Preview: FC Dallas open 2012 by hosting New York

FC DALLAS vs NEW YORK RED BULLS
FC DALLAS STADIUM, Frisco, Texas
March 11, 2012 (WEEK 1, MLS Game #6)
2 p.m. CT (NBC SN)

Just a little less than four months ago, the New York Red Bulls put an end to the FC Dallas season in a wild-card match in Frisco. Now the teams kick off the 2012 season against each other in a star-studded inaugural MLS broadcast on the NBC Sports Network. FC Dallas are looking to return to MLS Cup, where they appeared for the first time in club history in 2010. The Red Bulls are also aiming for a second MLS Cup Final appearance ever, their only time coming in 2008.

REFEREE: Jair Marrufo. SAR (bench): Eric Boria; JAR (opposite): Corey Rockwell; 4th: Edvin Jurisevic
MLS Career: 126 games; FC/gm: 24.4; Y/gm: 3.2; R: 29; pens: 41

WATCH: NBC Match Preview

DOWNLOAD FULL GAME GUIDE (PDF)

INJURY REPORT:

  • FC DALLAS - OUT: MF David Ferreira (R ankle); FW Scott Sealy (R knee)
  • NEW YORK RED BULLS -- OUT: DF Wilman Conde (R quadriceps strain)

INTERNATIONAL ABSENCES: none

SUSPENDED: NY: Rafael Marquez (through March 18)

HEAD-TO-HEAD
ALL-TIME (37 meetings): FC Dallas 16 wins (0 shootout), 59 goals ... Red Bulls 18 wins (1 shootout), 54 goals ...Ties 3
AT DALLAS (18 meetings): FC Dallas 8 wins (0 shootout), 29 goals ... Red Bulls 8 wins (0 shootout), 25 goals ... Ties 2

LAST YEAR (MLS):
7/23: NY 2, DAL 2 (Agudelo 39; Henry 85 ñ Chavez 51, 78)
9/17: DAL 0, NY 1 (Rodgers 36)

  •    This is the only league meeting between the teams this season.
  •    The teams last met in the 2011 MLS Cup Playoffs, goals from Joel Lindpere and Thierry Henry giving the Red Bulls a 2-0 win in a wild-card match at FC Dallas Stadium on Oct. 26.
  •    FC Dallas haven't defeated New York since a 2-1 win July 4, 2009 in Frisco (six meetings in all competitions).
  •    Coaches record: Schellas Hyndman vs. NY: P7 W1 L4 D2 Ö Hans Backe vs. DAL: P4 W2 L0 D2

FC DALLAS

Barely 12 months removed from their first-ever trip to the MLS Cup Final, FC Dallas saw their 2011 season end with a bitter loss to the New York Red Bulls on their home ground ñ a defeat they try to avenge in kicking off the new year. FCD finished in fourth place in the Western Conference last season, and also saw advancement to the knockout stage of the CONCACAF Champions League ended with a tough home loss.

  • FC Dallas concluded their participation in the Disney Pro Soccer Challenge with a 1-0 defeat of in-state rival Houston Dynamo on March 3. The game's lone goal from Brek Shea via the penalty spot.
  • Here's the FCD team: Kevin Hartman, Jair Benitez (46' Geoffrey Tulasne), Hernan Pertuz, Ugo Ihemelu (capt), Zach Loyd, Carlos Rodriguez, Daniel Hernandez (59' Bobby Warshaw), Andrew Jacobson (59' Victor Ulloa), Fabian Castillo (53' Andrew Wiedeman), Brek Shea (46' Ruben Luna, 87' Bryan Leyva), Blas Perez (77' Juan Carlos Enriquez)
  • Playmaker David Ferreira, still recovering from a fractured ankle that ended his season last April, did not figure in the final two preseason contests in Orlando.
  • "He's in a lot greater pain than he lets on. My comment to him is that we've got a week and hopefully he'll be ready to go in a week and his goal is to be available for the season opener," said FCD head coach Schellas Hyndman. "It'd be a shame if he's not making it because of this [tournament]."
  • Ferreira had played in three preseason contests, but limped off the field at halftime of a 3-0 win against NASL side Orlando City FC in the second match of the Disney event. Ferreira scored his only goal of the preseason before departing.
  • "An immense happiness," Ferreira said. "When I grabbed the ball, it was a great feeling. I was able to convert it and I gave thanks to God for having the opportunity to score."
  • If Ferreira cannot figure, Brek Shea could start up top, alongside Panamanian international Blas Pérez. "It's always a viable option if we don't have the players that we want," Hyndman said. "And the thing Brek brings is that he's a handful. He may not always make the right runs or the timing of the runs, but he's a complete handful and forces the opponents to stay back and respect him and Blas together. It's a nice combination."
  • Said Shea: "I enjoyed [playing forward] a lot. I love being able to float all around the front and try to run off other players and have players run off me. You just run a lot. I run around and keep the defense busy and try to find the ball where I can and run off Blas."
  • That also meant Carlos Rodriguez slotted in on the left side of midfield.
  • "What I was trying to do is get Brek some playing time and at the same time put our best XI on the field," Hyndman said. "I thought having Carlos Rodríguez as a left-sided midfielder and Jair Benítez as a left back was a good combination and had been working for us. If I'd brought Brek at the left side of midfield, I would put Carlos on the bench, which I didn't think was the right answer."
  • The last time FC Dallas was on the field, a bitter loss to the Red Bulls in a wild-card match in the MLS Cup Playoffs ended their season: 113 days before kickoff of the inaugural match broadcast on the NBC Sports Network.
  • "When you have the whole offseason to think that was the last game, that's all you can think about," midfielder Andrew Jacobson said. "We couldn't be happier to draw them for the first game of the year."

