Preview: Red-hot FC Dallas, Crew face off in Frisco

A pair of clubs coming off fireworks displays in victories meet on Independence Day weekend as FC Dallas play host to the Columbus Crew. FC Dallas scored the most goals by the club in two seasons in a 4-0 victory against the Portland Timbers last weekend. The Crew also exploded for a four-game performance in their last match, a victory against the Colorado Rapids at Crew Stadium.

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REFEREE: Jorge Gonzalez. SAR (bench): Bill Dittmar; JAR (opposite): Paul Scott; 4th: Mark Declouet
MLS Career: 61 games; FC/gm: 24.5; Y/gm: 3.3; R: 18; pens: 17

INJURY REPORT: FC DALLAS – OUT: DF Edson Edward (R knee ACL tear); MF David Ferreira (R ankle); FW Maykel Galindo (R hamstring strain) …

COLUMBUS CREW – OUT: DF Josh Williams (R hip labral tear); MF Dilly Duka (R ankle sprain); DF Shaun Francis (L hamstring strain); MF Leandre Griffit (abdominal strain); FW Emilio Renteria (L quad strain); DOUBTFUL: MF Danny O'Rourke (L knee surgery); QUESTIONABLE: DF Julius James (R adductor strain); PROBABLE: GK William Hesmer (neck spasms)

INTERNATIONAL ABSENCES: DAL: Fabian Castillo (Colombia U-20)
SUSPENDED: none
WARNINGS:
SUSPENDED NEXT YELLOW CARD: CLB: Emmanuel Ekpo
SUSPENDED AFTER TWO YELLOW CARDS: DAL: George John, Andrew Jacobson, Brek Shea, Zach Loyd … CLB: Kevin Burns, Tommy Heinemann, Julius James

HEAD-TO-HEAD
ALL-TIME (39 meetings): Crew 16 wins (1 shootout), 54 goals … FC Dallas 15 wins (1 shootout), 53 goals … Ties 8
AT DALLAS (18 meetings): FC Dallas 11 wins (1 shootout), 32 goals… Crew 5 wins (1 shootout), 20 goals… Ties 2
•    Second-half goals from Mendoza and Eddie Gaven gave the Crew a 2-0 victory in the first meeting between the teams, April 1 in Columbus.
•    The Crew haven’t won at Pizza Hut Park since a 2-1 victory, Aug. 30, 2008.
•    FC Dallas last won at Crew Stadium on Oct. 6, 2007, the Crew winning the next two meetings before last year’s tie.
•    Coaches record: Schellas Hyndman v CLB: P7 W1 L4 D2 … Robert Warzycha vs. DAL: P7 W3 L2 D2

LAST MEETING
4/1: CLB 2, DAL 0 (Mendoza 54; Gaven 91+)
•    The game turned for the visitors shortly after the opening half-hour, when Jackson was sent off in the 33rd minute for a pair of cautions a minute apart.
•    The Crew then took the lead in the 54th minute. Following a nice buildup, Emmanuel Ekpo was sprung on the right flank and found Andres Mendoza in the area. He then put the ball under the left arm of diving goalkeeper Kevin Hartman.
•    Columbus finished off the match in the first minute of added time when Eddie Gaven coolly cut back onto his left foot and stroked home a shot from just outside the area.
•    COLUMBUS CREW (4-2-3-1): William Hesmer – Sebastian Miranda, Chad Marshall, Julius James, Rich Balchan – Kevin Burns, Dejan Rusmir (Emilio Renteria 46) – Eddie Gaven, Emmanuel Ekpo (Dilly Duka 85), Robbie Rogers - Andres Mendoza (Jeff Cunningham 60)
•    FC DALLAS (4-2-3-1): Kevin Hartman – Ugo Ihemelu, George John, Brek Shea, Jair Benitez - Daniel Hernandez, Jackson Goncalves (sent off 33) – Marvin Chavez (Zach Loyd 78), David Ferreira, Fabian Castillo (Milton Rodriguez 78) – Ruben Luna.

FC DALLAS
FC Dallas won for a second match on the trot, rolling to a 4-0 victory against the Portland Timbers on Saturday evening at Pizza Hut Park. FCD has 31 points from 15 games on the season, in a tie for second place in the Western Conference.

