daniel Hernandez and linking mid Andrew Jacobson was rock solid for FCD last year. The problem was that they weren’t healthy for much of 2011 as both fought through respective injuries (although they still did pretty well in all honesty). Both Daniel and AJ had knee surgeries this off-season and their respective recoveries have been mixed. Hernandez’s surgery was about six weeks after Jacobson’s, and while he did have some issues initially, he now appears to be over those. Jacobson hasn’t experienced any issues at all during preseason, so he appears good to go going forward.
Verdict: Mixed, Hernandez has experienced some issues during his recovery while Jacobson has not. Maybe a big part of that is Hernandez’s age, but of the two players, the ex-FCD captain has to rank as the bigger concern going forward, especially with his age and injury history, especially his knees. This was not Jacobson’s first knee issue, but it was his first serious injury as a pro. The sample size with AJ is much smaller, but there don’t appear to be any concerns with him going forward. Unfortunately, the same can’t be said for Hernandez.
How quickly will Blas Perez have an impact up top?
First off, some well-deserved credit to Hyndman and the rest of the FCD powers that be for bringing in the man known as “Super Raton” in the first place. He is the kind of veteran and dependable presence that this club has needed up top almost since Hyndman arrived. Schellas had Kenny Cooper at striker when he arrived but Perez has a much longer career and more proven track record than KC. Expecting Perez to score 15 goals, and add between seven and 10 assists, is far from too much to ask from this talented veteran.
Verdict: Resounding, Perez is the forward Dallas has been needing ever since Jeff Cunningham left two seasons ago. Now the only big question is can some of what he has rub off on teammates like Ruben Luna, Jonathan Top or maybe even Fabian Castillo, who could start up top or at right mid depending on what formation Hyndman opts to go with.
Who will start at center back alongside Ugo Ihemelu?
When George John went to second-division English side West Ham United in mid-January, few knew how things would turn out for the affable center back across the pond. As we all know now, John didn’t get a ton of run with the Hammers but did gain some invaluable experience in training, which should help him now that he’s back with FCD. John and Ihemelu have developed a strong partnership over the last few seasons, one which should continue. Backup Hernan Pertuz performed well in his absence but the clear language barrier between the Colombian newcomer and Ihemelu is definitely an obstacle. Rookie Matt Hedges has already shown some flashes in his first two months of pro soccer but it’s way too soon to determine if he can be counted on as a rookie.
Verdict: Resounding, getting John back is absolutely huge for FCD but had Big George not come back from England, Dallas would not have been in as dire straits as many think. Pertuz gives them some much-needed depth in the central defense, something that was at a premium last year. And if John gets injured or misses time, he could definitely step in. Hopefully John and Ihemelu are healthy for the entire season, which is a possibility, but if Hyndman needs to call on Pertuz and maybe even Hedges a bit later in the season, both figure to be ready.
Then on Friday, FCD supporters learned that George John would indeed be re-joining the club after spending the last six weeks on loan with English Championship (a.k.a. second-division) side West Ham United.
Anyone who tracked the affable center back’s time in Jolly Ole England knows that he didn’t get a ton of run with the Hammers and while his stay across the pond didn’t work out well for him from that standpoint, it definitely worked out well for FCD since they now get their starting right center back for 2012.
It’s no big secret that anyone who has watched this team over the last few seasons knows that the pairing of John and Ugo Ihemelu, who was named Dallas’ captain earlier this week, is not only a rock-solid tandem in the middle of the park, but is also a Dynamic Duo that has to be considered one of the best center back combinations in all of Major League Soccer.
Colombian newcomer Hernan Pertuz has filled in well alongside Ihemelu during John’s stay in England and the two looked like they were starting to develop a solid partnership on the pitch during preseason. A major obstacle for that pairing is the clear language barrier between the South American Pertuz, who speaks little English and American Ihemelu.
That language barrier is much less a factor with the return of John. Some might wonder if he jumps right back in the fray and if he’ll be in Schellas Hyndman’s first 11 for next Sunday’s season opener with New York? Well, in this writer's opinion, of course he will.
It’s not like George has been sitting around inactive or on the lam (sorry, had to work Lamar Odom in there). John's been training and staying in shape. About the only adjustment he’ll have to make is maybe getting reacquainted with his teammates, but that too might be overstated.
While John’s stay in England most likely provided considerable benefits, even though he didn’t play a ton with the Hammers, it’s nice to have him back. And it’s also nice to have him back with FCD and in a situation the club wasn’t in for much of 2011, with a solid and fairly deep group of center backs.
Besides Pertuz, rookie Matt Hedges should also be ready to step in at a moment’s notice. If the club decides to keep 2012 supplemental pick Alex Lee, which it looke like they will, FCD figures to have sufficient depth in the middle.
Still, no matter who sticks besides Pertuz and Hedges, this will be a deep group, so deep that the mere possibility of having Zach Loyd slide over from right back to the middle won’t even be a remote possibility. At least FCD fans hope not.
So it’s good to have George John back in the fold. He’s been a big part of what has been a solid Dallas backline over the past few years and his return makes center back almost at the bottom of the list when it comes to concerns surrounding this year’s club.
There is, however, still one question yet to be answered about John's return. With his contract up at the end of the year, will he re-sign with FCD or test the international waters yet again later this year? Stay tuned to see how that one turns out but at least for now it’s great to know such a defensive cornerstone will be back in Frisco for the foreseeable future, isn’t it?
