Dallas Soccer: sporting kansas city

Schellas Hyndman: Villar's goal against KC a sign of soccer smarts

March, 27, 2012
When FC Dallas midfielder Ricardo Villar gave his side a 1-0 lead off a scintillating free kick that befuddled Sporting Kansas City in the first half of Sunday night’s at LIVESTRONG Sporting Park, it was truly a thing of beauty. It was also an excellent example of a veteran player who saw a hole in the KC wall and took full advantage of it.

That’s exactly how FCD head coach Schellas Hyndman saw it from his vantage point on the Dallas bench.

“Ricardo’s one of those guys who is a very technical player, but more importantly is probably his soccer intelligence. His decision making is really very good. On that free kick, the wall was designed in such a way that the goalie couldn’t see the ball. That’s why when the ball was struck there was nobody moving. It got in the back of the net and all the goalie did was just look at it go in, so he struck it well,” Hyndman said. “Those are the types of things you don’t expect a young player to figure out. You’ve got to be in the game for a while to have that intelligence.”
FCD, as you can tell from our Match Day Info, is missing a bunch of pieces. Fabian Castillo, Scott Sealy, David Ferreira, Brek Shea, and Carlos Rodriguez are all missing for various reasons.

So decisions have to be made in terms of lineup. The evidence of sub patterns says Schellas Hyndman has wanted to get George John back in the lineup, and this looks like his chance.

So who else is going to play? Based on various things here's our best guess.

Perez and Villar are no brainers, as are Jacobson, Hernandez, Ihemelu, Hartman, and Loyd. John as I mentioned should step in and I think Petruz will get the call at left back. He's outplayed Benitez anyway, in my opinion. Hyndman moved Benitez to midfield last game and seemed to think it worked based on his quotes. And last, but not least, FCD has an article this week about Bryan Leyva and how he had played well enough to start again, which frankly I agree with.

So here you go...
Benitez Jacobson Leyva
Petruz Ihemelu John Loyd

So what lineup would you run out?
FC Dallas will return to ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex at Walt Disney World Resort for the 2012 edition of the tournament in late February as defending champions having won the 2011 Disney Pro Soccer Classic.

FC Dallas will be joined by in-state rivals Houston Dynamo as well as Toronto FC, Vancouver Whitecaps FC, Montreal Impact, Sporting Kansas City, Sweden’s B.K. Hacken and Orlando City SC. FCD will face B.K. Hacken, Orlando City, and Toronto FC in pool play.

“This is unquestionably the best Disney Pro Soccer Classic field we’ve had so far,’’ said Disney Sports manager Patrick Dicks. “This will be a rare opportunity for fans to see so many marquee pro soccer teams in one place and experience the game in an intimate, family-friendly atmosphere.’’

The Classic begins with a week of pool play Feb. 24-March 1, followed by the championship game March 3. The tournament will offer fans unique interaction with players, such as the Orlando City SC “Fan Fest” on Feb. 25 when fans can meet Orlando City players and pose for photos with the team’s trophies.

Placed in Pool 2 with Toronto FC, Orlando City and B.K. Hacken, FC Dallas will kick off the tournament with an 8 p.m. matchup against B.K. Hacken on Feb. 25. Three days later, FC Dallas will meet Orlando City for the third time in two seasons in a match also scheduled to begin at 8 p.m. FC Dallas’ final match of pool play will be on March 1 against Toronto FC. That game is scheduled to begin at 6 p.m.

2012 Disney Pro Soccer Classic Schedule
Date Home Away Time
2/ 24 Sporting KC vs Houston Dynamo 6 p.m.
2/24 Montreal Impact vs Vancouver Whitecaps 8 p.m.
2/25 Orlando City Soccer vs Toronto FC 6 p.m.
2/25 B.K. Hacken vs FC Dallas 8 p.m.
2/26 Vancouver Whitecaps vs Houston Dynamo 1 p.m.
2/26 Sporting KC vs Montreal Impact 3 p.m.
2/28 Toronto FC vs B.K. Hacken 6 p.m.
2/28 Orlando City Soccer vs FC Dallas 8 p.m.
2/29 Sporting KC vs Vancouver Whitecaps 6 p.m.
2/29 Houston Dynamo vs Montreal Impact 8 p.m.
3/1 Toronto FC vs FC Dallas 6 p.m.
3/1 Orlando City Soccer vs B.K. Hacken 8 p.m.
3/3 6 p.m. Consolation Game
3/3 8 p.m. Championship Game

FC Dallas to host New York Red Bulls in wild card play-in game

October, 23, 2011
Houston Dynamo did itself, and maybe FC Dallas, a favor by defeating the LA Galaxy on Sunday night to move up to second in the East and now won't face rival FC Dallas.

FC Dallas instead will host New York Red Bulls on Wednesday, Oct. 26, 9 p.m. ET (FOX Soccer, TSN2). The winner will host the first leg of the conference semifinals the final weekend of October.

If FCD advances past New York, it would face Sporting Kansas City in the Eastern Conference semifinals.

Click here for ticket information.

Here's the second round info if FCD were to advance...

