Preview: FCD look to end skid at home vs. struggling Philly

DAL v PHI, 5-19-12

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FC DALLAS vs PHILADELPHIA UNION
FC DALLAS STADIUM, Frisco, Texas
May 19, 2012 (WEEK 11, MLS Game #103)
7:30 p.m. CT (FS-SW; TCN-Phi)

FC Dallas return home with an aim to stop the rot of a losing winless skid, taking on a Philadelphia Union looking for wins of their own when the clubs meet in Frisco on Saturday evening. FCD hasn't won since mid-April, their winless streak now at six games after a 2-1 loss in Columbus last weekend. Union went down to a third consecutive defeat last weekend, the New York Red Bulls coming back for a 3-2 victory at PPL Park.

REFEREE: Mark Kadlecik. SAR (bench): Anthony Vasoli; JAR (opposite): Brian Dunn; 4th: Mark Declouet
MLS Career: 19 games; FC/gm: 24.1; Y/gm: 3.7; R: 5; pens: 6

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INJURY REPORT:

  • FC DALLAS - OUT: MF David Ferreira (R foot surgery); MF Ricardo Villar (R foot strain); MF Andrew Wiedeman (sports hernia repair); MF Bobby Warshaw (R foot fracture); DF Ugo Ihemelu (concussion symptoms); QUESTIONABLE: MF Carlos Rodriguez (L elbow dislocation); FW Fabian Castillo (L ankle sprain); PROBABLE: MF Brek Shea (L foot turf toe)
  • PHILADELPHIA UNION - OUT: MF Roger Torres (L knee surgery recovery); FW Krystian Witkowski (concussion); PROBABLE: DF Chris Albright (L big toe sprain)

INTERNATIONAL ABSENCES: none

SUSPENDED: DAL: Zack Loyd (through May 20) ... PHI: Freddy Adu (through May 20)

WARNINGS:

  • SUSPENDED NEXT YELLOW CARD: PHI: Gabriel Gomez
  • SUSPENDED AFTER TWO YELLOW CARDS: DAL: Jair Benitez, Fabian Castillo, Daniel Hernandez

HEAD-TO-HEAD

ALL-TIME (4 meetings): FC Dallas 2 wins, 8 goals ... Union 0 wins, 4 goals ... Ties 2

AT DALLAS (2 meetings): FC Dallas 2 wins, 5 goals ... Union 0 wins, 1 goal ... Ties 0

LAST YEAR (MLS):

5/14: DAL 2, PHI 0 (Shea 29; Castillo 43)
8/13: PHI 2, DAL 2 (Le Toux 34, 86 - Santos 16; Shea 45)

  • This is the only league meeting between the clubs this season.
  • FC Dallas are unbeaten all-time in four meetings with Union. FCD has won both home games, including a 2-0 triumph last year in Frisco; the teams have played to two draws in their games at Philadelphia.
  • Coaches record: Schellas Hyndman vs. PHI: P4 W2 L0 D2 ... Peter Nowak vs. DAL: P11 W3 L4 D4

FC DALLAS

FC Dallas saw their winless skid extended to six games, the Columbus Crew coming back for a 2-1 win Saturday evening at Crew Stadium. FCD is in sixth place in the Western Conference with 12 points from 12 matches.

HIGHLIGHTS: Crew come back against Dallas

LAST MATCH

  • The visitors took the lead in the 22nd minute. Fabian Castillo gathered a pass on the touchline, and after Crew midfielder Tony Tchani gave up chase, thinking the ball had gone out of bounds, Castillo continued down the left side, cut toward the box, twisted past a defender then bested goalkeeper Andy Gruenebaum at the near post.
  • But FC Dallas went a man down in the 63rd minute when Zach Loyd received a second caution.
  • It took the Crew only four minutes to capitalize. Justin Meram, who entered late in the first half, got the ball about 35 yards out from the net and ripped a rising shot for his first MLS goal.
  • Five minutes later, Columbus completed their rally thanks to Sebastian Miranda's snapped header from 20 yards out off a corner kick by Nemanja Vukovic.
  • FC Dallas head coach Schellas Hyndman made three changes to the team that went down to a 2-0 defeat by Seattle Sounders FC at FC Dallas Stadium. Daniel Hernandez, Brek Shea and Blas Perez came back into the team, in place of Matt Hedges, James Marcelin and Scott Sealy.
  • FC DALLAS (4-4-2): Chris Seitz - Zach Loyd (sent off 63), Hernan Pertuz, George John, Jair Benitez - Jackson, Andrew Jacobson, Daniel Hernandez, Brek Shea - Blas Perez, Fabian Castillo (Ruben Luna 60 / Matt Hedges 73).

