FRISCO, Texas — FC Dallas lost the first battle against Real Salt Lake on Saturday evening at Rio Tinto Stadium, but the war is far from over: The two teams face off once more in the quarterfinals of the Lamar Hunt US Open Cup tournament Tuesday night at Pizza Hut Park.
Saturday night, FC Dallas were without captain Daniel Hernandez for the first time in the 2011 season as he remained in Dallas to nurse his knee as precaution.
The midfielder said his knee was feeling better after Monday’s regeneration session, but will not play Tuesday night. FC Dallas head coach Schellas Hyndman acknowledged how important the do-it-all veteran is to the club.
“Daniel is the glue of our team,” Hyndman said. “I had a difficult time getting instructions onto the field [Saturday night]. Once the players got the instructions, it was already too late.”
Without Hernandez, Real Salt Lake dominated possession, holding the ball more than 60 percent of the game and providing Dallas with very little offensive flow. FCD only created two shots on goal on nine attempts after trying 52 in their previous three games combined.
Sanchez Wins Under-17 World Cup
While FC Dallas were returning from Utah on Sunday afternoon, 17-year-old goalkeeper Richard Sanchez had reason to celebrate.
Sanchez and his Mexico side won the 2011 U-17 World Cup, defeating Uruguay 2-0 in front of a packed house at Estadio Azteca in Mexico City.
The young netminder manned the goal for every minute of Mexico’s World Cup run and kept two clean sheets for the tournament. He also had a timely penalty kick save against the Netherlands in group play that propelled El Tri to the elimination phase.
“We are very happy for Richard,” said Hyndman. “There were what, 100,000 people in the stands? That’s incredible and Richard is a great, young player for FC Dallas.”
Shea Receives All-Star Nod
Brek Shea was the lone FC Dallas name in the All-Star First XI, which was announced on ESPN during the Portland Timbers and Seattle Sounders FC broadcast on Sunday afternoon.
The young attacker leads the club with eight goals on the season — good for second-best in the league — and has blossomed at the left midfield position, dribbling at defenders and delivering precise crosses, passes and through balls to his teammates.
The humble 21-year-old was diplomatic in his approach and excited about the opportunity to face English Premier League power Manchester United on July 27.
“I have to thank my teammates and the coaching staff,” said Shea. “I grew up watching [Manchester United] and still do watch them. It’s a great honor.”
Added Hyndman: “I think it’s terrific for Brek. He has really had a great first half of the season and to be recognized by the league is wonderful.”
Since entering the league in 2008, the tall, speedy Texan has improved his game every year. After only playing in only two games during his rookie season, he saw the pitch 19 times in 2009, recording four assists.
In 2010, Shea scored his first career goal against the Philadelphia Union en route to five total goals and four assists.
Robert Casner covers FC Dallas for MLSsoccer.com. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org and on Twitter: @FCDallasBeatGuy