Preview: Toronto to test new-look lineup vs. Dallas
BMO FIELD, Toronto, Ont.
8 p.m. ET (TSN; TXA-21)
July 20, 2011 (WEEK 19; MLS Game 181)
A new-look Toronto FC return to action after a long break, playing host to FC Dallas on Wednesday evening at BMO Field. TFC last played on July 9, the second of successive losses on the road in a 2-0 defeat by the Houston Dynamo. FC Dallas have gone two games without a win, coming off a scoreless draw at home with D.C. United.
REFEREE: Hilario Grajeda. SAR (bench): Paul Scott; JAR (opposite): Corey Parker; 4th: Daniel Fitzgerald
MLS Career: 47 games; FC/gm: 25.1; Y/gm: 3.7; R: 9; pens: 8
INJURY REPORT: TORONTO FC—OUT: MF Elbekay Bouchiba (R knee surgery recovery); DF Adrian Cann (R knee sprain); DF Dicoy Williams (R knee surgery recovery); QUESTIONABLE: MF Julian de Guzman (L knee swelling); FW Maicon Santos (R hamstring strain) ... FC DALLAS—OUT: DF Edson Edward (R knee ACL tear); MF David Ferreira (R ankle); FW Maykel Galindo (R hamstring strain); QUESTIONABLE: MF Andrew Jacobson (R hamstring); PROBABLE: MF Daniel Hernandez (R knee)
INTERNATIONAL ABSENCES: DAL: Fabian Castillo (Colombia U-20)
SUSPENDED: TOR: Richard Eckersley (caution accumulation; through July 20)
SUSPENDED NEXT YELLOW CARD: TOR: Terry Dunfield, Mikael Yourassowsky ... DAL: Jackson Goncalves, Brek Shea
SUSPENDED AFTER TWO YELLOW CARDS: TOR: Danleigh Borman, Dan Gargan, Ryan Johnson, Javier Martina ... DAL: Daniel Hernandez, Ugo Ihemelu, George John, Andrew Jacobson, Zach Loyd
ALL-TIME (9 meetings): Toronto FC 1 win, 10 goals ... FC Dallas 5 wins, 13 goals ... Ties 3
AT TORONTO (4 meetings): Toronto FC 1 win, 6 goals ... FC Dallas 1 win, 4 goals ... Ties 2
- A Daniel Hernandez penalty just before halftime gave FC Dallas a 1-0 victory against Toronto FC on May 11 at Pizza Hut Park in the first meeting between the clubs this season.
- Since a 4-0 victory June 17, 2007 in the first meeting ever between the clubs, Toronto FC haven't defeated FC Dallas. FCD has won five of the eight encounters since, with three draws.
- Toronto FC have never won at Pizza Hut Park. FC Dallas have won four of the five all-time meetings in Frisco (with one draw).
- Coaches record: Aron Winter vs. DAL: P1 W0 L1 D0 ... Schellas Hyndman v TOR: P7 W4 L0 D3
LAST MEETING (MLS)
5/11: DAL 1, TOR 0 (Hernandez 45 pen)
- 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 (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).
- TORONTO FC (4-1-2-3): Stefan Frei - Richard Eckersley, Dicoy Williams, Adrian Cann, Danleigh Borman - Julian de Guzman - Jacob Peterson, Tony Tchani - Nick Soolsma (Maicon Santos 58), Alen Stevanovic (Mikael Yourassowsky 72), Joao Plata (Javier Martina 50).
Toronto FC return to action for the first time in nearly two weeks, their last match a 2-0 loss to the Houston Dynamo on July 9 at Robertson Stadium. TFC has 18 points from 21 games on the season, sitting in a tie for seventh place in the Eastern Conference.
- The game found some life in the second half, and the Dynamo took the lead on 50 minutes. Danny Cruz sent the ball forward to Brian Ching then raced onto a return pass in the TFC half, rushing in alone on goal and beating Stefan Frei with a side-footed shot that the TFC 'keeper could only nick as it went by.
- Houston then sealed the contest in the 81st minute when Geoff Cameron stepped forward to thump home a loose ball after a corner rattled around the TFC area. Dynamo goalkeeper Tally Hall was not called upon to face a single shot on the evening.
- TFC head coach Aron Winter made two changes to the team that lost 5-0 to the New York Red Bulls at Red Bull Arena. Jacob Peterson came into the midfield for Nathan Sturgis and Alan Gordon replaced Nick Soolsma in attack.