Eastern Conference Semifinals – First Leg (Home teams listed first):
- FC Dallas vs. Sporting Kansas City – Sat., Oct. 29, 7:30 p.m. ET (FOX Soccer, TSN)

Eastern Conference Semifinals – Second Leg (Home teams listed first):
- Sporting Kansas City vs. FC Dallas – Wed., Nov. 2, time TBD (FOX Soccer)

Conference Championships (single games):
- Hosted by highest remaining seed – Sun., Nov. 6, 5:30 p.m. ET (FOX Soccer)
- Hosted by highest remaining seed – Sun., Nov. 6, time TBD (ESPN or ESPN2, Deportes, ESPN3, TSN2)

MLS Cup 2011 – Sunday, November 20
At The Home Depot Center in Carson, Calif., 9 p.m. ET (ESPN, Galavision, and TSN)
The FC Dallas Reserves used two early first-half goals to defeat the Sporting Kansas City Reserves 2-1 Wednesday morning on the adidas Field at Pizza Hut Park.

FC Dallas’ (5-4-0, 15 points) first goal was scored in the 11th minute by Home Grown player Ruben Luna, who now leads the MLS Reserve League with six goals on the season. Bobby Warshaw added a second goal in the 16th minute to extend the lead to two goals before Nick Cardenas scored the lone goal for Kansas City (3-3-2, 11 points) in the 30th minute.

Scoring Summary:
DAL –Ruben Luna (Bryan Leyva) 11
DAL –Bobby Warshaw (unassisted) 16
KC – Nick Cardenas (Milos Stojcev) 30

Misconduct Summary:
DAL – Moises Hernandez (caution; reckless challenge) 48
DAL – Bruno Guarda (caution; unsporting behavior) 53

Sporting Kansas City Reserves– Eric Kronberg, Korede Aiyegbusi, Lawrence Olum, Nick Cardenas, Kevin Ellis, Craig Rocastle, Birahim Diop (John Sosa 70), Milos Stojcev, Scott Lorenz, Michael Harrington (J. Scanella 62), Soony Saad.

Substitutes Not Used: Jon Kempin

FC Dallas Reserves – Josh Lambo (Chris Seitz 46), Moises Hernandez (Michael Ambrose* 88), Jack Stewart, Leone Cruz**, Christian Ibeaga**, Victor Ulloa, Bobby Warshaw, Bruno Guarda, Bryan Leyva (Daniel Garcia* 80), Maykel Galindo (Jonathan Top 64), Ruben Luna (Alberto Rodriguez 83).

Substitutes Not Used: Richard Sanchez, Mark Ashby*

* = FC Dallas Academy players
**= Denotes trial players

Weather: Partly Cloudy, 63 degrees

Stream of Consciousness: FC Dallas at Sporting Kansas City

August, 30, 2011
The encyclopedia says Stream of Consciousness is “a narrative mode that seeks to portray an individual's point of view by giving the written equivalent of the character's thought processes.” In other words, DJ watches games, and writes down whatever comes to mind. Sometimes prescient, sometimes odd, almost always entertaining.

In the W.C. Fields classic The International House, Professor Quail, intending to fly to Kansas City, somehow ends up in China. When someone suggests to him that he may be lost, he utters the immortal line:

“Kansas City is lost, I am here!”

Driving to away games is the only time there is an advantage to living in Oklahoma City while supporting for FC Dallas. Cutting 200 miles off the drive is nice. Still, despite the three hour head start, I somehow managed to be the next-to-last of our traveling group of Inferno members to arrive at Livestrong Sporting Park. The last group to arrive would have beaten me there, but for some reason their GPS tried to send them to Arrowhead Stadium. One of the satellites clearly hasn’t had a software update since 2007.

As always, the folks from the Kansas City supporters group, The Cauldron, were welcoming and gracious. They invited us to their tailgate party, swapped friendly insults with us, shared their beer, and generally made us feel at home. This is not a universal phenomenon in the world of soccer, of course. In most countries, opposing supporter groups are more likely to trade blows than beer.

Our soccer culture has developed differently. In the United States, to be a soccer fan is to be a lonely island in a sea of indifference. We grew up desperately searching for soccer (if I may mix my metaphors a bit) like a thirsty man seeking water. We are not picky about which oasis we find.

So, when we find other people who share our obsession, our first impulse is to befriend them, not to beat them with a blunt object. When I see the Cauldron, or any other MLS supporters group, I don’t see enemies, I see friends who root for a different team. I’ve had similar experiences with supporters groups from Colorado, New England, Chicago, San Jose, heck even Houston. The few times the Inferno has had a bit of trouble in Houston, it hasn’t been with the Supporters, but with small groups of young punks who think wearing the same color shirt makes them tough guys.

Half the time, when you meet the supporters of other teams, either on the road or at Pizza Hut Park, you already know them from BigSoccer or Sam’s Army. It’s like a big extended family of soccer nerds, no matter where you go in the League. For those of us of a certain age (though we’d never say it out loud) in some corner of our minds we’re fans of MLS as much as of our own teams. That’s because we remember the old days, when there was no soccer. If you’re old enough, you’ve lived through the implosion of the NASL and 40 years of failing to qualify for the World Cup. Having a successful, stable league and a strong National Team, well, it’s hard to even describe how nice it is. That’s why we don’t have time to hate other Supporters; we’re too busy looking around wondering if this is all actually for real.

