Preview: Dallas look to break Toronto's unbeaten streak
FC DALLAS vs TORONTO FC
FC DALLAS STADIUM, Frisco, Texas
July 4, 2012 (WEEK 18, MLS Game #159)
8 p.m. CT (TSN; FS-SW+)
A pair of clubs looking to kickstart the second half of their MLS campaigns meet on Independence Day when FC Dallas take on Toronto FC. The home side are still in the throes of an 11-game winless ride, their last match a scoreless draw with Chivas USA two weeks ago. Toronto FC have still won just twice this season but are now unbeaten in four, coming off a 1-1 home draw with the New York Red Bulls.
REFEREE: Jose Carlos Rivero. SAR (bench): Ian Anderson; JAR (opposite): Anthony Vasoli; 4th: Kevin Terry Jr.
MLS Career: 2 games; FC/gm: 21.5; Y/gm: 5.0; R: 2; pens: 2
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- FC DALLAS – OUT: MF Bobby Warshaw (R foot fracture); DF Ugo Ihemelu (concussion symptoms); DF Alex Lee (lower abdominal strain); QUESTIONABLE: FW Blas Perez (R foot contusion); PROBABLE: DF George John (concussion symptoms); MF Ricardo Villar (R foot strain); MF David Ferreira (R foot surgery); MF Daniel Hernandez (R knee soreness)
- TORONTO FC – OUT: GK Stefan Frei (L lower leg); QUESTIONABLE: FW Nicholas Lindsay (L knee surgery recovery); DF Ty Harden (R adductor strain); DF Adrian Cann (R knee sprain); FW Joao Plata (R hamstring strain); DF Jeremy Hall (concussion)
INTERNATIONAL ABSENCES: none
- SUSPENDED NEXT YELLOW CARD: DAL: Fabian Castillo
- SUSPENDED AFTER TWO YELLOW CARDS: DAL: Jair Benitez, Daniel Hernandez … TOR: Ashtone Morgan, Julian de Guzman
ALL-TIME (10 meetings): FC Dallas 6 wins, 14 goals … Toronto FC 1 win, 10 goals … Ties 3
AT DALLAS (5 meetings): FC Dallas 4 wins, 9 goals … Toronto FC 0 wins, 4 goals … Ties 1
LAST YEAR (MLS):
5/11: DAL 1, TOR 0 (D. Hernandez 45)
7/20: TOR 0, DAL 1 (Shea 48)
• Since a 4-0 victory in their first ever meeting, June 17, 2007, Toronto FC are winless against FC Dallas, a streak now at nine games.
• FC Dallas have won the last three meetings with Toronto FC, all by 1-0 scorelines. TFC has not scored against FC Dallas in 299 minutes, since a 1-1 draw July 24, 2010 at BMO Field.
• The teams also met last year in group play in the CONCACAF Champions League, FC Dallas winning 1-0 at BMO Field in August, but TFC’s 3-0 win in Frisco in October eliminating FC Dallas from the competition.
• Coaches record: Schellas Hyndman vs. TOR: P6 W4 L2 D0 … Paul Mariner vs. DAL: first game
FC Dallas saw their club-record winless run extended to 11 consecutive games, following a scoreless draw with Chivas USA in their last match, June 20 at FC Dallas Stadium. FCD is in ninth place in the Western Conference with 14 points from 17 matches.
Highlights: DAL 0, CHV 0
• Chivas USA nearly took the lead in the 12th minute. FCD 'keeper Kevin Hartman could only parry Juan Agudelo’s shot and the rebound fell to Alejandro Moreno, whose follow-up chance was deflected onto the bar.
• The home side nearly took the lead in the final half-hour when a Daniel Hernandez corner found Brek Shea at the far post, but his header was cleared off the line.
• Chivas USA goalkeeper Dan Kennedy was credited with three saves on the evening, while Hartman had one save between the posts for FCD.
• FC Dallas head coach Schellas Hyndman made two changes to the team that fell 2-1 to the Houston Dynamo at BBVA Compass Stadium. Brek Shea came back into the team for Bryan Leyva and Carlos Rodriguez came in for the suspended Jair Benitez.
• FC DALLAS (4-4-2): Kevin Hartman - Zach Loyd, Hernan Pertuz, Matt Hedges, Carlos Rodriguez - Jackson, Daniel Hernandez (Andrew Wiedeman 75), Andrew Jacobson, Brek Shea - Fabian Castillo, Scott Sealy (James Marcelin 66).
• There was a slight tactical shift for FC Dallas, with Hyndman lining up Fabian Castillo up top with Scott Sealy. Sealy was making his third consecutive start, in place of Blas Perez, while Castillo was starting at forward for the first time since mid-May.
• “I thought the first half was a difficult half for us. Being in a 4-4-2, we thought we would be lucky playing Chivas with two center backs. I thought we would attack, with Jackson and [Fabian] Castillo, and get some services in. I thought we did get some services in, but we didn't have anybody involved,” said FCD head coach Schellas Hyndman. “The second half, I thought we played better. I thought we stopped them from penetrating, and I thought we gave everything we had for the last 20 minutes.”
• It was the fourth draw on the 11-game winless run for FCD. Their last victory came April 14, a 2-1 home win vs. Montréal.
