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11/23 FINAL
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11/30 9:20pm
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Western Conference Championship
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Eastern Conference Championship

FC Dallas Notebook: Midfielder Shea flying high

FRISCO, Texas — FC Dallas continued their stretch of good play Saturday night against the Columbus Crew, defeating the Eastern Conference side 2-0 with goals from Brek Shea and Jackson Gonçalves.

It marked the third straight league game and fourth straight across all competitions that both Shea and Jackson have scored in the same match, helping FCD to within two points of the league-leading LA Galaxy.

For the 21-year-old Shea, his game-winning goal tied him for the league-lead in goals scored with eight.

In 2010, Shea scored five goals. Eighteen games into the 2011 campaign, however, he has surpassed that total and shows no signs of slowing down.

“My goal this year was to be better than last year,” said Shea. “If you ask me this next year, I'll say that I want to be bigger and better than I did this year.”

WIEDEMAN MAKES DEBUT

When FCD head coach Schellas Hyndman released the 18-man game day roster that faced the Crew, Andrew Wiedeman found his name on the lineup card for the first time.

The dream day continued for the 21st overall pick in the 2010 SuperDraft when Wiedeman made his MLS debut, replacing right back Zach Loyd with two minutes remaining in stoppage time.

“It was cool to get the first one out of the way,” said the University of California product. “Now hopefully I’ll just build from there and see how things go.”

Wiedeman has flourished with the return of the MLS Reserve League, starting at right back and using his speed to attack up the flank.

“Last year, there was no shot of this ever happening,” stated Wiedeman. “The Reserve League’s been huge because it’s game situations where it shows what you can do. Coaches really value it and are always evaluating, so if you can play well out there then the coaching staff rewards you.”

HALFTIME ADJUSTMENTS

While FCD won Saturday’s second leg of the Pioneer Cup, the team tallied both of its goals after the second half restart.

FC Dallas fired off 13 shot attempts in the first 45 minutes and forward Marvin Chávez hit the post with a left-footed attempt, but the game was scoreless at the break.

Hyndman made one strategic alteration that allowed his team to earn the three points.

“We talked about a few things at halftime,” said Hyndman, “and one of the things we talked about was to knock balls on the ground instead of putting them in the air. In fact, we talked about that pregame, but we reinforced it [at halftime].”

Hyndman credited Loyd for his initial service in the 58th minute that led to Shea’s goal.

Midfielder Andrew Jacobson also used the ground to thread a through-ball — his team-leading fifth assist of the season — to Jackson, who in turn chipped Crew goalkeeper William Hesmer to put the game well out of reach for the visiting side.

Robert Casner covers FC Dallas for MLSsoccer.com. He can be reached at rmcasner@gmail.com and on Twitter: @FCDallasBeatGuy