Speaking of things you can’t believe are real . . . have you been to Livestrong Sporting Park? I can’t say enough good things about this place. Of the new, Soccer Specific Stadia in MLS, I’ve only been to Pizza Hut Park and Toyota Park in Chicago before this. Both of which are terrific, mind you, but LSP is something else.

Among the things that stood out (and it’s a long list) I’ll mention the food and the security staff.

I’ve never been to any stadium or arena with so much restaurant quality food. I particularly recommend “La Cantina” over by Section 121. The taco platter has two soft-tortillas stuffed full with pulled pork, lettuce, tomato, onions, jalapenos, and, get this, fresh cilantro. Can you even do that; is that even allowed? The Burrito was so big I don’t see how anyone make it from their seat at half time, stand in line, buy it, and then actually finish it in time for the second half whistle. And the lines, while long, moved very quickly, so that’s not the barrier in this drill. That’s just one big burrito. Of course, it being Kansas City, you’re going to get some prime barbecue, and even the pizza looked and tasted like it had never seen a freezer. And this discussion doesn’t even include the three, yes three, other restaurants/buffets available to season ticket holders.

In case you haven’t heard, stadium security is a serious issue in more than a few venues in MLS. Not just for opposing fans, but for home supporters as well. Our friends in Chicago and New England particularly have shared horror stories about security nightmares that range from careless laxity to actual brutality. It’s a different story in Kansas City. The personnel that watched over The Inferno were friendly, courteous, and professional. They were firm when it came to having us follow their rules, but never bullying or hostile.

Personally, I enjoyed the pat-down so much I went back for seconds. But I digress.

The only thing in the entire facility that wasn’t up-to-par was the actual playing surface. But, for a brand new park, that’s not totally unexpected. Clearly they’ve done the best they can do, and if you have a lawn, you know new grass is tricky, even without 22 grown men chopping it up on a weekly basis. I feel pretty sure this time next year they’ll have the third best surface in MLS (Pizza Hut Park Stadium and Pizza Hut Park Field # 1 being top of the list).

The game itself was one for the ages, after a while. It was utterly uninspiring, if not downright discouraging, for the first 70 minutes. Down 2-0, getting some chances but not finishing them, maybe a bit tired (and with some justification, having had to spend an extra day in Toronto), the boys could have just folded up the proverbial tent and let this one go. In fact, I think it was the expectation of pretty much all of us in the stands that the real goal for the upcoming week was to have a strong, rested starting XI for the US Open Cup semifinal Tuesday in Seattle. And, despite having made the long drive to KC, most of the Inferno members present would gladly have agreed to trade a loss on Saturday for a win on Tuesday.

But that’s not how this team rolls, as the young people say. In the 70th, Capi Hernandez sent in a free kick from the left side. About four guys converged on the cross, but really I don’t think anyone touched it before it just kind of, well, floated by Jimmy Nielsen. Ugo Ihemelu may have gotten a slight touch on the ball, but I’ve watched the replay a half-dozen times and still can’t tell.

Either way, nobody in the Inferno even realized there was a goal until about 30 seconds after it happened. We were distracted at that particular moment by a couple of nearby SKC fans who were trying (unsuccessfully) to be menacing and clever all at the same time. Amateurs. The one lady was wearing a KC Royals jersey. Really . . . who does that?

Then all the sudden we see our guys walking back to midfield, and we realized they had scored. It was kind of bizarre. There was an emotional disconnect that I’m not used to when my team pulls one back late in the game. You can’t really go nuts over a goal that you completely missed seeing, right?

Then, a few minutes later, Teal Bunbury gets tossed out of the game in the 75th minute. Hold on a sec. We’ve got a chance here. Hmmm . . . .

Being a long time fan of this team, and somewhat of a pessimist, I was pretty happy with a consolation goal, and hopeful though not expectant for an equalizer. But I’d forgotten what a resilient and aggressive group of players we’re dealing with this season. Still, when it got to the 88th minute, no one thought we were getting anything out of this game. Even the pack of Boy Scouts in the section below us were looking up and talking trash to us. (Apparently all that stuff in the oath doesn’t apply to out-of-town soccer fans). Still, our guys were battling, playing hard, and getting some chances. I wouldn’t have been too depressed over a 2-1 loss on the road. That’s life, you know.

Then it happened.

Brek gets loose on the left wing, beats a marker, and sends in a cross. Maicon Santos heads it home. 2-2.

There have been a few times in my life when I went so berserk over a goal that I thought I was literally going to pass out. The first time it ever happened was during the USA-Portugal game at World Cup 2002. It happened Saturday at Livestrong Sporting Park. My mind was all but blown. What a scene it was: twenty five travelling FC Dallas supporters going mental while 18,500 Sporting Kansas City fans go quiet.

And I do mean quiet. Dead. Solid. Quiet.

The silence was so palpable it nearly became a sentient life form. The silence was so profound it may have registered on the Richter scale. One couldn’t help but put a hand to one’s ears and make with that super-snarky gesture that means, anywhere you go on the planet, “Hey, I don’t hear you guys, what happened?” Childish, I know, but I am unapologetic.

Seriously though, I had never in my life heard a stadium go that silent, that fast.

Well, at least for another three minutes anyway.

Because, in a play that looked almost like an instant replay of the tying goal, Brek again got loose on the left, again shook a marker (actually, his marker didn’t even try to shut him down; what was he thinking?), and again played a perfect cross. This time to Bobby Warshaw, who headed home not just the game-winner, but also his first professional goal. Way to pick you spot, kid.

