FC Dallas vs. LA Galaxy | MLS Match Preview
FC DALLAS vs LA GALAXY
TOYOTA STADIUM, Frisco, Texas
Oct. 12, 2014 (WEEK 31, MLS Game #304)
6 p.m. CT (ESPN2/Deportes; TSN2)
A hugely important match in the Western Conference playoff picture concludes the weekend when FC Dallas play host to the LA Galaxy on Sunday evening at Toyota Stadium. FC Dallas can certainly clinch their berth in the postseason with a win, returning home following a 2-0 loss at Vancouver Whitecaps FC last weekend. The Galaxy have secured their ticket for the MLS Cup Playoffs, but are still chasing the Supporters’ Shield after a third consecutive win in a 3-0 defeat of Toronto FC last weekend.
REFEREE: Alan Kelly. SAR (bench): Jonathan Johnson; JAR (opposite): Eric Weisbrod; 4th: Juan Guzman
MLS Career: 14 games; FC/gm: 26.4; Y/gm: 2.9; R: 5; pens: 4
SUSPENDED: LA: Marcelo Sarvas (caution accumulation; through Oct. 12)
SUSPENDED NEXT YELLOW CARD: DAL: Victor Ulloa, Je-Vaughn Watson … LA: Omar Gonzalez
SUSPENDED AFTER TWO YELLOW CARDS: DAL: Fabian Castillo, Matt Hedges, Blas Perez, Adam Moffat, Michel … LA: Baggio Husidic, A.J. DeLaGarza, Alan Gordon, Landon Donovan, Juninho
DISABLED LIST: DAL: Hendry Thomas (season-ending injury)
INTERNATIONAL ABSENCES: DAL: Blas Perez (Panama, vs. Mexico, Oct. 12), Je-Vaughn Watson (Jamaica, vs. Japan, Oct. 10); Raul Fernandez (Peru, vs. Chile 10/10; vs. Guatemala 10/14) … LA: Robbie Keane (Republic of Ireland, vs. Gibraltar, Oct. 11; vs. Germany, Oct. 14); Omar Gonzalez, Landon Donovan (USA, vs. Ecuador, Oct. 10); Oscar Sorto (US U-23)
ALL-TIME (62 meetings): FC Dallas 20 wins (1 shootout), 82 goals… Galaxy 31 wins (1 shootout), 111 goals … Ties 11
AT DALLAS (30 meetings): FC Dallas 15 wins (0 shootout), 51 goals … Galaxy 8 wins (0 shootout), 45 goals … Ties 7
5/21: LA 2, DAL 1 (Keane 24; Zardes 44 – Akindele 65)
9/20: LA 2, DAL 1 (Keane 62; Gordon 84 – Perez 54)
- The teams are meeting for the third time this season. Robbie Keane scored the equalizer then set up Gyasi Zardes for the game-winner to lead the Galaxy to a 2-1 win Sept. 20 at StubHub Center; Keane and Zardes scored first-half goals to send the Galaxy on their way to a 2-1 win May 21 at Carson.
- FC Dallas have won just once in their last three home meetings vs. the Galaxy, a 1-0 victory April 13, 2013. The Galaxy are undefeated in Carson over the last seven meetings vs. FC Dallas in league play, dating back to the start of the 2010 season, going 6-0-1 in that time.
- Coaches record: Bruce Arena vs. DAL: P25 W14 L8 T4 … Oscar Pareja vs. LA: P8 W2 L5 T1
LAST MEETING (MLS)
- Dallas went ahead nine minutes into the second half. Andres Escobar collected a throw-in on the right flank and crossed into the area, just above the 6-yard box, where Blas Perez outleapt his marker and nodded the ball past goalkeeper Jaime Penedo and into the netting inside the right post.
- The Galaxy were level in the 62nd minute. Fullback Dan Gargan whipped in a low cross from the right, and FC Dallas wasn't able to clear their lines. Gyasi Zardes stripped a defender from behind and tapped it square to Robbie Keane, whose first-time shot went off goalkeeper Raul Fernandez's fingertips en route to the back of the net.
- Alan Gordon, who had come on as a substitute in the 75th minute, gave LA the lead eight minutes later. He created space behind his marker and headed a home a Keane cross from the left back across the goalmouth and inside the left post.
