Preview: FCD kick off homestand against visiting Union
FC Dallas continue their three-game homestand when they face the Philadelphia Union on Saturday evening. FCD are unbeaten in their last four games, coming off a 1-0 win over Toronto FC on Wednesday. The Union are also coming off short rest from a midweek game after a 1-1 draw against the LA Galaxy on Wednesday night at PPL Park.
REFEREE: Jasen Anno. SAR (bench): Chris Strickland; JAR (opposite): Frank Anderson; 4th: Armando Villarreal MLS Career: 22 games; FC/gm: 22.7; Y/gm: 3.3; R: 15; pens: 6
INJURY REPORT: FC DALLAS – OUT: DF Edson Edward (R knee ACL tear); MF David Ferreira (R ankle); DF Jair Benitez (L knee); FW Maykel Galindo (L plantar fascia strain); FW Milton Rodriguez (IT band syndrome); PROBABLE: MF Bruno Guarda (R hip flexor strain) PHILADELPHIA UNION – OUT: GK Thorne Holder (concussion); DOUBTFUL: MF Stefani Miglioranzi (R groin strain); PROBABLE: MF Gabe Farfan (L hamstring strain)
INTERNATIONAL ABSENCES: DAL: Victor Ulloa (U.S. U-20 national team)
SUSPENDED AFTER TWO YELLOW CARDS: PHI: Sheanon Williams, Danny Mwanga
ALL-TIME (2 meetings): FC Dallas 1 win, 4 goals … Union 0 wins, 2 goals … Ties 1
AT DALLAS (1 meeting): FC Dallas 1 win, 3 goals … Union 0 wins, 1 goal … Ties 0
RETURN MATCH: 8/13: Philadelphia Union vs. FC Dallas, 7:30 p.m. ET
LAST YEAR (MLS):
5/15: PHI 1, DAL 1 (Mwanga 90 – Shea 13)
8/8: DAL 3, PHI 1 (Ferreira 24; Cunningham 75, 81 – Moreno 9)
• After the teams played to a draw in their first-ever meeting last year in Philadelphia, FC Dallas came away 3-1 winners in the second, Aug. 8 at Pizza Hut Park.
• Coaches record: Schellas Hyndman v PHI: P2 W1 L0 D1 … Peter Nowak vs. DAL: P9 W3 L3 D3
FC Dallas stretched their undefeated run to four games, knocking off Toronto FC 1-0 on Wednesday evening at Pizza Hut Park. FCD has 14 points from 9 games on the season, moving into a tie for third place in the Western Conference.
• Just after the stroke of haltime, the hosts were awarded a penalty when Toronto center back Adrian Cann pulled down Dallas defender George John on a free kick service. Referee Yader Reyes saw enough to point to the penalty spot, and from the resulting spot kick, Daniel Hernandez sent goalkeeper Stefan Frei the other way.
• FC Dallas head coach Schellas Hyndman made two changes to the team that reached a scoreless draw with D.C. United at RFK Stadium. Jackson and Eric Alexander returned to the team, in place of Eric Avila and Milton Rodriguez.
• FC DALLAS (4-3-1-2): Kevin Hartman - Jackson Goncalves, George John, Ugo Ihemelu, Zach Loyd - Eric Alexander (Bruno Guarda 78), Daniel Hernandez, Brek Shea - Andrew Jacobson - Marvin Chavez (Bobby Warshaw 93+), Fabian Castillo (Ruben Luna 65).
• In the days leading up to the match, FCD head coach Schellas Hyndman was intent on changing his team tactics by moving to a twin-striker setup, closing training to keep the scheme quiet.
• “We have to look whether it’s structurally or individually, and I’d rather make those privately,” Hyndman said. “Not just so the media doesn’t get it and everyone else doesn’t get it, but I also think that I need to have conversations with individual players personally.”
• But after forward Fabian Castillo let slip that the change was coming, Hyndman initially started his side with a lone striker and Eric Alexander in a central role alongside Andrew Jacobson. Yet after 15 minutes, Marvin Chavez moved from a wide right spot to partner Castillo in a 4-4-2.
• “What made me switch? It was Castillo telling everyone in the world what we were going to do. We lost the element of surprise, so we went back to what we normally do and made the change [later],” Hyndman said.
• With usual penalty taker David Ferreira injured, Daniel Hernandez was chosen to take the spot kick, thought Castillo was lobbying for the chance.
• "He played for me at SMU, where he took all the PKs, so I had a lot of confidence in him," Hyndman said. "He's captain of the team and there was a lot of pressure and I thought Daniel did a very good job with it."