If I thought I was going to faint after the tying goal, I thought I might just expire completely after the winner. It was so unexpected, so unlikely, so late in the game, that it bordered on the surreal. I literally couldn’t believe it was happening. Not like, “Gee, I can’t believe that”. No, I mean I LITERALLY COULDN’T BELIEVE WHAT WAS HAPPENING. It took at least five seconds for my conscious mind to register that I had really seen what I had just seen. My subconscious, however, must have caught on straightaway, because my body already jumping up and down, high-fiving, and screaming so loud that, even now (Monday), I still haven’t fully recovered my voice.

There is a certain emotion, captured so nicely by the German word schadenfreude, in which one takes great joy in the misfortunes of others. In general, I find this emotion to be base and vulgar; beneath me, if you will. I go to great pains, normally, never to find pleasure in the travails of my fellow human beings.

Except for when I’m at an away game when my team scores a late winner. Then I’m okay with it. And Dear Lord forgive me I did so enjoy looking around and drinking in the stunned and sickened faces of the Kansas City faithful that night. I drank it up like nectar of the soccer gods, and it tasted good. Those good folks were giving us a hard time all night, and seeing their reactions to losing in the 94th minute was probably the most enjoyable part of what was a very enjoyable weekend.

Of course, I don’t mind for one second having abuse hurled at me by fans of the opposite team. It’s part of the whole road trip experience. I like it, in fact; it amuses me. I appreciate it. I want the other fans to be passionate enough to give the Inferno a hard time. I don’t want to be pelted by foreign objects and suffer blunt force trauma or anything like that, but you know what I mean.

I’m talking about what the Inferno got from the crowd at LSP. They did a nice job. It was high quality smack talk. Not mean and ugly and threatening; just good old fashioned soccer smack. Not real-world hostility, like Arabs and Jews in the Middle East (or the Old Firm Derby for that matter), but that special brand of sports hostility, given and taken in the spirit of the game. Its part of what makes going to live athletic events so much fun. When their team was ahead 2-0, they were giving us some serious stick, and it was enhancing their enjoyment of the game, and I say good for them.

But karma’s a bitch ain’t it? Drive safely, everyone. You don’t have to go home, but you can’t stay here.

It was a great result on a great weekend. Sunday morning we were given a tour of the entire stadium by none other than the great Sam Pierron. Sam has been the biggest fan of the Kansas City MLS franchise since before said franchise even had a name. Now he’s in charge of Special Projects for the team. If you are planning a trip to KC for a game, give him a call. He’s good people.

Speaking of good people, I love the Inferno with all my heart. A better class of people you cannot imagine. What’s more fun that enjoying soccer with an intelligent, funny, sensible, generous, fearless, slightly insane group of fellow travelers like them? Nothing. Not a thing. Not in this life anyway.

See you for the next one, folks.

Talking tactics: FC Dallas at Sporting Kansas City

August, 29, 2011
It often seems that one of two things occurs when squads with similar shapes face off. The mirror-like either lead to an open, exciting game or a dull, stymied affair. Last night’s game in Kansas City ended up as the former.

Schellas Hyndman’s 4-2-3-1 and Peter Vermes’ 4-4-1-1 were both fluid when in possession . Each sides’ wingers, trequartista (attacking midfielder), and striker interchanged positions. It wasn’t exactly Barcelona’s free-flowing offense - and forwards Maicon Santos and Teal Bunbury spent most of the match in the middle - but the flexible front fours were certainly a welcome change from some of MLS’ more rigid 4-4-2’s.

The similar attack patterns resulted in an open first half. Two Dallas mistakes were the difference as the teams headed into halftime. Daniel Hernandez’s ill-advised charge forward after Marvin Chavez was dispossessed and Ugo Ihemelu’s awkward backpass on the same sequence allowed Kei Kamara to beat Kevin Hartman.

Kansas City was much more disciplined at the back, so despite some intricate Dallas build-up play - notably from Santos and Ricardo Villar - the Red Stripes were thwarted time and again in the final third.

Dallas couldn’t get on the board until the 70th, when Ihemelu nudged a Daniel Hernandez free kick into the net. But before Ihemelu’s tally, the visitors had dug themselves an even bigger hole when emergency center back Andrew Jacobson put Kevin Hartman in a bind with a poor headed backpass. Bunbury and Omar Bravo combined to put KC up by a brace.

After Ihemelu’s goal, however, Dallas controlled the remainder of the match. Of course, Bunbury’s second yellow (76th) ensured Dallas would have most of the possession as the game came to a close, but Hyndman deserves credit for taking the match by the neck. After the red card, he inserted Ruben Luna for Jair Benitez, dropping the 4-2-3-1 for a 3-4-3. Brek Shea, who earned the free kick that led to the first goal, was inspired by the extra space and assisted on the final two goals.

While it’s natural to bring on an attacker for a defender when up a man, Hyndman was still taking a chance with the 3-4-3. Dallas, coming off the odd game-and-a-half Wednesday/Thursday routine, was visibly fatigued in the second half. Hyndman ran the risk of tired legs being exposed on the counter. Fortunately, Hernandez provided a few tackles that stopped Kansas City attacks before they could get rolling. Add in Shea’s pinpoint crosses to Santos and Bobby Warshaw, and Hyndman again comes out looking like a genius.

