Preview: Dallas eager to regroup against slumping Red Bulls

Two teams looking to reverse recent slides meet on Saturday evening at Pizza Hut Park when FC Dallas play host to the New York Red Bulls. FC Dallas still hold third place in the Western Conference and an automatic playoff berth, despite a 2-0 loss at the New England Revolution last weekend. The Red Bulls have fallen out of the top 10 overall and a wild card position, their winless streak now at eight games after a 1-1 home draw with Vancouver last time out.

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REFEREE: Jair Marrufo. SAR (bench): C.J. Morgante; JAR (opposite): Corey Rockwell; 4th: Abbey Okulaja
MLS Career: 121 games; FC/gm: 24.6; Y/gm: 3.2; R: 29; pens: 40

INJURY REPORT: FC DALLAS – OUT: DF Edson Edward (R knee ACL tear); MF David Ferreira (R ankle); MF Bruno Guarda (L ankle); MF Marvin Chavez (R ankle sprain) …

NEW YORK RED BULLS – OUT: MF Carl Robinson (R knee contusion); DF Roy Miller (R adductor strain); QUESTIONABLE: MF Brian Nielsen (knee surgery recovery); GK Frank Rost (R quadriceps tear); MF Sacir Hot (R knee effusion); DF Tim Ream (lower leg contusion)

INTERNATIONAL ABSENCES: none
SUSPENDED: DAL: Brek Shea (caution accumulation; through Sept. 17) … NY: Rafa Marquez (caution accumulation; through Sept. 17); Jan Gunnar Solli (through Sept. 17)
WARNINGS:
SUSPENDED NEXT YELLOW CARD: DAL: Daniel Hernandez, George John … NY: Roy Miller, Luke Rodgers
SUSPENDED AFTER TWO YELLOW CARDS: DAL: Marvin Chavez, Jeremy Hall, Andrew Jacobson, Zach Loyd … NY: Mehdi Ballouchy, Thierry Henry, Carlos Mendes, Dane Richards, Teemu Tainio

HEAD-TO-HEAD
ALL-TIME (37 meetings): FC Dallas 16 wins (0 shootout), 59 goals … Red Bulls 17 wins (1 shootout), 53 goals… Ties 4
AT DALLAS (17 meetings): FC Dallas 8 wins (0 shootout), 29 goals … Red Bulls 7 wins (1 shootout), 24 goals … Ties 2
•    In the first meeting this year, a late Thierry Henry goal overcame a Marvín Chavez brace as the teams played to a 2-2 draw July 23 at Red Bull Arena.
•    The Red Bulls saw a four-game home winning streak vs. FCD snapped in the first meeting. New York won 2-1 last April 17 in the first meeting at Red Bull Arena. The Red Bulls won the final three encounters at Giants Stadium, following a 2-1 FCD win in 2006.
•    Coaches record: Hans Backe vs. DAL: P3 W1 L0 D2 … Schellas Hyndman v NY: P6 W1 L3 D2

LAST MEETING (MLS)
7/23: NY 2, DAL 2 (Agudelo 39; Henry 85 – Chavez 50, 78)
•    The home side took the lead after 39 minutes. Dane Richards sent in a low pass to the center of the area from the right flank, and Juan Agudelo somehow got his right foot around FC Dallas captain Daniel Hernandez and chipped the cross up and over FCD goalkeeper Kevin Hartman.
•    But FCD drew even in the 50th minute, after some nifty interchange between Ricardo Villar and halftime substitute Bruno Guarda. Villar sent a through ball to Marvin Chávez inside the penalty area, who fired a shot that deflected slightly off Tim Ream and beat goalkeeper Frank Rost.
•    FC Dallas grabbed the lead in the 78th minute when FC Dallas left back Jair Benítez delivered a ball into the area. FCD central defender George John deflected it to the feet of Chávez, who perfectly placed his shot by Rost.
•    But the Red Bulls salvaged a point five minutes from the end when Thierry Henry controlled a Dax McCarty pass 20 yards from goal, froze the defense with a fake and curled a left-footed shot near post past a hopelessly sprawled Hartman.
•    NEW YORK RED BULLS (4-4-2): Frank Rost - Jan Gunnar Solli, Tim Ream, Rafael Marquez, Roy Miller - Dane Richards (sent off 80), Dax McCarty, Joel Lindpere, Mehdi Ballouchy (Chris Albright 82) - Juan Agudelo, Thierry Henry.
•    FC DALLAS (4-1-4-1): Kevin Hartman - Zach Loyd, George John, Ugo Ihemelu, Jair Benitez - Daniel Hernandez - Eric Alexander (Andrew Wiedeman 59), Eric Avila (Bruno Guarda 46), Ricardo Villar (Andrew Jacobson 80), Brek Shea - Marvin Chavez.
 

