FRISCO, Texas — FC Dallas lost just four times in the regular season, yet half of those defeats came at the hands of their Western Conference Championship foes, the LA Galaxy (Sunday, 9 pm ET, ESPN2/Deportes).
Perhaps the Texas side is due some good fortune. For the players, though, it's more straightforward than that.
“I want to beat LA in LA,” midfielder Brek Shea said. “That’s all there is to it.”
FCD fell to the Galaxy 1-0 on May 20 at Pizza Hut Park, their lone home loss of the season. In the return match on Oct. 24 at the Home Depot Center, LA prevailed 2-1.
“They beat us twice this year,” captain Daniel Hernandez said of the Galaxy. “We know that but we’re still confident going into this game. We’re 100 percent confident we can go and win this game over in LA."
This season marks the first time since 2007 that FC Dallas have been in the playoffs, and their Western Conference Semifinal victory over RSL was their first postseason win since 1999, when they were the Dallas Burn. The club has never been to the MLS Cup final.
“It’s been tough,” left back Jair Benitez said of the team’s struggles against the Galaxy. “We haven’t been able to beat them this year but we’re going with a different mentality now. This is to go to the championship. We’re going to go over there and hopefully win.”
Benítez will be lining up against one of the best right midfielders in the business in David Beckham, and the Galaxy boast a star-studded lineup that includes Landon Donovan and Golden Boot runner-up Edson Buddle.
Still, that doesn't phase 2010 MLS Coach of the Year Schellas Hyndman.
“We are focused on just performing,” he said. “They don’t care who’s on [the field]. … These guys, they look at Beckham as just another player in the league. They look at [Landon] Donovan as just another player in the league. Edson [Buddle]’s having a fantastic year, but he’s just another player in the league.”
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