• For Hernandez, it was his first goal since 2002, when he was playing for the New England Revolution. He scored three goals that season, then added another in the MLS Cup Playoffs.
• “I don’t score many goals,” Hernandez said. “I don’t get too excited, as you can tell by my celebration. I was more worried about getting back and trying to defend to finish out the half.”
• After being injured in a clash with Chavez during training, Jackson returned to right back with Zach Loyd switching sides to the left of the back four.
• FC Dallas have now recorded back-to-back shutouts for the first time this season and have gone 219 minutes without conceding a goal.
• "There were a lot of shots from distance and they were shots that I felt comfortable dealing with," said goalkeeper Kevin Hartman. "I thought we were really good today. It was a blue collar-type effort, we were able to nullify some of their strengths."
Philadelphia Union returned home and came away with a point, playing to a 1-1 draw with Western Conference leader LA Galaxy on Wednesday at PPL Park. Union have 14 points from 8 matches on the year, in second place in the Eastern Conference.
• The Galaxy took the lead in the 24th minute. After receiving a pass from Franklin, Landon Donovan back-heeled it to a streaking Juan Pablo Angel. Angel momentarily lost control, but Donovan followed the play and pounced on the loose ball, drilling it past Union ’keeper Faryd Mondragón.
• But Union pulled even in the 84th minute. Danny Mwanga broke his scoring drought when he picked off a back pass from Galaxy defender Sean Franklin, dribbled around goalkeeper Donovan Ricketts and deposited the ball into the back of the net for the leveller.
• Union manager Peter Nowak made four changes to the team that lost 1-0 to the Portland Timbers at Jeld-Wen Field. Danny Califf and Jordan Harvey returned to the back four for Michael and Gabriel Farfan, and Kyle Nakazawa and Keon Daniel came into the midfield for Amobi Okugo and Danny Mwanga.
• PHILADELPHIA UNION (4-1-3-2): Faryd Mondragon - Sheanon Williams, Carlos Valdes, Danny Califf, Jordan Harvey (Jack McInerney 80) - Brian Carroll - Justin Mapp, Kyle Nakazawa (Roger Torres 67), Keon Daniel (Danny Mwanga 46) - Sebastien Le Toux, Carlos Ruiz.
• With team manager Peter Nowak in Poland playing in a charity event, assistant John Hackworth guided Union from the bench.
• "I feel disappointed that we didn't get three (points), because at the end, we had them on their heels,” Hackworth said. “It's a good result because we were behind to one of the best teams in the league and we came back. … We showed a lot in coming back, but we're always hoping to get three points at home."
• For Danny Mwanga, his goal was his first of the season. He scored seven goals last year in his rookie campaign after being selected first overall in the 2010 SuperDraft, his first professional goal coming May 15.
• "You need to get that first one out of the way, and now I can focus on trying to get more goals to help the team," Mwanga said.
• Union goalkeeper Faryd Mondragon suffered a groin strain in the 72nd minute, but was able to last out the match after originally calling for a substitute. Hackworth said Mondragon was “questionable” for the FC Dallas match and will undergo further tests.
• "By him staying in the game it allowed us to bring in Jack [McInerney] into the game," Hackworth said. "You can't say enough about what he did."
• Hackworth brought on three attacking changes – Mwanga, McInerney and Roger Torres. Union did not have a shot on target until a Torres effort in the 73rd minute.
• "I think we are all offensive players, so it brings a spark," McInerney said. "It's tough, because you have 30 minutes to make a difference. Tonight was kind of throwing [in] the kitchen sink, but it worked, and we got a result."
• Mwanga, Sebastien Le Toux and Carlos Ruiz had started four games together, in variations of a three-pronged attack. But when he came on as a substitute, with Le Toux and Ruiz as front-runners, Mwanga played a new role wide on the right of midfield.
• “It is hard to try to align Danny, Carlos and Sebastien,” Hackworth said. “I just told Danny that he had done an excellent job in training this week, I had a good feeling about it, I told him he was going to get one, and he came on and had a lot of confidence. When he is like that, he is as good as anybody in this league.”
• Hackworth also restored his first-choice back four, with Sheanon Williams returning to right back after a game in the middle in place of Danny Califf.
• “We always use our outside backs as attacking players, and Sheanon did a fantastic job tonight. He does it with his effort, he does it with getting forward, with his tackles,” Hackworth said. “He is a fantastic player and he showed you that he is a catalyst to get us back in that game.”
• The goal allowed by Union was their first conceded from open play this year, with each of the first three coming via set pieces.