Preview: FC Dallas continue playoff chase vs. Galaxy at HDC

LA GALAXY vs FC DALLAS
THE HOME DEPOT CENTER, Carson, Calif.
August 26, 2012 (WEEK 25, MLS Game #243)
7:00 p.m. ET / 4:00 p.m. PT (NBC SN; RDS2)

A real crunch match in the Western Conference is ahead on Sunday afternoon before an NBC Sports Network audience as the LA Galaxy play host to FC Dallas at The Home Depot Center. The Galaxy have used their recent form to pull into a tie for fourth place in the Western Conference entering the weekend, their last league match a 1-1 draw in Columbus. FC Dallas are one of the hottest teams in the league, beginning their road swing with back-to-back wins at Vancouver and Real Salt Lake, now sitting five points out of the final playoff spot.

REFEREE: Kevin Stott. AR1 (bench): Anthony Vasoli; AR2 (opposite): Corey Parker; 4th: Juan Guzman
Stott's MLS career: 227 games; FC/gm: 25.6; Y/gm: 3.3; R: 59; pens: 48

DOWNLOAD FULL GAME GUIDE HERE (PDF)

INJURY REPORT:

  • LA GALAXY -- OUT: FW Edson Buddle (R knee surgery); DF Leonardo (R knee inflammation); QUESTIONABLE: FW Landon Donovan (L hamstring strain); DF David Junior Lopes (L ankle sprain); MF Kyle Nakazawa (back spasms)
  • FC DALLAS – OUT: DF Ugo Ihemelu (concussion symptoms); DF Alex Lee (lower abdominal strain); MF Ricardo Villar (R foot strain); PROBABLE: FW Blas Perez (R foot sprain)

INTERNATIONAL ABSENCES: none
SUSPENDED: none
WARNINGS:

  • SUSPENDED NEXT YELLOW CARD: DAL -- Daniel Hernandez, Zach Loyd
  • SUSPENDED AFTER TWO YELLOW CARDS: LA -- David Beckham, A.J. DeLaGarza, David Junior Lopes, Marcelo Sarvas ... DAL -- Jair Benitez, Fabian Castillo, Julian de Guzman, George John

HEAD-TO-HEAD
ALL-TIME (56 meetings): Galaxy 27 wins (1 shootout), 100 goals ...FC Dallas 19 wins (1 shootout), 76 goals ...Ties 10
AT LA (28 meetings): Galaxy 19 wins (1 shootout), 58 goals ... FC Dallas 5 wins (1 shootout), 29 goals ... Ties 4

2012 (MLS):
4/28: LA 1, DAL 1 (Noonan 93+ -- Shea 60)
7/28: DAL 0, LA 1 (Magee 62)
• The teams are meeting for the third time this season. On April 28, Pat Noonan’s stoppage-time goal gave the Galaxy a late 1-1 draw at The Home Depot Center; Mike Magee scored the only goal of the game to give LA a 1-0 win July 28 in Frisco.
• The teams split their two meetings last year, FC Dallas winning 2-1 at home in May, and the Galaxy winning 3- 1 in Carson in August. They were the first meetings since FC Dallas’ 3-0 win against LA in the 2010 Western Conference Championship at The Home Depot Center.
• Coaches record: Bruce Arena vs. DAL: P20 W10 L7 D3 ... Schellas Hyndman vs. LA: P10 W3 L4 D3

LAST MEETING (MLS):
• The game's lone goal came in the 62nd minute. Robbie Keane controlled a bouncing ball at the top of the box and flicked it over a defender to Mike Magee. The Galaxy attacker was left alone in the restraining arc, and he curled a shot around a defender and into the lower corner.
• FC DALLAS (4-4-1-1): Kevin Hartman - Zach Loyd, Hernan Pertuz, Matt Hedges (George John 46), Jair Benitez - Jackson, Daniel Hernandez (Julian de Guzman 78), Andrew Jacobson, Carlos Rodriguez (Fabian Castillo 46) - David Ferreira - Scott Sealy.
• LA GALAXY (4-4-2): Josh Saunders - A.J. DeLaGarza, Omar Gonzalez, David Junior Lopes, Bryan Gaul - Sean Franklin, Marcelo Sarvas, Juninho, Hector Jimenez (Michael Stephens 78) - Mike Magee (Jose Villarreal 69), Robbie Keane.