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

Bend it like Brek Shea, FC Dallas comes back against Sporting KC

August, 28, 2011

FC Dallas midfielder Brek Shea sparked an amazing 3 goal FC Dallas comeback at Sporting Kansas City on Saturday after going down two goals. Down 2-0 in the 70th minute, FC Dallas got goals from Daniel Hernandez, Maicon Santos and rookie Bobby Warshaw to pick up three points on the road. Brek Shea earned assists on the second and third goals, both coming in injury time, with two sublime crosses of which even David Beckham would be proud.

"That’s why Brek [Shea]’s the man," said Bobby Warshaw. "He can win you a game, save you a game any moment. That’s why he’s Brek 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."

Ugo Ihemlu, who had a couple of gaffs on the defensive end, one of which led to the opening KC goal by Omar Bravo, should really get credit for the first FCD goal which at this time has been credited to Hernandez. The Captain's free kick was redirected slightly by Ihemelu on its way to net. Perhaps Ihemlu will be credit after video review by MLS this week.

Both of the latter two FCD goals were similar. Both involved great whipping balls from the left flank from Shea. Both times FCD attackers out jumped defenders to get to balls and put them on net. Maicon Santos netted his 7th goal of the season in the 89th minute and rookie Bobby Warshaw grabbed his first career goal on his game winner.

FC Dallas played up a man from the 76th minute on after Teal Bunbury was sent off for his second caution when he tripped Jair Benitez near the side line.

Andrew Jacobson got the start at center back in the spot vacated by the soon to be sold George John. Jacobson was solid in defense and showed a remarkably calm presence with some terrific distribution. Jeremy Hall continues to perform well at right back for the injured Zach Loyd.

Attendance: 20,018

Scoring Summary:
KC – Kei Kamara 22
KC – Omar Bravo (Teal Bunbury) 68
DAL – Daniel Hernandez 70
DAL – Maicon Santos (Brek Shea) 89
DAL – Bobby Warshaw (Brek Shea) 91+

Misconduct Summary:
KC – Teal Bunbury (caution; reckless foul) 16
KC – Chance Myers (caution; persistent infringement) 36
DAL – Jair Benitez (caution; dissent) 36
DAL – Brek Shea (caution; reckless foul) 51
KC – Teal Bunbury (caution; reckless foul) 76
KC – Teal Bunbury (ejection; second caution) 76
DAL – Ugo Ihemelu (caution; tactical foul) 81
DAL – Daniel Hernandez (caution; tactical foul) 90

FC Dallas -- Kevin Hartman, Andrew Jacobson, Jeremy Hall, Ugo Ihemelu, Jair Benitez (Ruben Luna 79), Marvin Chavez (Bobby Warshaw 68), Bruno Guarda (Jackson 61), Ricardo Villar, Daniel Hernandez, Brek Shea, Maicon Santos.

Substitutes Not Used: Jack Stewart, Victor Ulloa, Andrew Wiedeman, Chris Seitz.

TOTAL SHOTS: 17 (Maicon Santos 9); SHOTS ON GOAL: 4 (Maicon Santos 2); FOULS: 13 (Ugo Ihemelu, Marvin Chavez, Bruno Guarda, Brek Shea 2); OFFSIDES: 1 (Jeremy Hall 1); CORNER KICKS: 3 (Ricardo Villar 3); SAVES: 3 (Kevin Hartman 3).

Sporting KC -- Jimmy Nielsen, Chance Myers, Matt Besler, Julio Cesar, Seth Sinovic (Michael Harrington 89), Kei Kamara, Roger Espinoza, Omar Bravo (Aurelien Collin 71), Graham Zusi, C.J. Sapong, Teal Bunbury.

Substitutes Not Used: Korede Aiyegbusi, Davy Arnaud, Birahim Diop, Soony Saad, Eric Kronberg.

TOTAL SHOTS: 13 (Kei Kamara, CJ Sapong 3); SHOTS ON GOAL: 5 (CJ Sapong); FOULS: 13 (Teal Bunbury 6); OFFSIDES: 2 (Kei Kamara, Graham Zusi 1); CORNER KICKS: 5 (Graham Zusi 5); SAVES: 1 (Jimmy Nielsen 1).

Referee: Chris Penso
Referee’s Assistants: Paul Scott, Bill Dittmar
4th Official: Edvin Jurisevic
Time of Match: 2:11
Weather: Sunny, 88 degrees

Quote sheet: FC Dallas at Sporting Kansas City

August, 28, 2011
Sporting Kansas City Manager Peter Vermes…

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.
FC Dallas (12-7-7)
Sporting Kansas City(9-7-9)

7:30 p.m. CT (FSSW+)
August 27, 2011

The hosts still have three games remaining on this homestand, coming off a 1-0 victory against D.C. United last weekend that moved them to second in the Eastern Conference. FC Dallas are coming off a 1-0 home loss to Seattle that dropped them to third in the West, but defeated Toronto FC 1-0 at midweek in a second attempt at a CONCACAF Champions League match.

Join FCD at a Budweiser Pub Partner location to watch the game with other FC Dallas supporters. To find the pub nearest to you visit FCDallas.com/Pubs.