FC DALLAS
FC Dallas suffered another loss away from home, falling 2-0 to the New England Revolution on Saturday evening at Gillette Stadium. FCD has 46 points from 27 games on the season, in third place in the Western Conference.

LAST MATCH
•    The Revolution were in the front after 14 minutes, goalscorer Shalrie Joseph starting the move with a ball to Milton Caraglio on the right wing. Caraglio backheeled the feed back into Monsef Zerka's path, prompting a curling cross from which Joseph directed home a diving header home at the near post.
•    The home side sealed the victory with six minutes to play. Substitute Ryan Cochrane flicked on Benny Feilhaber's corner from the left flank. Rajko Lekic wriggled free at the back stick to tuck the ball home, beating Kevin Hartman at the near post.
•    FC Dallas head coach Schellas Hyndman made three changes to the team that came back for a 3-2 victory against Sporting Kansas City at Livestrong Sporting Park. Zach Loyd returned to the back four for Jeremy Hall, and Jackson and Daniel Cruz came into the midfield for Bruno Guarda and Marvin Chavez.
•    FC DALLAS (4-1-4-1): Kevin Hartman - Zach Loyd, George John, Andrew Jacobson, Jair Benitez (Maykel Galindo 80) - Daniel Hernandez - Jackson, Daniel Cruz (Ruben Luna 69), Ricardo Villar, Brek Shea (Jeremy Hall 46) - Maicon Santos.

TEAM NEWS
•    FC Dallas lost just twice from the start of May to the end of July, but they’ve now dropped three of their last five league games.
•    “It’s been such an emotional week for us. Losing Bobby Rhine, who we all love, and as I said to the players, if their emotions have been as rollercoaster as mine have been, I can understand just not having it,” said FCD head coach Schellas Hyndman. “I thought there were a couple of key opportunities that we didn’t capitalize on and those key opportunities kept up form building the confidence and fighting through it.”
•    Daniel Cruz made his second start for the club after he was sent off in his first, missing the previous match on suspension. Neither Bruno Guarda, who had started three of the previous four matches – nor Marvin Chavez, who had started every previous league match this season – figured in the match at all.
•    “We didn’t have Ugo Ihemelu, who was sitting out with his fifth yellow, and we didn’t have Marvin Chavez who got hurt playing for Honduras. It didn’t feel like we had Brek Shea, even though we had him out there. So that hurt us a little bit,” said Hyndman.
•    Shea came off at halftime, but he still collected a yellow card, meaning he’ll miss the New York match on suspension.
•    “Hindsight’s always great. I probably shouldn’t have put him out there. He was very tired, and it showed. But the type of player he is, he wants to always contribute,” said Hyndman. Said Shea: “I’m a little banged up from the past couple of games. I’m dealing with a groin issue – it kind of bothered me tonight, so that was part of it.”
•    George John returned to central defense after missing two consecutive starts while his potential transfer saga played out. He was partnered with Andrew Jacobson – who was making a second start in a row at center back – with Ugo Ihemelu out through suspension.
•    “When we had our group of four back and we had our guys organized and didn’t have any problems, I thought that off the set piece we had a little bit of difficulty. … Certainly we have some guys in different spots, working hard and trying to prove their worth,” said goalkeeper Kevin Hartman. “You’re going to miss a guy like Ugo, somebody that’s been with us for a number of years and has built quite a relationship with George John.”
•    On Wednesday, FC Dallas conceded their first goal in four CONCACAF Champions League matches, but still came away with a 1-1 draw with Panama’s Tauro FC at Pizza Hut Park. Daniel Cruz gave the home side the lead just 23 seconds into the match, but Luis Moreno scored the equalizer from the penalty spot in the 41st.
•    Here’s the FC Dallas team: Kevin Hartman, Jair Benitez, Ugo Ihemelu, George John, Zach Loyd, Ricardo Villar, Daniel Hernandez, Andrew Jacobson, Daniel Cruz (Maykel Galindo 76), Jeremy Hall (Andrew Wiedeman 89), Jackson.
•    "For us it’s a disappointment. We’re at home, we’ve won two games, and got a point here, which is not why we play. We play to win. That was disappointing, but at the same time, I think there was a lot of positive that came out of it as well,” Hyndman said.

