FC Dallas host revamped Chivas USA

and after a seven-minute delay where Suarez was carried from the field after a collision with Guzan knocked him out -- Ruiz neatly converted his own penalty when he sent the rookie 'keeper the wrong way (85).

  • Then four minutes deep into stoppage time, O'Brien played provider as FC Dallas broke out on a nearly uncontested counterattack, the Irish winger driving in a cross to the top of the box where Eddie Johnson headed it past an on-rushing Guzan.
  • On May 22 at The Home Depot Center, FC Dallas began a month-long road run as they shredded the Chivas USA backline in a 5-2 victory.
  • The scoreline was level entering the break: Aaron Pitchkolan having given FCD a dream start after just 35 seconds, redirecting a Ramon Nunez shot with the slightest of touches for his first professional goal before Chivas USA's Hector Cuadros equalized from the penalty spot (19).
  • But it was all FC Dallas after the break. Carlos Ruiz put the Hoops in front when he turned on Chivas defender Douglas Sequeira and lashed home a low shot from the edge of the area (48), then three minutes later Ronnie O'Brien again hit the back of the net with a long-range bomb, this one from all of 25 yards.
  • Isaac Romo pulled Chivas a goal back just two minutes later when he headed home a neat cross from Cuadros from the heart of the box. Yet FC Dallas killed off the game with two more goals, Eddie Johnson collecting a square pass from Pitchkolan before sending in a low shot off goalkeeper Martin Zuniga, before Ecuadorian international Roberto Mina completed the scoring in stoppage time when he chipped home into an unguarded goal after Zuniga had come off his line to knock the ball away from Ruiz after he had burst through unchecked.

    LAST MEETING

  • On June 22 at the Cotton Bowl, FC Dallas defeated their expansion opponent for the third time.
  • FC Dallas dominated the first half, but had just one goal to show. Oscar Pareja - very influential in a rare start - sent Roberto Mina with a long through ball up the center of the park, and the Ecuadorian international clinically beat Chivas 'keeper Brad Guzan (18).
  • After the break, Chivas drew level. Hector Cuadros found Matt Taylor with a fine pass at the end of a tic-tac-toe passing movement, and the second-year striker hit a low shot past FCD 'keeper Scott Garlick for his first goal for Chivas (48).
  • But with nine minutes left, Arturo Alvarez combined with David Wagenfuhr on the left flank, and the defender's cross found substitute Abe Thompson in front of goal, and he headed home for the match-winner, his second professional goal.
  • Here's Colin Clarke's team (4-1-4-1): Scott Garlick - Drew Moor, Clarence Goodson, Greg Vanney, David Wagenfuhr - Simo Valakari - Bobby Rhine (Carey Talley 85), Aaron Pitchkolan, Oscar Pareja (Ramon Nunez 59), Arturo Alvarez - Roberto Mina (Abe Thompson 61)
  • Here's Hans Westerhof's team (3-3-1-3): Brad Guzan - Ezra Hendrickson, Ryan Suarez, Esteban Arias - Orlando Perez, Douglas Sequeira, Ramon Ramirez (Armando Begines 72) - Hector Cuadros (Francisco Gomez 79) - Thiago Martins, Matt Taylor, Francisco Mendoza (Antonio Martinez 67)

    FC DALLAS
    FC Dallas saw their winless run stretched to seven games, losing for the fifth time in the run in a late 1-0 loss to the Columbus Crew last Saturday afternoon at Crew Stadium. FC Dallas is still in second place in the Western Conference with 35 points from 22 matches, but now tied with the Los Angeles Galaxy, and now six points behind division-leading San Jose Earthquakes.

