MLS Match Preview: Toronto FC vs. FC Dallas

TORONTO FC vs FC DALLAS
BMO FIELD, Toronto, Ont.
April 6, 2013 (WEEK 6, MLS Game #44)
4 p.m. ET (TSN2; TWCSN-TX)

Toronto FC will face a stiff interconference test when they play host to FC Dallas on Saturday afternoon at BMO Field. TFC have a win and a draw at home this season, coming off a late 2-2 draw with the LA Galaxy last weekend in Toronto. FC Dallas are the hottest team in MLS, having reeled off three wins in a row to leap to the top of the Western Conference, coming off a 1-0 win against the New England Revolution on the road last weekend.

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REFEREE: Ismail Elfath. SAR (bench): Kermit Quisenberry; JAR (opposite): Kevin Klinger; 4th: Mathieu Bourdeau
MLS Career: 10 games; FC/gm: 23.9; Y/gm: 2.2; R: 4; pens: 6

DISABLED LIST: none
SUSPENDED: none
INTERNATIONAL ABSENCES: none

HEAD-TO-HEAD
ALL-TIME (11 meetings): Toronto FC 1 win, 11 goals ... FC Dallas 6 wins, 15 goals ... Ties 4
AT TORONTO (5 meetings): Toronto FC 1 win, 6 goals ... FC Dallas 2 wins, 5 goals ... Ties 2

LAST YEAR (MLS):
7/4: DAL 1, TOR 1 (Loyd 5 - Koevermans 31)

  • This is the only league meeting between the teams this season.
  • In league play, FC Dallas have not lost to Toronto FC since 2007 - the first meeting ever between the clubs. FCD has won six of the 10 regular-season encounters since, with four draws, including a 4-0-2 record all-time in Frisco.
  • FC Dallas saw a three-game winning streak vs. Toronto FC snapped in their 1-1 draw last July 4, their only meeting in 2012. That was the first goal scored by TFC vs. FCD since July 24, 2010.
  • The teams did meet in CONCACAF Champions League group play in 2011, Toronto FC winning 3-0 in Frisco in the final round to seal passage to the knockout stage. The teams had played to a 1-1 draw in Toronto.
  • Coaches record: Ryan Nelsen vs. DAL: first game ... Schellas Hyndman vs. TOR: P9 W5 L0 D4

TORONTO FC
Toronto FC came back for a second result on the season, eventually ending in a 2-2 draw with the LA Galaxy at BMO Field on Saturday. TFC sit in a tie for seventh place in the Eastern Conference with 4 points from 4 matches.

LAST MATCH

  • The Galaxy opened the scoring in the 16th minute. Marcelo Sarvas received the ball in the right corner of the penalty area and sent a low, skimming ball toward the back post where Mike Magee slipped behind the defense to deflect it home from close range.
  • TFC pulled even in the 29th minute as Robert Earnshaw scored yet another goal, latching onto a poor back pass from Galaxy defender Leonardo before lashing home a strike from outside the area.
  • The home side pulled ahead in the 78th minute. Luis Silva skirted Galaxy defender Omar Gonzalez on the left flank and beat him to the end line before skipping a cross into the box that Jonathan Osorio touched home for his first MLS goal.
  • But the Galaxy found an equalizer in stoppage time. TFC fullback Darel Russell headed an LA cross back in front of the Toronto goal and Jose Villarreal flung himself sideways to hook a full scissors kick into the goal.
  • TFC boss Ryan Nelsen made one change to the team that suffered a 2-1 loss to the MontrÈal Impact. Darel Russell came into the back four in place of Ashtone Morgan.
  • TORONTO FC (4-4-1-1): Joseph Bendik - Darel Russell, Darren O'Dea, Danny Califf, Richard Eckersley - John Bostock, Jeremy Hall, Terry Dunfield (Jonathan Osorio 64), Reggie Lambe - Hogan Ephraim (Luis Silva 72) - Robert Earnshaw.

