FC Dallas vs. Sporting Kansas City | MLS Match Preview
FC DALLAS vs SPORTING KANSAS CITY
FC DALLAS STADIUM, Frisco, Texas
June 22, 2013 (WEEK 17, MLS Game #147)
7:30 p.m. CT (KTXA; KSMO)
FC Dallas will be aiming to hold onto the top spot in the Western Conference when they play host to Sporting Kansas City on Saturday evening in Frisco. FC Dallas are returning home off a 1-0 loss at the Portland Timbers last weekend, but still entered the week with the best overall record in Major League Soccer. Sporting hit the road after their third home game of the season in their last match, three weeks ago in a 2-1 loss to the Montreal Impact.
REFEREE: Mark Geiger. AR1 (bench): Sean Hurd; AR2 (opposite): Eric Proctor; 4th: Kevin Terry Jr.
MLS Career: 111 games; FC/gm: 26.4; Y/gm: 3.6; R: 27; pens: 36
DISABLED LIST: none
SUSPENDED NEXT YELLOW CARD: KC: Seth Sinovic
SUSPENDED AFTER TWO YELLOW CARDS: none
INTERNATIONAL ABSENCES: DAL: Richard Sanchez (Mexico U-20); Kellyn Acosta, Danny Garcia (USA U-20) Ö KC: Mikey Lopez (USA U-20)
ALL-TIME (47 meetings): FC Dallas 19 wins (1 shootout), 77 goals Sporting 20 wins (2 shootout), 68 goals Ties 8
AT DALLAS (23 meetings): FC Dallas 11 wins (0 shootout), 44 goals Sporting 9 wins (2 shootout), 25 goals Ties 3
LAST YEAR (MLS)
3/25: KC 2, DAL 1 (Collin 49+; Kamara 88 ñ Villar 25)
* The teams are meeting for the only time this season in league play.
* Sporting won the lone meeting between the teams a year ago, a 2-1 victory at Sporting Park, the first win by a home team in the series since 2010.
* Kansas City won in the last meeting at FC Dallas Stadium, in 2011; FCD had won two consecutive encounters in KC before last yearís Sporting victory.
* Coaches record: Schellas Hyndman vs. KC: P9 W4 L3 D2 Ö Peter Vermes vs. DAL: P6 W3 L3 D0
FC Dallas return home after seeing their winless streak on the road extended to five matches, falling 1-0 to the Portland Timbers on Saturday afternoon at Jeld-Wen Field. FCD sit atop the Western Conference and the MLS overall table with 28 points from 15 matches.
* The game's lone goal came in the 52nd minute. Receiving a pass from Kalif Alhassan on the left corner of the penalty area and Dallas defender George John at his back, Darlington Nagbe spun and buried a no-look, curler that FCD goalkeeper Raul Fernandez could only watch sail to the far corner.
* Portland goalkeeper Donovan Ricketts recorded seven saves to preserve the Timbers' fifth consecutive shutout at home.
* FC Dallas head coach Schellas Hyndman made one change to the team that reached a 2-2 draw with the Colorado Rapids at Dickís Sporting Goods Park. Eric Hassli came into the side in place of Blas Perez.
* FC DALLAS (4-2-3-1): Raul Fernandez - Zach Loyd, George John, Matt Hedges, Jair Benitez - Michel, Andrew Jacobson - Jackson, David Ferreira, Fabian Castillo - Eric Hassli (Je-Vaughn Watson 8).
* FC Dallas lost for the second time in their last three away matches, and are 0-2-3 on the road since a 1-0 win at New England on March 30. After the visit by Sporting KC, FCD has six of its next nine games on the road.
* "I donít think it was a poor game on our part. Sometimes the ball doesnít bounce your way, sometimes it does. Weíll look over it, see what we can take from it and move on," said midfielder Andrew Jacobson. "This is a long season. We try and get better every game and sometimes you can get better and not win."
* While goalkeeper Raul Fernandez tied an FCD season-high with seven saves for the game, FC Dallas had a season-high of their own with 19 attempts at goal.
* "Scoring chances were there, on the road, Ricketts [Timbers goalkeeper] had to make seven saves," FCD head coach Schellas Hyndman said. "So those were scoring chances."
* Already missing Blas Perez due to international duty with Panama, there was another scratch before the match when Kenny Cooper had to return home to be with his father after the former NASL goalkeeping star suffered a heart attack.
* "I think heís making good progress. He seems to be on a good path to getting back to good health," said Cooper. "Ö Schellas allowing me to be with my family Ö itís such a testament to the good people that are here at this club and it makes me so proud to be a part of this club."
* There was then another forced change after just eight minutes when Eric H‰ssli had to come off after injuring his back in pre-match warmups.
* "I think we have arguably the best strikers in the league when you look at Eric Hassli, Kenny Cooper and Blas Perez. All three of them on one team; what are the chances that none of them would be available in one game?" said Hyndman. "Blas Perez will be back after his last game with Panama, and I think Kenny will be fine depending on the emergency that heís dealing with. Eric strained his back during the warm up after we had already announced our lineup."