REFEREE: Chris Penso.
MLS Career: 8 games; FC/gm: 22.9; Y/gm: 3.5; R: 2; pens: 4
SAR (bench): Paul Scott;
JAR (opposite): Bill Dittmar;
4th: Edvin Jurisevic


SPORTING KANSAS CITY—OUT: DF Daneil Cyrus (L foot fracture); MF Craig Rocastle (R knee sprain); MF Luke Sassano (R knee sprain); MF Konrad Warzycha (R knee surgery);
DOUBTFUL: MF Davy Arnaud (sports hernia surgery);
QUESTIONABLE: MF Jeferson (R quad strain);
PROBABLE: DF Aurelien Collin (lower back fracture)...

FC DALLAS—OUT: DF Edson Edward (R knee ACL tear); MF David Ferreira (R ankle); FW Maykel Galindo (R hamstring strain); QUESTIONABLE: DF Zach Loyd (R hamstring strain)


SUSPENDED: DAL: Daniel Cruz (through Aug. 28)

KC: Aurelien Collin...
DAL: Jeremy Hall, Ugo Ihemelu, Andrew Jacobson

KC: Omar Bravo, Julio Cesar, Birahim Diop...
DAL: Marvin Chavez, Daniel Hernandez, Zach Loyd, Brek Shea

ALL-TIME (45 meetings):
Sporting 19 wins (2 shootout), 64 goals...
FC Dallas 18 wins (1 shootout), 73 goals...
Ties 8

AT KC (22 meetings):
Sporting 10 wins (2 shootout), 39 goals...
FC Dallas 7 wins (1 shootout), 29 goals...
Ties 5

- Graham Zusi scored a pair of goals for the first time this season as Sporting exploded for a 4-1 victory against FC Dallas on June 12 at Pizza Hut Park in the first meeting this season.
- It was Kansas City's first win at Pizza Hut Park since 2007. FCD has won the last two home meetings by shutout, including a 6-0 victory in 2009.
- FC Dallas has come away with points on three of their last four trips to Kansas City, with two wins and a draw since 2007.

Coaches record:
Peter Vermes vs. DAL: P4 W2 L2 D0...
Schellas Hyndman vs. KC: P7 W3 L2 D2

6/12: DAL 1, KC 4 (Shea 32—Zusi 28, 55; Collin 49; Sassano 78)
- Sporting took the lead after 28 minutes when Graham Zusi fired a low shot from just outside the left corner of the box that beat Kevin Hartman inside the far post. But Brek Shea pulled FCD level just four minutes later, setting off on a powerful dribbling run through four SKC defenders before slotting home from inside the area.
- Yet Sporting exploded after the break. A long corner from Zusi was volleyed back into the mixer by C.J. Sapong, and Aurelien Collin swooped in to turn it home in the 49th minute. Zusi then made it 3-1 on a remarkable free kick from just short of the center circle, which dipped and dove as it sailed over Hartman's head.
- SKC were reduced to 10 men when Milos Stojcev was shown a second yellow card, but it was the visitors who completed the scoring when Luke Sassano ran onto a high ball out of midfield and looped it over Hartman as he came rushing off his line.

FC Dallas out to shake winless skid at K.C.

August, 27, 2011
After a mediocre start, Sporting Kansas City began a turnaround with a victory over FC Dallas in June. The resulting surge has lifted the club toward the top of the Eastern Conference.

Kansas City looks to continue its push for first place when it hosts Dallas on Saturday night.

Sporting KC (9-7-9) went 1-4-6 during a tough season-opening stretch of schedule before defeating Dallas 4-1 on June 12. That sparked its current 14-game roll, which has been helped in part by a heavy diet of home games.

Kansas City improved to 6-1-4 at Livestrong Park with a 1-0 victory over D.C. on Sunday. That moved it into second place in the East, four points behind Columbus.

With a favorable schedule over its remaining nine games, six of which are at home, Sporting KC sees overtaking the Crew as a reachable goal.

"They aren't going to be easy games because this is the point where everyone wants to get points," forward Kei Kamara told the team's official website. "All we have to keep doing is use our fans as our 12th man to keep helping us get those points."

Kamara scored his team-leading seventh goal Sunday, giving him four in the first six games of this nine-game homestand.

Jimmy Nielsen has also been outstanding during this stretch, recording two shutouts while giving up six goals.

Dallas (12-7-7) matched its longest winless streak of the season at three with a 1-0 loss to Seattle last Saturday. The club has continued to struggle since a hot start, going 2-3-3 over its last eight while getting shut out three times during that stretch.

Dallas is also dealing with lineup uncertainty. Defender George John didn't play last weekend because of a yellow-card suspension and replacement Zach Loyd left the backfield in the 24th minute with a hamstring injury.

"When Zach went out it was really hard to find someone to go into center back," coach Schellas Hyndman said. "There's a lot of things that have been talked about George John and a whole bunch of stuff that is going on, but I think you saw our team missing him."

John is reportedly being sought by Blackburn of the English Premier League. He traveled to Greece this week to collect his passport, which could signify his end with Dallas.

Loyd is questionable for Saturday while midfielder Daniel Cruz, ejected last week after receiving his second yellow card, will have to sit out.

