Preview: Tired RSL seek to derail red-hot FC Dallas
It’s a marquee matchup in the Western Conference as FC Dallas and Real Salt Lake face off Sunday evening at Pizza Hut Park. The clubs met a year ago in the Western Conference semifinal series, won by FCD on their way to MLS Cup. FC Dallas haven’t lost in five games as they’ve moved into second place in the conference. Real have lost just once on their league campaign.
REFEREE: David Gantar. SAR (bench): Claudio Badea; JAR (opposite): Eric Boria; 4th: Matthew Foerster
MLS Career: 4 games; FC/gm: 23.5; Y/gm: 3.5; R: 1; pens: 0
INJURY REPORT: FC DALLAS – OUT: DF Edson Edward (R knee ACL tear); MF David Ferreira (R ankle); DOUBTFUL: DF Jair Benitez (L knee); FW Maykel Galindo (L plantar fascia strain); FW Milton Rodriguez (IT band syndrome) … REAL SALT LAKE – OUT: MF Javier Morales (L ankle fracture dislocation); QUESTIONABLE: FW Fabian Espíndola (L back muscle spasms); FW Paulo Jr. (L hamstring strain); PROBABLE: FW Álvaro Saborío (R knee swelling)
INTERNATIONAL ABSENCES: DAL: Victor Ulloa (U.S. U-20 national team) … RSL: Luis Gil, Donny Toia (U.S. U-20 national team) …
WARNINGS: SUSPENDED NEXT YELLOW CARD: none. SUSPENDED AFTER TWO YELLOW CARDS: none
- ALL-TIME (18 meetings): FC Dallas 11 wins, 30 goals … Real 6 wins, 24 goals … Ties 1
- AT DALLAS (1 meeting): FC Dallas 8 wins, 18 goals … Real 0 wins, 5 goals … Ties 0
- RETURN MATCH: 7/9: Real Salt Lake vs. FC Dallas, 7 p.m. MT
- LAST YEAR (MLS):
- 7/17: DAL 2, RSL 0 (Shea 69; Harris 76)
- 10/16: RSL 2, DAL 0 (Grabavoy 59; Morales 90)
- The teams met in the Western Conference Semifinals a year ago, with FC Dallas winning the first leg 2-1 at home, then advancing after a 1-1 draw at Rio Tinto Stadium. They split their two regular-season meetings.
- FC Dallas have won all nine meetings at home all-time against Real Salt Lake in league and MLS Cup play, outscoring RSL 20-6.
- The road team hasn’t won in the series since June 14, 2007, when FC Dallas claimed a 1-0 victory at Rice- Eccles Stadium.
- Coaches record: Schellas Hyndman v RSL: P5 W2 L3 D0 … Jason Kreis vs. DAL: P9 W4 L5 D0
FC Dallas lengthened their unbeaten streak to five games, defeating Philadelphia Union 2-0 on Saturday evening at Pizza Hut Park. FCD has 17 points from 10 games on the season, now in second place in the Western Conference.
- FC Dallas opened the scoring in the 29th minute. After skipping past Union defender Jordan Harvey, Fabian Castillo sent a rolling cross to a waiting Brek Shea, who tapped in from almost on the goal line.
- The lead was doubled two minutes before the break. Jackson darted down the right flank and floated in a cross to Castillo between defenders, and he flicked his header past Mondragón.
- FC Dallas head coach Schellas Hyndman made no changes to the team that knocked off Toronto FC 1-0 at Pizza Hut Park.
- FC DALLAS (4-1-3-2): Kevin Hartman - Jackson Goncalves, George John, Ugo Ihemelu, Zach Loyd - Daniel Hernandez - Eric Alexander (Bruno Guarda 92+), Andrew Jacobson (Bobby Warshaw 83), Brek Shea – Fabian Castillo (Ruben Luna 67), Marvin Chavez.
- Including the game in Vancouver when Ferreira was injured, FC Dallas are unbeaten in five games (4-0-1).
- “Our strategy going into the game was to try to put their defense under pressure with the speed of (Marvin) Chavez and (Fabian) Castillo, and I think that caused them a lot of problems,” Hyndman said. “They gave us some problems earlier in the game, the first 20 minutes, because we were getting some mismatches in the midfield, but we were able to survive and then we were able to pick up a couple of goals in the first half. “
- Colombian youth international Castillo scored his second goal since playmaker David Ferreira went down with a fractured ankle; Castillo also had an assist in the 2-0 win against Philadelphia.