- LA GALAXY (4-4-2): Jaime Penedo - Dan Gargan, Omar Gonzalez, A.J. DeLaGarza, Robbie Rogers - Baggio Husidic (Stefan Ishizaki 62), Marcelo Sarvas, Juninho, Landon Donovan - Robbie Keane, Gyasi Zardes (Alan Gordon 75).
- FC DALLAS (4-4-2): Raul Fernandez - Kellyn Acosta, Zach Loyd, Je-Vaughn Watson, Moises Hernandez - Ryan Hollingshead (Mauro Diaz 56 / Jair Benitez 83), Michel, Victor Ulloa, Andres Escobar - Tesho Akindele (Adam Moffat 75), Blas Perez.
FC Dallas fell to their fourth consecutive away defeat, Vancouver Whitecaps FC taking a 2-0 victory Saturday afternoon at BC Place. FC Dallas sit in fourth place in the Western Conference with 48 points from 31 games.
- Whitecaps FC took the lead in the 14th minute. Mauro Rosales sent in a perfect delivery from the right and Sebastian Fernandez out jumped his marker and headed the ball high into the net for the opener.
- The pair combined again in the 18th minute to double the Vancouver lead. Rosales picked up a loose ball just inside the Dallas half and ran toward goal before playing in Fernandez on the left, and he buried a low shot past Dallas 'keeper Raul Fernandez to make it 2-0.
- FCD head coach Oscar Pareja made one change to the team that recorded a 3-1 win against Seattle Sounders FC at Toyota Stadium. Ryan Hollingshead came into the side in place of Jair Benitez.
- FC DALLAS (4-4-2): Raul Fernandez - Je-Vaughn Watson, Zach Loyd, Matt Hedges, Moises Hernandez - Andres Escobar, Victor Ulloa (Kellyn Acosta 81), Michel, Ryan Hollingshead (Tesho Akindele 46) - Blas Perez, David Texeira (Jair Benitez 65).
- FC Dallas weren’t able to build upon their victory vs. Vancouver the week before; they haven’t won consecutive games since winning four in a row Aug. 3-22.
- “We had the initiative to put high pressure and go look for the game right from the first minute, we had a few chances to score, but we could not take advantage of it,” said FCD head coach Oscar Pareja. “Then Vancouver took over and put the game away. After that, I thought it was a different game but we didn’t have too many ideas.”
- FC Dallas also suffered their fourth consecutive road defeat, matching their longest road losing slide since 2004. FCD has one away match remaining this season: at Colorado on Oct. 18.
- “Playing in the Western Conference, you see the same teams three times a year,” said Tesho Akindele. “With how the schedule was, we’ve seen these guys three times now in such a short time, and there’s definitely a bit of tension coming in.”
- FC Dallas were also halted in their bid to secure their playoff future. They can again secure a place with a victory vs. the Galaxy, or a draw and some help with other results.
- “We need to clinch first, and now we are thinking about LA. My mind doesn’t let me go that far, especially when I have such a big responsibility to play the next game and try to take care of our business, which is to get ourselves into the playoffs. After that, we’ll see,” said Pareja.
- FCD were shut out at the attacking end for a fifth time this season, their first since a 1-0 loss at Chicago on Aug. 30. The two losses by shutout followed two occasions where they played to scoreless draws when blanked.
- “We came out soft and slow, gave up two goals, and we never really recovered. I think we definitely started to play better as the game went on, but by that point, you’re 2-0 down, and they can control the match by sitting there and doing whatever they want. It’s disappointing,” said defender Matt Hedges.
The LA Galaxy stretched their undefeated run to 10 games with a third consecutive victory, rolling to a 3-0 win against Toronto FC on Saturday evening at StubHub Center. The Galaxy sit in a tie for first place in the Western Conference and the MLS overall table with 60 points from 31 games.
- The Galaxy took the as Keane hit for goals in the 22nd and 25th minutes. The first completed a superb passing sequence, with Marcelo Sarvas playing a give-and-go above Toronto's box with Baggio Husidic, then splitting two defenders with a sharp pass to the center of the box for Keane, who eluded his man and fired to the right side of the net.
- Keane then made it 2-0 after Landon Donovan played a diagonal through ball to the right flank for A.J. DeLaGarza, who turned and tumbled as he chipped it back toward the top of the box. A completely unmarked Keane had time to measure the cross and volley it into the netting inside the right post.