The roster issues come as Dallas tries to hold on to the third spot in the West. It is two points behind second-place Seattle and two ahead of fourth-place Colorado.

FC Dallas U17s open Generation adidas Cup play with wins

July, 27, 2011
FC Dallas has two teams participating in the Generation adidas Cup at Pizza Hut Park this week, their U17s and U15s. The Generation adidas Cup is a tournament involving all of the MLS Developmental Academy teams. These are the players that will become the Home grown signings of the future.

MLS clubs participating in the U17 tournament include Chicago Fire, Chivas USA, Columbus Crew, Colorado Rapids, D.C. United, FC Dallas, Houston Dynamo, LA Galaxy, New England Revolution, New York Red Bulls, Philadelphia Union, Real Salt Lake, San Jose Earthquakes, Seattle Sounders, Sporting Kansas City and Toronto FC.

New this year is the U15 version of the tourney with eight MLS clubs including Chivas USA, Columbus Crew, D.C. United, FC Dallas, Houston Dynamo, LA Galaxy, New York Red Bulls and Seattle Sounders.

FCD U17s defeated Sporting Kansas City 4-2 on Monday night.

8' - Marco Ortiz (FCD)
23' - Alessandro Mion (FCD)
25' - Victor Portillo (FCD)
59' - Diego De La Tejera Farias (FCD)
73' - Steven Enna (SKC)
75' - Steven Enna (SKC)

In their second match on Tuesday night FCD faced Philadelphia Union and drew 0-0 with the match going to penalty kicks. FCD prevailed 5-3 in PKS to sit alone atop Group B.

Edit: the U15s opened their tournament with a 4-0 win over Columbus Crew.

Match grades: Portland vs. FC Dallas

June, 27, 2011
Just a quick thought on Mexico's complete 4-2 victory:

The reality is that in the long-running stretch of victories over Mexico, the U.S. won mostly via effort, teamwork and heart. The USA was never going to out-skill the Mexicans. But this new squad from Mexico now, at the very least, matches the U.S. in terms of effort, teamwork and heart to go along with their superior skill.

The pendulum has swung back.

FC Dallas on the other hand continues to churn out points despite losing key players. Playing its first match without Fabian Castillo, Schellas Hyndman simply moved his remaining bits into yet another formation, and crushed the Timbers 4-0. It might not be a stretch to say that if you squinted, Dallas almost played more like the team did with Ferreira on the field in the 4-1-4-1 formation. Against Portland, the team was placed in a 4-2-3-1 with Hernandez and Jacobson in a dual holding midfield role and Alexander, Shea and Jackson asked to cover a lot of ground and get into the attack.

It took the better part of 15 minutes for FCD to find its way around the new formation, but once there, there was little question as to which team was going to win. There was far less direct play on Dallas' part, more interactive possession and a significant increase in dangerous opportunities in the box.

Not having Castillo on the pitch is almost addition by subtraction because when he's paired with Chavez up top, there simply is no reason to even try to possess and build up attacking play. With Chavez alone up there, and more support in the middle, the team got more movement into the box and patient play in getting there.

If Dallas consistently can get performances from wide positions as it did from Shea and Jackson, it will be a wonderfully tough side to beat.

Once again, in the face of personnel losses Hyndman successfully made tactical and formation changes. Dallas gets to really put itself to a stern test as the Crew come to town and have matched FCD for points in the last five matches (10).


Hartman: 6 -- Not really under much pressure but got lucky on a couple of poorly played set pieces.

Loyd: 8 -- Great goal and worked well with Jackson.

George: 8 -- Storming header and yet another lock-down defending performance.

Ugo: 6 -- More poor passing than normal, battled well with Cooper.

Benitez: 6 -- Improved from recent play, still looks to be favoring that knee.

Shea: 8 -- Swimming in confidence, how can you not with a bobblehead?

Jackson: 8 -- Best night in a hooped jersey. Very, very unlucky to not have scored.

Hernandez: 7 -- Why hasn't he been taking corners all along?

Jacobson: 5 -- His passing struggled as he was asked to sit back more.

Alexander: 7 -- A quietly effective night. If only he could turn his intensity up just a notch.

Chavez: 6 -- I've realized that if he had a sliver of creativity to go with all that speed and effort, he wouldn't be plying his trade in MLS. What he's doing for Hyndman is worth its weight in lost attacking opportunities


Warshaw: 6 -- Good, solid substitution.

Avila: 6 -- He really adds a spark late in a match.

Luna: 6 -- The league says he scored … just buy Jackson dinner.

Match Grade: (B) -- Temperatures, U.S./Mexico and the closure of the tollway made it easy to not show up for one of those mid-season MLS matches. But Dallas threw out an entertaining performance.

Match Grades: Chivas USA v FC Dallas (5-18)

June, 20, 2011
Schellas Hyndman has whisked up the soccer equivalent of "Making Lemonade out of Lemons" to good effect for his FC Dallas troops. It's not tasty-sweet lemonade, mind you, but its getting the job done.

Who needs possession and patient passing play when you can stretch your opponent's back line with your speedy forwards, while other end plays swarming, lock-down defense? Dallas conceded ownership of the ball almost 75% of the time, but had three times the shots on goal (7:2).