- TORONTO FC (4-1-2-3): Stefan Frei - Dan Gargan, Ty Harden, Richard Eckersley, Danleigh Borman (Gianluca Zavarise 59) - Tony Tchani - Jacob Peterson (Nick Soolsma 69), Mikael Yourassowsky - Javier Martina, Alan Gordon, Joao Plata.
- Toronto FC hit the break coming off back-to-back losses on the road where they conceded seven goals and scored none. They have lost four of the last five games. TFC did not manage a single shot on goal in the loss in Houston.
- "It's a team sport," goalkeeper Stefan Frei said. "We attack together, we defend together. We lose together, we win together. It's unfair to say a defense gives up six to seven goals If you play defense for the entire game, eventually you are going to crack."
- But during the layoff, TFC set about to change their squad, nearly bringing a full team in trades. "We've got a lot of lack of quality," head coach and technical director Aron Winter said. "We can play 20 to 25 minutes, maybe a half-game well, but after that we don't do the things anymore that we expect."
- TFC acquired Canadian international midfield Terry Dunfield from Vancouver Whitecaps FC, then picked up Ryan Johnson in a trade with the San Jose Earthquakes, sending Nana Attakora, Alan Gordon and Jacob Peterson the other way.
- "I've had some time to watch certain players in the league," said Winter. "Dunfield and Johnson were two of them that I liked and I thought would fit into our system and the way we want to play."
- Then, TFC obtained midfielder Leandre Griffit and defender Andy Iro from the Columbus Crew in exchange for midfielder Tony Tchani.
- "Everybody knows with all the injuries we had in the back ... we had a need to get defenders," Winter said. "Tony was doing well. It's a pity that he's away, but sometimes you have to do some trades and get other players back to get all the pieces in the right place."
- Also, TFC will have their two new Designated Players available for the first time in the Dallas match: forward Danny Koevermans and midfielder Torsten Frings.
- "They are two very good players," Winter said, "but I don't want to put the pressure on them because you have to do it with the whole team. ... Nobody expects that when those two guys are here that we're going to win all the games now. Of course not, because we're still in the process of rebuilding."
FC Dallas were held scoreless for a second consecutive game, this time in a goalless draw with D.C. United on Saturday evening at Pizza Hut Park. FCD has 35 points from 20 games on the season, in third place in the Western Conference.
- The teams combined for just three shots on goal in drifting to the scoreless draw. Jackson nearly gave FC Dallas a late winner, but his diving header rattled off the crossbar in the 87th minute.
- FC Dallas head coach Schellas Hyndman made two changes to the team that fell 2-0 to Real Salt Lake at Rio Tinto Stadium. Daniel Hernandez and Ricardo Villar came into the midfield for Bobby Warshaw and Andrew Jacobson.
- FC DALLAS (4-1-4-1): Kevin Hartman - Zach Loyd, George John, Ugo Ihemelu, Jair Benitez - Daniel Hernandez - Jackson, Eric Alexander (Eric Avila 72), Ricardo Villar (Bruno Guarda 61), Brek Shea - Marvin Chavez (Milton Rodriguez 81).
- FC Dallas had not gone back-to-back games without a win since opening the season with a draw and two losses.
- "We didn't do the things we wanted to do and we ended up losing that game pretty badly. This wasn't one of those games where I thought we played badly," FCD coach Schellas Hyndman said. "I thought they did a good job of stopping us from doing the things we wanted to do. And then I think we missed some great opportunities."
- Kevin Hartman recorded his 10th shutout of the season in the 0-0 tie with D.C. United. The total is one short of both his career-high, set in 1999 with the Galaxy, and also the FCD club record (Matt Jordan, 1999).
- "We certainly had to battle as a defense today. A lot of the game we were frustrated by [D.C. United's] organization and the shape they were able to maintain for the majority of the game," Hartman said. "They put pressure on us at the right time and they forced us to cough up the ball. We were not able to put in any of the few opportunities that we had away."
- After missing a game to injury—the first minutes he's missed in league play all season—Daniel Hernandez returned to the center of midfield for FC Dallas.
- "I think it got a little bit difficult in the midfield because they were basically playing a counter-attacking type of game where when they won the ball in the midfield, they could come out and put pressure on us, so I think our midfielders had to work awfully hard to support our attack," said Hyndman. "Then they had to come back and get into shape and help Daniel."
- Ricardo Villar made his first start since the second game of the season, March 26 vs. San Jose. His replacement, Bruno Guarda, had last seen the field for the final minute on May 14 vs. Philadelphia; his 29 minutes were by far a season-high in league play.
- It's going to be three games in a week and we're going to need the whole roster," said Villar. "Everyone is coming in and doing their job, so hopefully we can keep getting results."