• “I think a lot of it is not having Blas [Perez] there. At the same time, especially playing with two strikers, I think Blas would have found a way to get to the near post where a lot of balls get broken up,” said Hyndman. “I thought in the first half, we turned a lot of balls over in that middle third and the attacking third, which we can't do. I think the three things going forward that we need to look at are not having guys getting injured, getting better with our discipline and getting some breaks.”
• There was a change for the final part of the contest after James Marcelin came on for Sealy, and Castillo dropped into the midfield.
• “I thought Brek [Shea] was very good, being the lone striker. I know it's not his true position, but as the lone striker, he was causing a lot of problems for them,” said Hyndman. “ … With the number of injuries that we have and the lack of options that we have, I'm just shifting people around, trying to find out who can cause different problems for opposing teams. Brek's been out for four weeks, so we contemplated taking him off the field, but he was causing problems. What we tried to do was isolate him. It was a real pleasant surprise with how well he played, with his first touches on crosses and his work to get open.
• FC Dallas recorded a defensive shutout for the first time since April 5 – a 1-0 win vs. New England – covering a span of 12 games. FCD had allowed multiple goals in six of their seven previous games.
• “It was nice to get the shutout but at this point we need to get wins, not ties. We just haven’t put the whole thing together for 90 minutes,” said midfielder Andrew Jacobson. “We pressured well but couldn’t seem to find that goal. It’s one of those things where you just have to keep going. We’re getting guys healthy. They’ll be coming back but there’s nothing else you can do except keep going.”
• Rookie Matt Hedges made his fifth consecutive start in central defense, partnering Hernán Pertuz for the second consecutive match.
• “I thought he played very well. The more we see him, the more we like him. He reminds me a lot of George John in his first year,” said Hyndman. “He's probably playing a little better right now than he was in the beginning, and that's a lot of confidence on his part. He's still going to make his mistakes, but when he makes them, we hope he continues to make them in practice and not in the games.”
• With two weeks off since their last match, FC Dallas could being to have some key components available again as the second half of the season begins.
• “We know Blas will be coming back. I have a good bet that Jair [Benitez] will be coming back. I think David [Ferreira] and [Ricardo] Villar will be at the point where they might be getting on the bench. Hopefully we can get them in to play some minutes,” said Hyndman.
• If he plays in the match, FC Dallas goalkeeper Kevin Hartman will make the 400th regular season appearance of his career – by far the most in MLS history.
Toronto FC extended their league unbeaten streak to four games, playing to a 1-1 draw with the New York Red Bulls on Saturday evening at BMO Field. TFC is in 10th place in the Eastern Conference, with nine points from 15 games.
Highlights: TOR 1, NY 1
• Both goals came in a two-minute span in the opening six minutes. In the fourth minute, New York's Jan Gunnar Solli was able to easily reach a cross from the right from Brandon Barklage in the left side of the box and turn it home with a right-footed volley.
• But two minutes later, Danny Koevermans was in the center of the box to head home a corner from Torsten Frings and pull TFC level.
• TFC head coach Paul Mariner made one change to the team that, rolled to a 3-0 win against the Montréal Impact at Stade Saputo. Reggie Lambe came back into the team for Julian de Guzman.
• TORONTO FC (4-4-2): Milos Kocic - Jeremy Hall, Logan Emory, Richard Eckersley, Ashtone Morgan - Reggie Lambe (Nick Soolsma 67), Torsten Frings, Terry Dunfield, Eric Avila (Julian de Guzman 80) - Ryan Johnson, Danny Koevermans (Luis Silva 86).
• The draw extended TFC’s unbeaten streak to four games in league play. Under Paul Mariner, the Reds have lost just once – a 2-0 defeat by Sporting Kansas City in his first game in charge, June 16.
• “I think what you can recognize a little bit is that it’s not beautiful flowing football but we are a little harder to beat than we have been in the past,” said Mariner. “ … You definitely don’t want that reputation that teams can score on you with set pieces. I think it’s not dusted yet but we’ve come a little way quelling that thought.”
• Danny Koevermans has scored in four consecutive league games for TFC, with five goals in that time. Seven of his eight goals this season have come since May 19.
• Four days after netting his first goal of the season, Torsten Frings contributed his first assist of 2012, setting up Danny Koevermans with a corner kick in the 1-1 draw vs. New York last weekend.
• “I think that if you become a hard team to beat in this league and you stay in the game, Ryan [Johnson] and Danny [Koevermans] and Torsten [Frings] with his service -- you might be able to nick something,” Mariner said.
• Mariner was forced into a late lineup change after Julian de Guzman fell ill. Reggie Lambe started in de Guzman’s place; the TFC Designated Player was able to come on for the final 10 minutes.
• “Reggie [Lambe] comes in on a moment’s notice, works really, really hard,” Mariner said. “I’ve got nothing but praise for those lads. It’s staggering the amount of work they do from front to back.”
• After coming off the substitutes’ bench at midweek on Montréal, center back Doneil Henry was unavailable for the New York game due to an allergic reaction.
• “I don’t think Milos had a save to make today. That’s a huge pat on the back to the back four,” said midfielder Terry Dunfield. “Also, you can see how hard Ryan (Johnson) and Danny (Koevermans) work up front I think in the 85th minute Danny was tracking back like he was 21 so you know that only spurs the other players on as well.”
• Said Mariner: “The young back four are learning, they’re learning very quick. I thought that was the best performance of the back four today. They edged when they should edge, they were dropping when they should drop.”