The great news is that the 4-1 drubbing from Sporting KC appears to have been a one-off affair. While Dallas wasn't necessarily the better team in its 2-1 win over Chivas USA, the team did return to its highly likable high-effort work rate. Movement and pressure from FCD helped create Chivas' numerous turnovers and Dallas' counterattacks.

The Home Depot Center also contains one of the league's biggest pitches (if not the biggest) and that certainly played into Dallas' strategy. Having Castillo and Chavez make wide runs continues to clear space for Shea to move inside. This is a wonderful maneuver and has created multiple chances (if not goals), but should we see someone else other than Brek making those runs into the box? Does Hyndman's plan allow for Jacobson, Hernandez or Alexander to move into that space? If so, it's not happening enough and the only criticism of the plan.

No matter, Brek is the team's most dangerous player and for two weeks in a row has scored goals a few notches higher in skill level than generally seen in MLS. Last week's run-dribble-calmly slot the ball past the keeper was a fantastic display of speed and skill. This weekend's goal showed off a different set of abilities which will continue to grow the kid's stature.

Dallas realizes its shortcomings and has glued together a strategy that makes the most of the remaining parts.

Couple of other notes:
  • Can Hyndman revisit the strategy of Ugo taking throw-ins deep down the touchline? I think I counted six attempts at this Saturday night and three of them somehow found their way straight back out, and the others failed to result in possession. I'm not sure what this strategy is, but its not working.
  • How different would this team be if they had a forward that could check back and hold the ball? Milton should be this person, but he's lack of speed hurts the team. Should fans expect an addition in July here?
  • Is Brek growing out a blonde version of some sort of creepy, tiny 1930's mustache, or was that a band-aide on his lip?
  • How great would it be if FCD had white shorts and socks to wear in away matches when the opponent also wears dark shorts/socks? (Chivas, RSL)

Hartman: 8 - Faultless on the goal, another great outing

Loyd: 7 - A strong improvement from last outing, still tends to chase the ball

Ugo: 8: - Throw-ins aside, a good night

John: 7 - Really solid, again. At some point does "unlucky" need to become maybe you don't take that chance and kick out at a shot?

Benitez: 5 - Has to be struggling with knee injury. Looks slower, is getting beat in 50/50's and passing has dropped way off

Alexander: 7 - Really nice match. Such poise on the ball in cramped space, and had one really nice sequence to relieve pressure out of the back. Also thought he was particularly good once team moved to 4-5-1. Needs to cut back on turnovers and have a larger impact on offense

Shea: 8 - See above.

Hernandez: 7 - Led the team in a redeeming performance

Jacobson: 8 - Extra points for two assists; one beautifully placed on purpose, the other beautifully placed even if unintended

Castillo: 6 - So much more effective when attacking from deep

Chavez: 6 - Effort and speed can make up for a lot of crummy decisions


Warshaw: 5

Jackson: 9 - Hey, the decision to be in place was great, but the finish was of a high quality

Galindo: 5

Match Grade: B Watching Dallas sit, absorb and counter is not the entertaining, beautiful, passing style we came to love in 2010. But the team is winning and finding success with an equally likable level of effort and flashes of skill.
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Talking tactics: Sporting KC at FC Dallas

June, 13, 2011
A day after the United States' shocking loss to Panama in the Gold Cup, FC Dallas posted a shocker of their own, falling to a previously out of form Sporting Kansas City. Dallas had given up only 4 goals in their last 8 games. Sunday evening at Pizza Hut Park they conceded 4 goals in 78 minutes. Lax Dallas defending, and stellar Kansas City finishing, handed KC their first victory since the season's opening weekend.

Much like Saturday's Gold Cup encounter, the underdogs determined the game's tactical ebb and flow. Both Panama and Kansas City employed a bait-and-switch strategy, sitting very deep before countering at speed. Kansas City couldn't have used their 4-4-1-1 to greater effect. The visitors' defensive solidarity was more than a match for the Dallas 4-4-2.

They rarely allowed Dallas a clean look on goal, and from the get-go they were the more clinical team in the final third. Graham Zusi's 28th minute goal was well-deserved. His excellent run (off a KC counter) and booming shot were but a foretaste of the quality he would bring to the match.

Brek Shea provided a moment of life in the 38th when his slaloming run through four defenders drew the Hoops level. Despite Dallas' edge in possession (65% to 35%) Shea's goal came against the run of play. Most Dallas attacks sputtered out on the edge of the box.

Kansas City attempted 210 less passes yet created 5 more shots on goal. Dallas didn't do themselves any favors with their awkward defending in the box. Andrew Jacobson was victimized on the second and fourth goals, getting outmuscled by Aurellien Collin on the former and failing to track Luke Sassano on the latter.

Zusi's 55th minute strike, however, came about solely through Zusi's gilt-edged touch. Kevin Hartman had drifted slightly off his line, but since Zusi's free kick from just outside the center circle seemed to graze the underside of the bar, it's unlikely even a perfectly positioned Hartman could have stopped the blast.

Schellas Hyndman attempted to add extra bite to his squad's final third threat by changing to a 3-4-3 after using all of his substitutes. But shortly after the switch, Jacobson let Sassano sprint into the box for the demoralizing fourth goal. Given FC Dallas' recent run of nine games unbeaten, Hyndman won't feel a need to make wholesale changes before next week's encounter with Chivas USA. He will, however, hope to forget this game as soon as possible.

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