  • A pair of teams riding losing streaks battled through a mostly tentative affair that was interrupted by a thunderstorm before Cornell Glen's 81st-minute goal gave the Crew a 1-0 victory.
  • Chris Henderson got out of the corner with a nutmeg and drove a rolling ball in the heart of the FC Dallas goal area. Glen deflected the ball goalward with a neat touch with the inside of his heel, FCD defender Chris Gbandi just unable to hook the ball off the line.
  • The victory moved the Crew to within 14 points of the final playoff spot in the Eastern Conference, while FC Dallas still remained winless since the start of July, now seven matches without a victory in league play.
  • FC Dallas boss Colin Clarke made three changes to the team that lost 2-1 to the New England Revolution the previous weekend at Pizza Hut Park. Clarence Goodson came back into the team, for U.S. international Steve Jolley, while Roberto Mina also came back into the side, for Arturo Alvarez. Aaron Pitchkolan was also a returnee to the lineup, for Eddie Johnson and Ronnie O'Brien moved back to a wide role.
  • Here's Clarke's team (4-1-4-1): Jeff Cassar - Drew Moor, Clarence Goodson, Steve Jolley, Chris Gbandi - Simo Valakari - Roberto Mina (Arturo Alvarez 79), Aaron Pitchkolan (Eddie Johnson 66), Carey Talley (Ramon Nunez 88), Ronnie O'Brien - Carlos Ruiz
  • "It's very disappointing. We were decent defensively, we had some great opportunities going forward that just didn't go in and at the other end we gave up a bad goal," Clarke said. "It's getting to the point where we need to put things right."

    TEAM NEWS

  • It was another late goal that did in FC Dallas. Of the Hoops last five losses, four have come as a result of a goal scored in the final quarter-hour.
  • "Defensively we were pretty solid. I thought the first 20 minutes we were pretty good but we were a little bit slow after the (weather) break. The second half was back and forth, we had the ball in a lot of good spots in the final third and didn't make the most of it," Clarke said. "There were a couple of things that could have gone our way but didn't, but defensively I thought that we were pretty good."
  • Despite some comments to the contrary, there is some sign the seven-match league winless run in starting to wear on FC Dallas.
  • "It's terrible. It's been a long time since we've won a game and to be honest it's been a long time since we deserved to win a game. We're lucky that we were at the top of the table when we started doing bad, but if we play this way in the playoffs then we're going to get knocked out early," Ronnie O'Brien said. "We just need to pick it up, get back to what we were doing and try to win some games."
  • After starting the weekend before, Eddie Johnson was held out of the team by Clarke. He did come on to play the final 24 minutes as a substitute.
  • "He ended up playing 90 minutes last week when we didn't really want him to because we are trying to ease him back," Clarke said. "It's an injury in a place that he is going to get a lot of contact so we have to take it slowly."

    U.S. OPEN CUP

  • On Wednesday, FC Dallas advanced to the semifinals of the U.S. Open Cup when they defeated D.C. United in a penalty kick shootout after a 1-1 draw through 120 minutes.
  • United opened the scoring in the 47th minute when the Hoops found themselves pressed deep into their own box by United's combination play and Dema Kovalenko set up Christian Gomez to roll a simple finish under Scott Garlick from close range.
  • But Kovalenko was sent off for a second bookable offense in the 72nd minute, then four minutes deep into stoppage time Carlos Ruiz took possession 25 yards out and turned to goal, boldly running at Bobby Boswell and cutting left past Facundo Erpen before stroking a cool finish past Troy Perkins to level the match.
  • In the penalty shootout, FC Dallas made their first three efforts, while John Wilson pushed his wide right and Josh Gros had his saved by Garlick. Local boy Abe Thompson then strolled up and emphatically sent FCD into the semifinals.
  • Dallas had defeated United in the 1997 U.S. Open Cup Final on penalty kicks; in 1996, United advanced with to the final with a victory against Dallas. In all, Dallas has reached the semifinal stage four times (last in 2002), but the final only the one time.
  • Here's Colin Clarke's team: Scott Garlick, Bobby Rhine, Clarence Goodson, David Wagenfuhr (Chris Gbandi 30), Greg Vanney, Simo Valakari (Abe Thompson 119), Arturo Alvarez (Roberto Mina 76), Carey Talley, Ramon Nunez, Eddie Johnson (Drew Moor 90), Carlos Ruiz

    CHIVAS USA
    Chivas USA got a quartet of reinforcements and was within seconds of a first-ever road victory, before the MetroStars came back to snatch a share of the points in a wild 3-3 draw on Sunday afternoon at Giants Stadium. Chivas USA still have just 13 points from 24 matches, six points behind Real Salt Lake and 15 out of the final Western Conference playoff spot, with just eight games remaining in their inaugural season.