LAST MATCH
•    FC Dallas had a two-goal lead before halftime. In the 33rd minute, Zach Loyd headed home his first career goal off a Daniel Hernandez corner kick. Center back George John followed suit five minutes later — also with a header from a Hernandez corner.
•    FCD made it 3-0 in the 58th minute. Right back Jackson laced a through-ball to Eric Alexander, who fired at Timbers goalkeeper Troy Perkins. The ball rolled away from Perkins' dive and hit the far post, leaving Shea with an open goal to tap home.
•    Five minutes before full time, Jackson provided the knockout punch. Perkins parried his long-range blast into the air, but the ball looped high then fell into the goal, adjudged to have crossed the line just before Ruben Luna finished it off with a header to the back of the net.
•    FC Dallas head coach Schellas Hyndman made one change to the team that got a late goal for a 2-1 win against Chivas USA at The Home Depot Center. Jackson came into the team for Fabian Castillo.
•    FC DALLAS (4-4-2): Kevin Hartman - Zach Loyd, George John, Ugo Ihemelu, Jair Benitez - Eric Alexander (Eric Avila 76), Daniel Hernandez, Andrew Jacobson (Bobby Warshaw 68), Jackson Goncalves - Marvin Chavez (Ruben Luna 78), Brek Shea.

TEAM NEWS
•    FC Dallas scored more than three goals in a game for the first time since Sept. 12, 2009, a 6-3 win against the LA Galaxy.
•    “I think all of our players really stepped up tonight,” said FC Dallas head coach Schellas Hyndman. “I think everybody had a good game, and I think we need those type of performances to continue to get those three points.”
•    With striker Fabian Castillo training with Colombia’s under-20 national team in advance of the FIFA U-20 World Cup, Hyndman was again forced to reconfigure his attack.
•    “We went with one striker, Chavez who worked hard and made those runs. I thought Jackson and Brek had good performances on the flanks,” Hyndman said. “In the second half, Eric Alexander came to light with some nice runs and penetrating passes. Our defense had a shutout. [It was] just a very, very good team performance.”
•    In addition, Jackson moved into a midfield role, his first start since May 28. He had played primarily as a fullback in each of his previous appearances this season.
•    “He was a player that when we brought him from Brazil, he was a midfielder,” said Hyndman. “Probably his best position is flank midfield and tonight he really showed it.”
•    Including Jackson’s late strike, three of the FC Dallas goals were scored by players listed as defenders.
•    “We seem to do really well when our defenders score a goal. I think there is a lot of determination. The guys rally around it,” Hyndman said. “Our defense showed great determination. When you look at the night Kenny (Cooper) had tonight was really not effective. Everywhere he went there was someone determined to stop him from getting a shot off.”
•    FC Dallas also scored two goals from corner kicks, giving them five on the season from corners, second-most in MLS (along with Chivas USA) behind Seattle Sounders FC (7).
•    “We made a change with Daniel Hernandez on services. Those two goals were great. I didn’t think we were getting the best out of services and we wanted to put someone there who could knock a dangerous ball in,” Hyndman said.
•    On Tuesday, a late Milton Rodriguez goal gave FC Dallas a 3-2 win against USL PRO Orlando City Blues in the round-of-16 of the U.S. Open Cup. Goals from Jackson (39) and Ricardo Villar (50) answered a Max Griffin goal for Orlando, then a stoppage-time goal from Yordany Alvarez tied the game before Rodriguez’s heroics minutes later.
•    Here’s the FCD team: Kevin Hartman, Zach Loyd (Bruno Guarda 68), Ugo Ihemelu, Andrew Wiedeman, Jair Benitez, Bobby Warshaw, Andrew Jacobson (Eric Alexander 46), Ricardo Villar, Jackson, Brek Shea, Ruben Luna (Milton Rodriguez 52).

COLUMBUS CREW
The Columbus Crew won their consecutive match in impressive fashion, easing to a 4-1 victory against the Colorado Rapids on Sunday evening at Crew Stadium. The Crew have 24 points from 16 games on the season, in a tie for second place in the Eastern Conference.