- “He is definitely a difference-maker for us at this point in time,” Schellas Hyndman said. “I think what we will see from Fabián is just continued growth in his play.”
- Castillo has two goals and two assists since being inserted into the starting lineup April 2 vs. Columbus, where he’s been ever since.
- “I feel comfortable,” Castillo said. “I am playing forward and things are going well and I hope that things continue to go well. Little by little, the team is improving. We are now getting points and we have had many good games.”
- Days after signing a long-term contract extension with the club, Brek Shea scored his third goal of the season.
- "You're always happy when you score," said Shea. "I shouldn't get credit. I just had to be in the right place at the right time."
- FC Dallas have now held opponents scoreless for 309 minutes, the third-longest such streak in MLS this season. It was a fourth shutout on the season for Kevin Hartman, tied for the league lead with three other ‘keepers.
- “We did a good job covering one another. People have stepped up and blocked shots. One save that I thought I was really forced to save was shot from 25 feet out and I held on to it, besides that I didn’t have a ton to do," Hartman said.
- A year ago, FC Dallas had just two wins in their opening 10 matches before reeling off an 18-game unbeaten run. Did another start earlier this year, with just one win in the first five games – FC Dallas is undefeated since.
- “It’s interesting because last year, we had that great fun after our first 10 games. Now I think we are further ahead than where we were last year at this time, but also realizing that we have Real Salt Lake coming in, going to Seattle, going to Houston in a span of two weeks, so it's going to be tough," Hyndman said.
REAL SALT LAKE
Real Salt Lake played to their first tie in 2011, reaching a scoreless result with the Houston Dynamo on Saturday evening at Rio Tinto Stadium. RSL is now sitting in third place in the Western Conference with 16 points from 7 matches.
- Houston goalkeeper Tally Hall made just one save. RSL goalkeeper Nick Rimando was called upon to make three saves, including a pair on Dynamo rookie Will Bruin, both coming in short order just after the hour mark.
- RSL coach Jason Kreis made two changes to the side that, defeated Chivas USA 1-0 at Rio Tinto Stadium. Collen Warner came into the midfield for the injured Javier Morales and Arturo Alvarez came into to the lineup for Fabian Espindola.
- REAL SALT LAKE (4-3-1-2): Nick Rimando - Robbie Russell, Jamison Olave, Nat Borchers, Chris Wingert,Ned Grabavoy, Kyle Beckerman, Will Johnson (Nelson Gonzalez 85) - Collen Warner (Andy Williams 60) - Arturo Alvarez (Jean Alexandre 74), Alvaro Saborio.
- RSL was shutout for the second time in three games. While they had 13 attempts at goal, only one was on
- target, and that not until the 77th minute.
- “We’re going to have to answer questions about who’s going to be the integral figure creating chances,” Real coach Jason Kreis said. “Can other guys get a little more involved and precise in the attacking third? That’s just something that’s going to take time.”
- In their first game without injured playmaker Javier Morales, Collen Warner was given the attacking midfield role.
- "He didn't put the flag in the ground and say this position is mine, that's for sure," said Kreis. "We're not walking out of here saying the job's his and we're not walking out of here saying the job isn't his."
- The start was the third of the season for Warner, his first since a 45-minute outing against Portland on April 30 when he played a wide midfield role.
- "They've always believed in me as a player, it gives you an extra bit of confidence to know that even though as a young player they're willing to throw you out there in games that really matter," said Warner.
- Real have five defensive shutouts in seven league games this year. “The back four in particular made a lot of really important tackles for us (against Houston),” Kreis said. “I don’t think that collectively we defended quite as well. Certainly in the second half I saw quite a few of our players run out of gas.”
- For RSL, it also extended their MLS-record home-unbeaten streak in regular season play to 29 games (20-0-9).
- After the trip to Dallas, they again return home for back-to-back games at Rio Tinto Stadium; the Houston match was also the second of consecutive home games.
- “I didn’t think we particularly dealt with a lot of things they did very well,” said defender Nat Borchers. “I like a game where [goalkeeper Nick Rimando] doesn’t have too much to do. He had a little bit too much to do in the second half.”