TEAM NEWS

  • While TFC remain undefeated at BMO Field with four points from two home games, they were seconds away from two wins from two home starts.
  • "We scored two goals against a team that hadn't conceded two goals since when? Not this season. We still scored two goals where other teams haven't," TFC head coach Ryan Nelsen said. "Yes, we are all disappointed that we didn't walk away with three points. But we take the point and we move on. The big picture is that the MLS champions came here and we did extremely well."
  • TFC academy product Jonathan Osorio scored his first professional goal, making his third consecutive appearance off the substitutes' bench.
  • "The first one is always the hardest. I had to get it out of the way. It is amazing [to score at BMO Field] and it gives me goose bumps," said Osorio. "Just last year I was a fan. It was amazing that I could give something back to the fans. That moment is one of the best of my life. Those supporters have been there since day one, so to get a goal for them is amazing."
  • Robert Earnshaw continued his rich vein of form, netting his fourth goal of the season, over the last three games, the first four goals TFC scored this season.
  • "I just reacted off of what the defense gave me. I saw [goalkeeper Carlo] Cudicini come out and I just thought obviously chip the ball really. It was more just instinct," said Earnshaw.
  • After coming on as a substitute in the previous two matches, Darel Russell made his first TFC start, coming in at right back.
  • "I think Darel did well. There are some days where things happen and that's luck but his endeavor and he worked really hard. He never stopped and I think he did fine," said Nelsen.
  • Midfielder Luis Silva also made his 2013 season debut, after missing the opening three matches due to a hamstring injury.
  • "I think (the depth is starting to show). Silva and Osorio came on and played very well. I still have guys on the bench who I can't even get in the squad who are International players. It's starting to get deep," Nelsen said. "We are always looking to improve the squad and we are still trying to bring in players who will be able to create even more competition."

FC DALLAS
FC Dallas extended their winning streak with a third consecutive victory, getting a late goal for a 1-0 win against the New England Revolution at Gillette Stadium on Saturday. FCD sit atop the Western Conference with 12 points from 5 matches.

LAST MATCH

  • The game's lone goal came three minutes from full time. From a passing movement through the Revolution half, David Ferreira found himself in time and space and picked up his head before floating the ball into Blas PÈrez's path, and he ghosted into the right spot and placed his header inside the far post.
  • FC Dallas head coach Schellas Hyndman made one change to the team that got a pair of late goals for a 2-0 win against Real Salt Lake. Raul Fernandez returned between the posts in place of Chris Seitz.
  • FC DALLAS (4-2-3-1): Raul Fernandez - Zach Loyd, George John, Matt Hedges, Jair Benitez (Bobby Warshaw 90) - Andrew Jacobson, Michel - Jackson, David Ferreira, Fabian Castillo (Je-Vaughn Watson 82) - Kenny Cooper (Blas Perez 64).

TEAM NEWS

  • FC Dallas won for the third game on the trot, matching FCD's longest winning streak over the past four seasons. They haven't won as many as four in a row since Sept. 26-Oct. 17, 2009.
  • "You never know how important team chemistry is until you lose it. We struggled with that the last year and a half," said FCD head coach Schellas Hyndman. "This year, the guys are really playing for each other. They're working for each other. They are following directions. They are having great training sessions."
  • Said midfielder Andrew Jacobson: "You want to collect as many points as possible. We are doing it in the right manner. It is not just collecting points. We are playing well. We are very organized. We are playing to our strengths and we are really working on progressing every week."
  • After playing the entirety of both of Panama's two World Cup qualifying matches, Blas PÈrez started the New England match on the bench, but still netted his first MLS goal of the season in his 26 minutes.
  • "A very good player. He played two games last week with Panama and he came back a little bit banged up. We wanted to rest him the best we could," said Hyndman. "But what a great substitute to be making, a player of that quality."
  • "Raul Fernendez returned to first-choice goalkeeper responsibilities following his duty with the Peru national team, and recorded his second shutout of the season.
  • "I worked hard to be the No. 1," Fernandez said. "I understand my reputation and I'll compete with Chris Seitz, Kyle Zobeck, Richard Sanchez and all our 'keepers. But I work hard to be the No. 1. I was the No. 1 here today and there were no goals. ... I'm working hard with the defenders trying to get the communication issues worked out, but I showed [Saturday] that this is not a problem. It's not an issue at all."
  • It was a second consecutive shutout for FC Dallas and third of the season, after Chris Seitz kept a clean sheet in the 2-0 win vs. Real Salt Lake with Fernandez on international duty.
  • "Chris Seitz's partner just had a baby the other day at 3 o'clock in the morning, so he missed the next day of training, as you would think. We gave him another day off. So for Raul [Fernandez] to step in was good," said Hyndman.
  • David Ferreira collected his third assist in five games, after collecting nine in 17 appearances last year following his return from a 16-month layoff after suffering a fractured leg.