LAST MATCH
•    The Rapids took the lead after just five minutes, when Conor Casey executed a perfect snap header from Jamie Smith’s corner kick.
•    But the Crew were in the lead not long after. Eddie Gaven took the ball from Scott Palguta at midfield and went solo to the penalty area before cutting right and sliding a shot inside the far netting in the 12th minute. Then Andres Mendoza took advantage of an errant back pass in the 18th minute and rocketed an 18-yarder off the crossbar and into the net.
•    The match turned for good in the 29th minute when Casey was sent off by referee Andrew Chapin after lunging for a 50-50 ball with William Hesmer as the Crew goalkeeper went to the ground.
•    The Crew broke the game open after the break. Defender Chad Marshall’s clearance from in front of goal bounced over Rapids defender Kosuke Kimura near midfield, and Mendoza raced in alone, ripping a snap shot from 18 yards (47).
•    Then nine minutes later, a Gaven cross from the right side deflected off Tyrone Marshall and fell kindly to Tommy Heinemann. His one-time shot bounced once, but goalkeeper Matt Pickens could only get a piece of the shot before it trickled in over the line.
•    Crew head coach Robert Warzycha made one change to the team that knocked off the Houston Dynamo 2-0 at Robertson Stadium. Andy Iro came into central defense for Julius James.
•    COLUMBUS CREW (4-1-3-2): William Hesmer - Sebastian Miranda, Chad Marshall, Andy Iro, Josh Gardner - Rich Balchan - Eddie Gaven, Emmanuel Ekpo (Eric Gehrig 85), Bernardo Anor - Tommy Heinemann (Jeff Cunningham 68), Andres Mendoza (Justin Meram 67).

TEAM NEWS
•    The Crew scored four goals in a game for the first time since a 4-0 win against New England on Sept. 6, 2008. They also played with a man advantage for the seventh time this season after an opponent’s red card.
•    “We had a good performance in Houston. We scored two goals and didn’t give up any,” Crew head coach Robert Warzycha said. “We had a good performance tonight against the current MLS champions, and to be able to score four goals and dominate the game is very encouraging going into July.”
•    The Crew once again allowed a goal in the opening 10 minutes of a game. They’ve allowed five in the opening quarter-hour, third-most in MLS, behind Toronto FC (8) and Portland Timbers (6).
•    “You don’t want to give up early goals it is not something we practice but it happens,” Warzycha said. “It’s happened to us quite often but it showed the real character of this team how we are able to fight back. I think the goal was a wakeup call because we started a bit slow and after that we picked up the tempo and scored another two goals.”
•    Andres Mendoza has now scored six goals in the last seven games, his seven goals now one behind the league lead held by Charlie Davies (DC), Landon Donovan (LA) and Thierry Henry (NY).
•    “The important thing is that we scored and got the three points. I scored two but Eddie and Tommy scored too. I always start thinking about one then the second came.” Mendoza said.
•    Tommy Heinemann scored his first MLS goal, making a fifth start in the last seven games.
•    “We drafted them to put them on the field. Obviously they are doing well enough to be on the field. It’s a new group that is fresh, very athletic and you see they blend very well into the team,” said Warzycha. “They are very responsible and leave everything on the field. With the veterans that we have, they make a good mix.”
•    Andy Iro made his first start of the season at center back, as Julius James was unavailable after suffering an adductor injury.
•    On Tuesday, the Crew were the only MLS team to go down to defeat in the round-of-16 of the U.S. Open Cup, falling 2-1 to USL PRO side Richmond Kickers. After Nozomi Hiroyama gave the Kickers a 20th-minute lead, Cole Grossman equalized for Columbus 15 minutes later, but Matthew Delicate hit for the match-winner five minutes from the end.
•    Here’s the Crew team: Andy Gruenebaum, Korey Veeder (Andy Iro 88), Eric Gehrig, Kevin Burns, Danny O'Rourke, Santiago Prim (Tommy Heinemann 59), Cole Grossman, Dejan Rusmir, Robbie Rogers (Bernardo Anor 87), Justin Meram, Jeff Cunningham.