Slumping, banged-up FC Dallas likely to turn to Walker Zimmerman vs. Philadelphia Union

FC Dallas are slumping. And now they’re hurting a bit, too.

Schellas Hyndman will be sending a makeshift defense out to face MLS leading scorer Jack McInerney and the Union at PPL Park on Saturday (5:30 pm ET, NBCSN, LIVE chat on MLSsoccer.com) as defenders George John and Zach Loyd did not make the trip to Philadelphia due to injury.

“Recently we’ve not been in good form, we’ve given up too many goals,” Hyndman told reporters in Philadelphia on Friday. “You saw the goals we gave up against Portland [in a 3-2 US Open Cup quarterfinals loss]. That was disappointing and discouraging because they were our mistake goals. We keep talking about it, but on the positive side the first 25 minutes [against Portland] was some of the best soccer I’ve seen FC Dallas play.”

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John picked up a hamstring strain in that loss to the Timbers, and Loyd has been nursing a groin injury for a few weeks. Hyndman decided to give them both a rest to hopefully have them ready to play on July 4 against Chivas USA at FC Dallas Stadium.

This will be the fourth match John has missed this season, and FCD have gone 1-1-1 in his absence. It will be the first time Dallas play an MLS match without Loyd since August 11 of last season, a string of 25 consecutive matches.

Matt Hedges, however, made the trip.

“Hedges is fine,” Hyndman said. “He obviously had a pretty hard hit against Kansas City and … we were really fortunate to be able to keep him out of the game the other night and get him healthy, so he’ll be ready to go.”

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A center back pairing of Hedges and rookie Walker Zimmerman looks likely, though they have just 15 minutes of in-game playing time together, with either Michel or Jair Benítez shifting to Loyd’s right back. Rookie London Woodberry would fill the void at right back if Michel is deployed in the midfield, though that would mean just one defensive substitute – Stephen Keel – on the bench.

FC Dallas have slowed a bit after starting off the season on a torrid pace, taking only two points in their last three league matches, and just two wins in their last eight outings.