LA GALAXY
The LA Galaxy return to action after a weekend away from league competition, their last match a 1-1 draw at the Columbus Crew on Aug. 15. The Galaxy are in a tie for fourth place in the Western Conference with 37 points from 25 games.

LAST MATCH

View from the Booth: LA Galaxy vs. FC Dallas

• The Crew took the lead on the emotional night when Jairo Arrieta made something out of nothing just two minutes after the second-half restart. Arrieta took the ball on the right wing and cut toward the middle past several Galaxy defenders before firing with his left foot from the top of the arc, the shot rolling just inside Josh Saunders' left post.
•But the Galaxy pulled even in the 64th minute. Sean Franklin ran onto a ball down the right flank, nutmegged Crew midfielder Dilly Duka then sent his pass past a pair of defenders for Robbie Keane to tap into the net with an easy finish.
• Galaxy head coach Bruce Arena made one change to the team that stormed to a 4-0 victory vs. Chivas USA at The Home Depot Center. Michael Stephens came into the team for Landon Donovan, on international duty.
• LA GALAXY (4-4-2): Josh Saunders - Sean Franklin, Omar Gonzalez, A.J. DeLaGarza, Todd Dunivant - Hector Jimenez (Bryan Gaul 61), Marcelo Sarvas, Juninho (Bryan Jordan 83), Michael Stephens - Robbie Keane, Mike Magee (Jose Villarreal 76).

TEAM NEWS
• The Galaxy pulled into a tie for fourth place in the Western Conference with the point, having gone 5-1-2 since July 8.
• At the end of the game, we positioned ourselves to win the game and you can’t ask for much more,” Galaxy head coach Bruce Arena said. “It’s always good to get a point on the road, but we would have obviously preferred three.”
• The game concluded a four-game run where the Galaxy were the away team (three of those games away from The Home Depot Center). The Galaxy now have a four-game homestand in league play, their next MLS road game not until a Sept. 30 trip to Colorado.
• It was hard to find 11 players that could play,” Arena said. “We’re pretty exhausted from Sunday night and the trip across the country as well. It’s a little on the difficult side. We knew that this part of the season was going to be a little bit of an issue, and our guys did all right.”
• Robbie Keane scored for a second consecutive match. He has a goal or an assist in four of his last five games; since returning from the European Championships, he has a goal or an assist in nine of the 11 games that he has played, tallying eight goals and four assists in that time.
• We could have maybe got three,” Keane said, “but I think with the whole situation before the game, when they had the tribute for the young lad, I think maybe overall it’s a fair result for both teams.”
• After recording three assists in the third SuperClásico, Landon Donovan missed the Crew while on international duty with the USA, playing 45 minutes in the historic win in Mexico.
• The Galaxy first-choice back four of Sean Franklin, Omar Gonzalez, A.J. DeLaGarza and Todd Dunivant was maintained for a second consecutive contest, having allowed one goal in the two games.
• We had a hard time playing. As the game wore on, we started to get a little more of the play, but we gave up a pretty unfortunate goal there. We even had chances to win the game at the end,” said midfielder Michael Stephens.
• On Wednesday, the Galaxy began their CONCACAF Champions League campaign with a quality start, defeating Isidro Metapan of El Salvador 5-2 at The Home Depot Center. David Beckham crosses led to two first-half goals before he scored a third, and Juninho also scored a pair. The Galaxy played the final 20 minutes a man down after Robbie Keane was sent off when he received a straight red card, shortly after being shown a yellow card.
• Here’s the Galaxy team: Josh Saunders; Sean Franklin, Omar Gonzalez, A.J. DeLaGarza, Todd Dunivant; Juninho, Marcelo Sarvas (Bryan Gaul 85), David Beckham (Michael Stephens 80), Mike Magee; Jose Villarreal (Hector Jimenez 63), Robbie Keane (sent off 70).
• We don’t want to drop points here and we knew that they were going to come in and play for a point,” said defender Sean Franklin. “I thought that we did well at attacking them and I think the score could have been even higher if we finished our chances. They had some great chances too, but at the end of the day, we got three points.”