* With the addition of Je-Vaughn Watson into the team in place of H‰ssli, Fabian Castillo moved into the spearhead striking position with David Ferreira pulling the strings from midfield.
* "I think we responded really well. We slotted Fabian [Castillo] forward, and I thought he did a very good job," said Jacobson. "Obviously, playing with his back to the goal is not his position, but he moved out of position and did really well."
SPORTING KANSAS CITY
Sporting Kansas City return to action off a three-week layoff from league play, their last match a 2-1 home loss to the Montreal Impact on June 1. Sporting are in a tie for third place in the Eastern Conference with 22 points from 14 matches.
* Sporting went in front in first-half stoppage time. Impact center back Alessandro Nesta pulled down Claudio Bieler from behind at the edge of the penalty area, and referee Armando Villareal eventually pointed to the spot. Bieler took his own penalty and buried his kick into the lower left corner of the goal.
* As the teams went into the locker rooms, Impact head coach Marco Schallibaum was ejected from the game. But his team took the lead two minutes after the restart. A free kick could not be cleared by the Sporting defense, and Sanna Nyassi sent a low shot through traffic from the edge of the area to beat SKC 'keeper Jimmy Nielsen.
* The Impact took the lead just six minutes later. After a scramble in the penalty area, Peterson Joseph's mishit clearance attempt instead fell to Collen Warner in front of the goal, and he finished easily.
* Nesta was sent off in the 74th minute after another confrontation with Bieler, but the Impact held out for the road victory.
* Sporting manager Peter Vermes made two changes to the team that reached a 1-1 draw with the Houston Dynamo at Sporting Park. Aurelien Collin returned to the back four in place of Matt Besler, and Kei Kamara came into the team in place of Graham Zusi, both away on international duty.
* SPORTING KANSAS CITY (4-2-3-1): Jimmy Nielsen - Mechack Jerome, Ike Opara, Aurelien Collin, Seth Sinovic (Josh Gardner 85) - Oriol Rosell, Peterson Joseph (Benny Feilhaber 62) - Kei Kamara, Paulo Nagamura (C.J. Sapong 77), Jacob Peterson - Claudio Bieler
* Sporting saw their overall winless streak extended to three games, and saw their winless streak at Sporting Park also stretched to three games in league play. A year ago, SKC went four league games from June 29-July 28 without a victory (0-2-2).
* "It's just not good enough. This is not a good home record right now," goalkeeper Jimmy Nielsen said. "Very, very, very disappointed. We've got to change our mentality, how we approach those games here at home. When we were down 2-1, we went after them. We should have gone after them from the first second of the game."
* Sporting also lost a match after leading at halftime for the first time this season. Just five games have been lost this season in MLS by teams holding the lead at 45 minutes.
* "It's maturity and experience and they are very important in the first five minutes and the last five minutes. We were not focused enough. We gave two goals away; honestly, we should have won 3-0 today because the two goals were a present for them. It was a disappointment," said defender AurÈlien Collin. "Mistakes can happen to anybody, but we just have to make sure the same mistakes don't happen the next game."
* Claudio Bieler scored his seventh goal of the season, his first since May 5, when he netted twice vs. Chivas USA. Bielerís last two goals have come from the penalty spot.
* Soony Saad missed the MontrÈal match while on international duty for Lebanon, scoring on his international debut vs. Oman. He was called into the Lebanon national side for their World Cup qualifiers that followed, but a paperwork mistake did not allow him to play.
* "It's a little frustrating," he said. "But I got what I came for, which was originally the friendly. I was able to start and play 90 minutes and get a goal, and that's a positive. I felt really confident, and all the guys on the team really supported me."
* Since the last league match, Sporting also saw defense of their U.S. Open Cup title come to an end in a 1-0 loss to their USL PRO affiliate, Orlando City SC. The gameís lone goal was scored by Long Tan after just two minutes.
* "It's disappointing on a lot of levels," left back Seth Sinovic said. "We know what it's like to win this thing, and we all desperately wanted to do it again. We're disappointed to go out. We're disappointed to let down our home fans again. It's disappointing all the way around."
* Here's the SKC team: Eric Kronberg; Kevin Ellis, Aurelien Collin, Ike Opara, Seth Sinovic; Benny Feilhaber (Lawrence Olum 58), Oriol Rosell, Paulo Nagamura; Jacob Peterson (Teal Bunbury 76), Claudio Bieler, Josh Gardner (C.J. Sapong 46)
* Striker Teal Bunbury was able to make his 2013 season debut, coming on for the final quarter-hour. Bunbury had last appeared last Aug. 26 when he suffered a torn anterior cruciate ligament in his knee.
* "To be able to be able to be back out there after 9-1/2 months is a great feeling," said Bunbury. "But it's just a bummer. I can't really enjoy it as much as I wanted to ñ but that's part of the game. We've got to move forward now."