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  • FCD's six-game winless streak matches the longest for the club since an eight-game win drought over the end of the 2008 season and the start of 2009.
  • "All we're doing now is focusing on the next 11 games," FCD head coach Schellas Hyndman said. "If we can do that, it gives us a very good chance to forget about the last game or the last couple games."
  • FC Dallas put an end to their goalless streak at 231 minutes with Fabian Castillo's first-half goal. The goal was the first for FC Dallas in open play since April 14 - a span of 474 minutes. Their two goals in the meantime had both come on penalty kicks.
  • While having both Daniel Hernandez and Blas Perez back in the team following a suspension, Hyndman will once again be forced to adjust his lines with Zach Loyd suspended for the Philadelphia match.
  • "We've had some bad luck with some late goals and bad luck keeping the players on the field," Hyndman said. "You can say that's bad luck, discipline or intelligence, but those are things that are in our control."
  • Brek Shea also returned to the first team after a two-match absence (he did come on as a substitute vs. Seattle).
  • "I just thought the second half, we dropped back a little too deep like we had done a lot in the past. We weren't really keeping the ball," said Hernandez. "We knew Columbus was going to come out in the second half and put pressure on us anyway. We lost the ball in the midfield and it went kind of on a counter attack and they shot. We already were kind of struggling a bit to get possession."
  • After two games back in the starting lineup, goalkeeper Kevin Hartman was again a scratch for the Columbus match.
  • James Marcelin also went back to being an unused substitute after starting and playing 90 minutes vs. Seattle.
  • "James is basically playing his way right now," said Hyndman. "He's not falling into the team shape or the demands of his position. I really feel like he will get better as we work with him more." Said Marcelin: "I only trained two times before I came to Dallas so I just have to get my shape back. I have to get a feel of the team and the play of the team. I play defensive midfield, but anywhere coach wants to put me, I'll play it. I know I will get better with my shape, and I will perform better."

PHILADELPHIA UNION

Philadelphia Union went down to a third consecutive defeat in cruel fashion, going down a man before the New York Red Bulls came back for a 3-2 win Sunday afternoon at PPL Park. Union are in ninth place in the Eastern Conference with 7 points from 9 games.

HIGHLIGHTS: Philly on wrong end of I-95 shootout

LAST MATCH

  • The Red Bulls took the lead in the 17th minute. Mehdi Ballouchy secured possession on a long ball, turned and passed it back to a streaking Joel Lindpere just inside the box, who fired a left-footed rocket that beat Union 'keeper Zac MacMath to the near post. But Union were level in the 31st minute when Freddy Adu lofted a cross from the right that found the head of Lionard Pajoy in the area.
  • Adu was then sent off two minutes before the break for a second yellow card, for a simulation in the area as he tried to draw a foul after splitting a pair of New York defenders.
  • Yet Union scored an unlikely goal almost immediately after the second-half kickoff as Pajoy capitalized on a quick change of possession, beat New York defender Markus Holgersson and then slotted a tough-angle shot into the back of the net.
  • In the 68th minute, the Red Bulls took advantage of their man-up situation and leveled terms when Holgersson heading home a corner kick from Brandon Barklage.
  • Ten minutes later, the Red Bulls hit for the winner. Rafa Marquez lofted a ball over the Union backline and Kenny Cooper chased it down in the penalty area, rounding MacMath and sliding the ball into the goal from a sharp angle.
  • Union boss Peter Nowak made two changes to the team that suffered a 1-0 defeat by Seattle Sounders FC at CenturyLink Field. Brian Carroll and Danny Mwanga came back into the team, in place of Danny Califf and Kai Herdling.
  • PHILADELPHIA UNION (4-4-2): Zac MacMath - Michael Farfan, Carlos Valdes, Sheanon Williams, Raymon Gaddis - Freddy Adu (sent off 43), Gabriel Gomez (Josue Martinez 84), Brian Carroll, Keon Daniel (Chandler Hoffman 77) - Danny Mwanga (Kai Herdling 67), Lionard Pajoy.

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  • Freddy Adu had been having what he called his best game with Union before being sent off just before the halftime break, which leaves him suspended for this weekend.
  • "We all want to see Freddy play like that," Nowak said. "He feels comfortable and he's moving inside and taking shots and he's not afraid to pull plays, which is important. He's got confidence and he's in very good form - not only on the offensive side but also on the defensive side."
  • Adu contributed his first assist of the season for Union's opening goal, flighted a short cross from the right for Lionard Pajoy to head home.
  • "I felt good, my body felt great and my teammates were finding me in the right spots," Adu said. "Danny Mwanga battled his butt off, Pajoy's movement today was great. It made it a lot easier for me to slip in and be a second playmaker. Guys would just suck defenders through them and then at the last moment I would pop in and be wide open."
  • Pajoy hit the back of the net for the first time since March 18, and his two goals marked the first time this season Philadelphia had scored multiple goals in a game.
  • "I think Lionard finds good spots and he's very dangerous going forward. He had a little bit more room on the wings and the side and the situations he had, a couple in the first half and a couple more in the second half," said Nowak. "I think it's a good combination, and you always have Danny Mwanga inside to receive the ball and hold the ball for him to make a great run, so it's very important to give him more things like that and more confidence."
  • With Danny Califf held out of the team, Sheanon Williams shifted back to central defense and Michael Farfan moved from midfield back to right back. Danny Mwanga was given his first start since March 24.
  • "I think [Nowak] knew that we needed to create some type of opportunities. Obviously we went to a different formation for this game and it created more opportunities and all week we have been getting onto each other and the practices have been intense this week," said Raymon Gaddis. "I think that prepared us in going forward and create opportunities for this game having and attacking mentality for this game."
  • Early in the week, Zac MacMath was not available while still undergoing the concussion protocol, but was cleared for duty in the days leading up to the match. "It's disappointing because we see that we're improving and I thought today was our best game of the year so far," MacMath said. "We played with 10 men for 50-some minutes and still played the better game."
  • On Thursday, the long-anticipated deal was finally completed, as Union shipped center back Danny Califf to Chivas USA in exchange for midfielder Michael Lahoud.
  • Williams will likely move into the center of the back four. "Right back, center back - I defend first," Williams said. "But I like to attack and that's obviously hard to do when you're playing center back. Right back is definitely where I'm most comfortable, where I've played the longest and definitely where I feel most at home. Said Nowak: "To me, it's the easiest position to play. He's a great defender, very good with the ball and not afraid to go forward. I think he will embrace the position in a pretty good way."