NEW YORK RED BULLS
The New York Red Bulls played to a third consecutive draw but had their winless streak hit eight games, coming back for a 1-1 draw with Vancouver Whitecaps FC on Saturday evening at Red Bull Arena. The Red Bulls have 33 points from 27 games, in sixth place in the Eastern Conference.

LAST MATCH
•    Whitecaps FC took the lead in the 23rd minute through another highlight-reel goal. Camilo cut the ball back from the byeline on the left, finding Davide Chiumiento. He chipped the ball up with his left foot, spun, and then hammered a dipping volley with his right foot into the corner of the goal.
•    The Red Bulls were left a man short just before the break when Camilo was dragged down by Jan Gunnar Solli some 35 yards from goal as he looked to break in alone, and referee Terry Vaughn showed the Red Bulls right back a straight red.
•    But down a man, the home side evened terms in the 68th minute. Rafa Márquez lofted a cross into the penalty area from the right flank toward a hard-charging Juan Agudelo, who turned a right-footed shot past goalkeeper Joe Cannon from the heart of the area.
•    Red Bulls head coach Hans Backe made four changes to the team that got a late equalizer in a 2-2 draw with the New England Revolution at Gillette Stadium. Jan Gunnar Solli came into the back four for Roy Miller, Carlos Mendes came back from suspension for Teemu Tainio, Stephane Auvray came into midfield for Mehdi Ballouchy and Thierry Henry started up top in place of Juan Agudelo.
•    NEW YORK RED BULLS (4-1-3-2): Bouna Coundoul - Jan Gunnar Solli (sent off 45), Tim Ream, Carlos Mendes, Chris Albright - Rafael Marquez - Stephane Auvray (Juan Agudelo 61), Dax McCarty (Luke Rodgers 81), Joel Lindpere - Thierry Henry, Dane Richards.

TEAM NEWS
•    The Red Bulls were last victorious July 6, the 5-0 defeat of Toronto FC. Since winning four of the first seven games of the season – and losing just once in that span – New York has won just twice.
•    “I think it’s positive. It was positive to fight back for 45 minutes with 10 players and score a goal and to create that many chances in the second half,” Red Bulls coach Hans Backe said. “That should lift the players for the rest of the season.”
•    The Red Bulls have conceded the opening goal in each of the last four games. They have allowed 20 goals in the first half this season, second only to Toronto FC. They are also one of eight teams not to win this season after allowing the opening goal (0-6-4).
•    “It’s one of those things you just feel like it’s not one thing, one player. It’s a mentality,” center back Carlos Mendes said. “We were a goal down and then we started to control the game [vs. Vancouver]. You got to take the mentality from the start. We need to fix it quick because we don’t want to keep chasing games.”
•    The Red Bulls have also now pulled into a tie with the Chicago Fire with 15 draws on the season, most in MLS and the MLS record for most ties in a season.
•    “It’s just a mentality – I don’t know what it is,” midfielder Dax McCarty said. “We seem to have the right frame of mind going into games. We have a lot of talented players. A lot of ‘shoulds’ are associated with our lineup. We should win every game. We should dominate all the games.”
•    Said Backe: “Every point is crucial, even tied games when you go on the road,” Backe said. “It’s still up to us I think. If we’re good enough to pick up three wins, I think we are in the playoffs.”
•    The Red Bulls begin the week outside the playoff places, one point behind 10th-place overall D.C. United (who also have two games in hand.
•    “It’s sort of been a frustrating season,” defender Chris Albright said. “I think everyone needs to do their job and not worry about doing someone else’s job and winning the majority of battles all over the field, you hopefully come out on top.”
•    Juan Agudelo scored for the fourth time in the last nine games – all since returning from CONCACAF Gold Cup with the U.S. national team – his raising his season total to six goals vs. Vancouver.
•    Luke Rodgers was able to return to action for the first time since July 9 after suffering a heel injury. “It felt good,” Rodgers said. “I only got 10 minutes, and 10 minutes at that pace is like 45 minutes of what I’ve been doing in training. I was pleased to get back out. It’s a positive step forward.”
•    Goalkeeper Frank Rost missed his third consecutive match after being forced off at halftime of the Aug. 6 loss to Real Salt Lake, but was expected to return to full traning during the week and be available for the Dallas match.