OFFSEASON TRANSACTIONS

 

  • IN: F Blas Pérez (1/3: free/Indios de Ciudad Juárez); D Hernán Pert˙z (1/3: free/Independiente Medellín); D Matt Hedges (1/12: SuperDraft); D Alex Lee (1/17: supplemental draft); F Walter Hines (1/17: supplemental draft); D Ian Kalis (1/17: supplemental draft); D Carlos Rodríguez (1/20: Tauro FC); F Scott Sealy (3/1: free)
  • OUT: D Edson Edward (11/23: waived); D Jeremy Hall (11/29: trade to Toronto); F Maykel Galindo (12/12: option declined); F Maicon Santos (12/12: option declined); M Marvin Chávez (12/16: trade to San Jose); M Jackson (1/18: loan to Cruzeiro)

NEW YORK RED BULLS

The New York Red Bulls are looking to build on their campaign of a year ago and make a return to MLS Cup, where they played for the first time even in 2008. Last year, the Red Bulls claimed the final playoff spot after finishing fifth in the Eastern Conference, then pushed the LA Galaxy in a Western Conference Semifinal Series after knocking off FC Dallas on the road in a wild-card match.

  • The Red Bulls concluded their preseason schedule with a 1-0 loss to Real Salt Lake in the third-place match of the Desert Diamond Cup in Tucson, Ariz.
  • Here's the Red Bulls team: Jeremy Vuolo (GK), Jan Gunnar Solli (Connor Lade 43'), Markus Holgersson, Stephen Keel (Tyler Ruthven 55'), Roy Miller, Dane Richards (Mehdi Ballouchy 90'), Teemu Tainio, Dax McCarty (Rafa Marquez 46'), Joel Lindpere, Kenny Cooper (Juan Agudelo 46'), Thierry Henry
  • The Red Bulls won one game in their four in the FC Tucson tournament: a 2-1 win against defending MLS champion LA Galaxy where the new-look strike pair of Kenny Cooper and Thierry Henry each scored. Cooper scored three goals in the preseason.
  • Henry rejoined the club and played in the final two matches in the Arizona tournament, as well as the Red Bull Reto del Sol friendly against Mexico's Pumas UNAM in Phoenix (a scoreless draw). Henry spent six weeks on loan to Arsenal FC in England and scored two goals in all competitions, including the game-winner against Leeds United on Jan. 9 in his first appearance of his loan stint. Arsenal's all-time leading scorer, Henry mainly appeared as a substitute for Wenger's side.
  • "I would have loved him to stay two more weeks but he has to go back. He is captain of Red Bulls. Just to appear on the first day of the season would be unfair to them. We accepted at the start that we would release him on February 16. So we respect our word," Arsenal manager Arséne Wenger said.
  • The Red Bulls will be without a key offseason acquisition for the FC Dallas match, after center back Wilman Conde suffered a strained thigh in the Galaxy contest, which will sideline him 2-3 weeks. Conde had recently returned to the field after recovering from a severe ankle injury sustained in 2011.
  • "He looked OK, but picked up this [injury] after 17, 18 minutes," Backe said. "When you've been away that long, typically you pick up these kind of injuries."
  • Conde's absence is even more deeply felt with Rafael Márquez's absence for the first two matches of the regular season, after he was suspended in the Western Conference Semifinal first leg vs. LA last October.
  • Stephen Keel and Markus Holgersson are expected to start in central defense against FC Dallas. Conde's eventual return means Márquez will likely figure again as a deep-lying central midfielder.
  • "I'm in the position where they put me," Márquez said. "I believe it's more important to be able to help the team, to try to make the team strong in all ways, in all aspects and nothing else but to do my part to help."
  • The Red Bulls filled out their roster with a quartet of signings of young players: defender Tyler Ruthven, midfielder Brandon Barklage and forwards Jose Angulo and Jhonny Arteaga. Only Barklage has MLS experience, having played with D.C. United for the past three seasons.
  • "Comparing to last year, we have much better depth." Backe said. "These guys are closer to getting MLS minutes than we had last year."

OFFSEASON TRANSACTIONS

  • IN: D Connor Lade (12/5: Homegrown); D Jonathan Borrajo (1/5: free/Hamarkameratene); D Markus Holgersson (1/12: free/Helsingborg); F Kenny Cooper (1/12: trade from Portland); G Ryan Meara (1/12: SuperDraft); D Mike Volk (1/17: supplemental draft); M Christian Barreiro (1/17: supplemental draft); M Nate Polak (1/17: supplemental draft); G Jeremy Vuolo (1/25: free/AC Oulu); D Wilman Conde (1/30: rights from Chicago); M Victor Pálsson (2/10: free); D Tyler Ruthven (3/6: free); M Brandon Barklage (3/6: free); F Jose Angulo (3/6: free); F Jhonny Arteaga (3/6: free)
  • OUT: G Alex Horwath (11/23: waived); D Mychal Jones (11/23: waived); D Tyler Lassiter (11/23: waived); M Marcos Paullo (11/23: waived); M John Rooney (11/23: waived); D Teddy Schneider (11/23: waived); G Frank Rost (11/23: contract expired); D Carlos Mendes (Re-Entry Stage 1/Columbus); D Chris Albright (12/12: option declined); G Bouna Coundoul (12/12: option declined); D Tim Ream (1/26: transfer/Bolton Wanderers); D Sacir Hot (2/17: waived); M Matt Kassel (2/17: waived)