- The scoreline was complete deep in second-half stoppage time when Alan Gordon collected a ball from Sarvas in the midfield, carried forward and then unleashed a blast from well outside the penalty area that beat goalkeeper Joe Bendik inside his right post.
- Galaxy coach Bruce Arena made one change to the team that rolled to a 4-0 win against the New York Red Bulls at StubHub Center. Leonardo came into the back four in place of Dan Gargan.
- LA GALAXY (4-4-2): Jaime Penedo - A.J. DeLaGarza, Omar Gonzalez, Leonardo, Robbie Rogers (James Riley 16) - Baggio Husidic (Stefan Ishizaki 72), Marcelo Sarvas, Juninho, Landon Donovan (Alan Gordon 84) - Robbie Keane, Gyasi Zardes.
- The Galaxy extended their undefeated streak to 10 games with a third consecutive victory; the 10-game run without loss is the club’s longest since 2011 and matches the sixth-longest in Galaxy history.
- The Galaxy also extended their home undefeated streak to 15 games, matching the third-longest in the club’s history and the longest contained within a single calendar season. The club record is 18 games, set over the end of 2010 season and the start of the 2011 campaign.
- The Galaxy have also won six consecutive home games, and seven consecutive games overall in league play at StubHub Center.
- “We’ve been terrific this summer. There’s no way to say it except that. … We’ve done a great job,” said Landon Donovan. “We haven’t necessarily been paying attention [to the standings] until the last few weeks, but now it’s very realistic to win the Supporters’ Shield and that’s absolutely our goal.”
- Robbie Keane scored his 18th and 19th goals of the season – now sitting in third place in the MLS Golden Boot standings. Keane has scored two goals in each of the last two games, and has scored in three consecutive matches.
- “He’s been terrific and we’re really fortunate to have him on our team. I said last week that there is not a player in this league who scores the goals that he scores, and [his second goal] was a difficult one, too. … It was clean, it was clinical,” said Donovan. “It’s our job to keep getting him the ball when he is playing like this and we’re going to keep trying to do that.”
- Landon Donovan recorded an assist on the second Keane goal to become the all-time leader with 136 career league assists, surpassing the mark set by Steve Ralston.
- “To be honest, [the assist record] wasn't on my radar until the last, probably, month or so,” said Donovan. “It wasn't overly realistic in my mind, but when the team plays like this, it was just natural, and it seems like every time we get a chance, guys are close to scoring or scoring. So for me, it's been easy. I just put the ball in the right spot and let the guys do their job. And when you have players like we have, it makes it easy.”
- Donovan has 19 assists this season, leading MLS and matching the second-highest single-season total in MLS history. He has 15 assists in his last 13 appearances.
- “It's an unbelievable achievement,” Keane said. “To have the goals and the assist record, doesn't matter where you are, it's an incredible achievement.”
- Alan Gordon scored a late goal, his fifth in 11 appearances since coming to the Galaxy from the San Jose Earthquakes. Four of Gordon’s five goals with the Galaxy have come after coming off the substitutes’ bench.
- “We keep saying it every time he comes on – when he comes on he scores. It just seems normal for him to come in and score a goal,” said Keane. “It’s always good to have someone like that on your team. He works hard in training every day. He’s a big part of this team. He’s a big part of we are doing. If things aren’t going well for us, he’s a player that can come on and change things.”
- Marcelo Sarvas also added a pair of assists, his fourth two-assist game in MLS and his third this season. Sarvas now has 11 assists; he had eight assists total in his first two MLS campaigns.
- James Riley came off the substitutes’ bench after just 17 minutes, when Robbie Rogers suffered a hamstring strain. Riley had not played since March 23, when he suffered a knee injury and had to undergo surgery.
- “I was hesitant about putting him that early in the game,” Arena said. “The thinking was that he'd probably have to come out in the second half at some point, but he hung in there, so that's terrific. He worked real hard to come back from that surgery and that injury, and to be able to give us 75 minutes or so, on a night we needed it, was big.”
- Said Donovan: “[Rogers' injury] is frustrating, because he's been playing so well. But I thought James came in and did a great job. It's been the curse of this team all year, the outside-back spot, but guys have come in and done a good job. James hasn't played in [more than six months], and it says a lot about his professionalism, his preparation, that he was ready to come in and help us.”