  • At Giants Stadium, the MetroStars extended their home unbeaten streak to nine games thanks to an Amado Guevara hat trick while still keeping Chivas USA winless away from home in their inaugural season, but it was far from a foregone conclusion.
  • Guevara scored his first from the penalty spot after just five minutes when Eddie Gaven was tripped up in the area, but Chivas got three goals - all from new acquisitions - to take a dominant lead into the halftime break.
  • Mexican international Juan Francisco Palencia scored twice within five minutes in MLS debut to send Chivas in front. First, he tapped home a Douglas Sequeira flick header from a corner from close range (17), then he latched onto a mis-hit clearance and hammered home a first-time blast from outside the area.
  • Then Juan Pablo Garcia, another Mexican international, put Chivas two to the good with a wonderful goal, collecting a return pass from Arturo Torres and deftly chipping Tony Meola from the heart of the penalty area (39).But the MetroStars were handed a lifeline midway through the second half when Gaven was again hacked down in the area, and Guevara again converted from the spot, the first time in MetroStars history the club had scored two penalties in one game.
  • Yet when it seemed it wouldn't be enough, the Metros won a freekick at the top of the restraining arc. Youri Djorkaeff slid a pass to the left to Guevara, and he hit a sublime curling strike inside the far post to share the points.
  • Chivas coach Hans Westerhof made three changes to the team that lost 3-0 to D.C. United the previous Saturday. Two of his new signings - Juan Francisco Palencia and Juan Pablo Garcia - were put into the team, while Ezra Hendrickson also returned from injury, as Jesus Ochoa, Hector Cuadros and Isaac Romo were all dropped - though they all came on as substitutes.
  • Here's Westerhof's team (3-3-1-3): Brad Guzan - Ezra Hendrickson, Ramon Ramirez (Isaac Romo 89), Armando Begines - Juan Pablo Garcia (Hector Cuadros 82), Douglas Sequeira, Orlando Perez - Arturo Torres (Jesus Ochoa 77), Francisco Mendoza, Antonio Martinez - Juan Francisco Palencia
  • "In the first half we scored beautiful goals, but we have problems in our organization and defense," Westerhof said. "The second half was all (MetroStars)."

    TEAM NEWS

  • Westerhof started Palencia as a target striker in his basic 3-4-3 scheme, while Garcia played on the right side of midfield. They accounted for the three Chivas goals.
  • "It's good for us," Chivas coach Hans Westerhof said of the play of his two newcomers. "(Palencia) is clever and he can keep the ball and with Juan Pablo make a good combination."
  • Palencia almost singlehandedly jumpstarted the Chivas attack with his addition to the side, but he could do anything about the leaking of goals as Chivas saw two vital points slip away.
  • "For me and for the team it was a result that was good, but it doesn't feel like a positive result. I think that we should've gotten a win as we were winning in the first half. In the second half we didn't function as well as we could have," Palencia said. "They were superior to us in ball possession, but I think things started off well. This is proof that I want to come here and play hard and to play well, to contribute to do good things so the team wins."
  • But for his first game in MLS, Palencia had some issues - not least of which that the Guevara equalizer came in fourth minute of five minutes of injury time.
  • "I didn't like (the refereeing) because of the way the fouls were called and he added five minutes on and I don't think it was that much added," Palencia said. "The league has improved over 10 years and the refereeing also needs to improve along the same lines."