 

FC DALLAS
FC Dallas made it three wins on the trot, winning their second road match in a row, a dramatic 2-1 victory against Real Salt Lake on Saturday evening at Rio Tinto Stadium. FCD is in sixth place in the Western Conference with 32 points from 27 matches.

LAST MATCH
• Dallas struck first in the 61st minute. Fabián Castillo took a ball down the left wing, then played a quick one-two with David Ferreira just inside the penalty area. With Tony Beltran trailing, Castillo hit a tough-angle shot that hit the far-right corner of the goal.
• Real pulled level in the 76th minute. From the team's seventh corner of the night, Javier Morales hit the ball toward the back post, and Álvaro Saborío jumped high to get his head on the ball and loop it into the back corner.
• FC Dallas hit for the winner on the counter in stoppage time. Brek Shea and Ferreira set off on a two-on-one break against RSL's Nat Borchers. Shea drew the defender close and hit the ball to the middle to Ferreira, who took a couple of controlling touches before firing a blast to the top-right corner past a helpless Nick Rimando.

FCDallas.com Match Preview

• FC Dallas head coach Schellas Hyndman made three changes to the team that claimed a 2-0 win against Vancouver Whitecaps FC at BC Place. Julian de Guzman and Brek Shea came into the side in place of Hernan Pertuz and Andrew Jacobson, and Jonathan Top started up top in place of Ruben Luna.
• FC DALLAS (4-4-1-1): Kevin Hartman - Zach Loyd, George John, Matt Hedges (Hernan Pertuz 73), Jair Benitez - Fabian Castillo, Daniel Hernandez (James Marcelin 62), Julian de Guzman, Brek Shea - David Ferreira - Jonathan Top (Jackson 46).

TEAM NEWS
• FC Dallas took a second victory on their three-game road swing – after recording just one win in their first 11 away games this season. FCD faces one more three-game road run, Sept. 29-Oct. 21 at San Jose, Chivas USA and Seattle.
• It gives us dreams, and we’re beating teams in our conference. As I said to the boys, I don’t know how important Real Salt Lake is going to take us, since they don’t really need the points. We’re desperate, we need the points,” said FCD head coach Schellas Hyndman. “This is the first time all year we’ve won two games in a row, now three. We’re now in a position where we think we can win. We’re just playing well. We have a tough schedule; the teams we’re playing are tough.”
• David Ferreira scored his second goal in the last three games, and added his third assist in the last two games.
• "David has come in and really orchestrated what we do from the back to the front and side to side. We’ve made some good additions to the team,” said midfielder Brek Shea. • Ferreira’s late winner after he asked to be removed from the match, but Hyndman had used all three substitutes. Ferreira has played every minute of the last five matches.
• “He came to me and said, ‘I’m dead, I’m absolutely dead,’” Hyndman said. “And I said, 'I’ll get a change for you,' and he said, ‘No, I’ll keep fighting, but I just want you to know I’m dead and I can’t run.’”
• Since Ferreira returned to the team on July 4, FC Dallas are 5-2-3, and now within five points of the final playoff berth in the Western Conference.
• “We’re a completely different team,” said Hyndman. “I think before we battled and had some good players, but we were always hoping to get a result. Now we’re going in thinking we are going to get a result.”
• Fabian Castillo also netted a goal for a third consecutive game – all FC Dallas victories, the club’s longest winning streak this season.
• Blas Peréz has returned to training as well, meaning Hyndman has a nearly fully-fit squad from which to call upon. “My foot feels good [and] it’s good to get back out there and not have much pain,” Peréz said. “It still bothers me a little bit, but I can have the ball at my feet and be comfortable with it. Now it’s just about getting back my physical fitness and match fitness.”
• Said Hyndman: “He’s a proven scorer, extremely focused and hard-working. We’ve played with one striker and sometimes you look up there and think it’s two strikers because he’s covering so much ground.”
• FC Dallas this week announced the signing of 25-year-old Argentine forward Matías Jara, last with second division side Guillermo Brown in his homeland.
• “He can combine with another forward and give us an option to play with two strikers up front,” Fernando Clavijo said. “At the same time, he’s very smart and his movements are very intelligent. When you see David [Ferreira] working with everyone, I think [Matías] is one guy who can definitely play off David and Blas Pérez, but also play as a lone striker.”