A FC Dallas side made up of reserve and home grown players fell to Toronto FC by a 3-0 scoreline in the 3rd game of the Walt Disney World Pro Soccer Classic on Thursday night.
The defeat pushed FCD down to second in the group with four points, three points above both BK Hacken and Orlando City, who face off in the second match of the night. Though Dallas maintain a three- and five-goal advantage, respectively, over their group foes, they must still await the result to find out if they'll play the Houston Dynamo in the consolation match at 5 pm CT, also on March 3.
TOR -- Luis Silva, 35'
TOR -- Luis Silva, 40'
TOR -- Ryan Johnson, 82'
FC Dallas Lineup: Seitz, M. Hernandez, Ibeagha, Hedges, Ulloa, Warshaw, Tulasne, Guarda, Villar, Wiedeman, Luna.
The Roster Dance is a long running feature of 3rd Degree. It is an effort to break down the FC Dallas roster into its various components with all the trialists and draft picks competing for spots. The Roster Dance includes things like nationality, age, status, green cards, and anything else that might impact space on the roster and the players that might fit into it.
Last updated: 2/24/12
Senior Roster (18 to 20)
For now MLS rosters hold at up to 30 players. Players 1 to 20 are on the senior roster and have to fit in the salary cap. (MLS teams may carry only 18 players on this senior roster if they wish)
FCD has 8 international slots in 2010 with 8 currently filled.
|1||David Ferreira||32, Colombian F/M. (8/9/79) Got his green card.|
|2||Daniel Hernandez||New 5 year coach/player deal. 35, US M/D (7/23/76)|
|3||Jair Benitez||33, Colombian LB, (1/11/79). Green card.|
|4||Blas Pérez||(I1) Panamanian striker, turns 31 this year. (3-13-81)|
|5||Brek Shea||20, US Nats MF. (2/28/90).|
|6||Ugo Ihemelu||28, US D. (4/3/83)|
|7||Kevin Hartman||37, US GK. (5-25-1974)|
|8||Zach Loyd||24, US Nats M/D. (7-18-87)|
|9||Fabian Castillo||(I2) 19, Colombian striker. (6-01-92)|
|10||Ricardo Villar||(I3) 32, Brazilian, AM. (8-11-79) working on green card|
|11||Andrew Jacobson||26, US DM. (9-25-85)|
|12||Hernan Pertúz||(I4) 22, Columbian U23, D. (3-31-89)|
|13||Chris Seitz||24, US GK. (3-12-87)|
|14||Bobby Warshaw||23, US M/D. (11-21-88)|
|15||Carlos Rodriguez||(I5) 21 year old Panamian M/D from Tauro FC. (4-12-90)|
|16||Bruno Guarda||26, Brazil MF. (2/6/86). Green card|
|17||Scott Sealy||T&T F. 30, Previously with KC and SJ. (6/4/81) green card.|
|18||George John||US CB. (3/20/87) Not currently on FCD roster. Spot saved?|
|19||Dogba||(I6) Ange Pacome Dogba Gnagbo.Ivory Coast F|
|20||Open Spot||Sports 19 and 20 don’t have to be filled.|
Players occupying roster spots 1-24 will earn at least $42,000 in 2011.
Off-Budget Roster (10)
Roster Spots 21 to 30. Generation adidas, developmental players, and home grown. Players 24 and under that don’t count on the salary cap. MLS teams can have a maximum of 10 off-budget players.
|21||Matt Hedges||UD D, 2012 1st pick. (4-1-90) Senior roster?|
|22||Andrew Wiedeman||(Ga1) 22, US versatile. F/M/D. (8-22-89)|
|23||Bryan Leyva||(HG1) 20, Mexican U20 MF (2/9/92) green card.|
|24||Ruben Luna||(HG2, I7) 19, Mexican U20 striker. (2-10-92)|
|25||Victor Ulloa||(HG3) 19, US Midfielder. (3-4-92)|
|26||Moises Hernandez||(HG4) US D, former U20 (3-5-92)|
|27||Jonathan Top||(HG5) 19, US striker. (1-26-93)|
|28||Richard Sanchez||(HG6) 17, Mexican keeper, US Citizen. (2-28-94)|
|29||Christian Ibeagha||22, Former US U17 from OK (born Nigeria). (1-10-90)|
|30||Alex Lee||2012 supplemental pick, D from Maryland.|
|--||Ian Kalis||2012 supplemental pick from SMU. Injured? Still on roster, not traveling.|
Players occupying roster spots 25-30 will earn at least $32,600 in 2011.
Anyone connected, rumored, tried out, waived, training invited, or signed as a short term player.
|Jack Stewart||Late 2011 defender depth, didn’t stick in 2012|
|Rodolofo Espinoza||30 year old Mexican M, spring trial.|
|Kleyner Bejarano||a.k.a. Kleyner Bejarano Colombian D, spring trial|
|Scott Gordon||23 year old US D, spring trial|
|Daniel Osorno||Formerly of Puebla, AM/F|
|Nicolás Gianni||a.k.a. Nicolas Cridani. 29, F/M|
|Daniel Cruz||Colombian, M didn’t play well in 2011, injuries cost him in 2012.|
|Marvin Chavez||Traded to San Jose.|
|Walter Hines||M, preseason trialist|
|Martin John||LB, preseason trialist|
|Joe Madigan||M, preseason trialist|
|Jackson||Brazilian M, on loan to Cruzeiro|
|Mykel Galindo||Waived in off season.|
|Edson Edward||Waived in off season.|
|Josh Lambo||Former Ga GK, waived in off season.|
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