FRISCO, Texas — It's only a month into the 2012 MLS season, but FC Dallas have already been faced with injuries, international absences and now a suspension.
Earlier this week, defender Jair Benítez was suspended for one game for swinging an elbow at D.C. United's Danny Cruz last Friday, will miss Thursday's game against New England (8:30 pm ET, watch LIVE online).
"This is definitely going to affect our lineup. For him to get a suspension is going to shift the lineup," FC Dallas head coach Schellas Hyndman told MLSsoccer.com. "We'll make the decision on who's going to start just around game time. We were disappointed. When I looked at the video, it was the right call. It is what it is, and we're going to move forward."
Benítez is a vital part of FC Dallas' backline and his dismissal may cause Hernán Pertúz to have to slide to outside back, meaning George John would likely come in and help command the central defense.
HIGHLIGHTS: DC 4, Dallas 1
Dallas haven't won a match since the season opener and are coming off back-to-back losses, including the 4-1 shellacking at the hands of D.C. United.
The defense has now surrendered six goals in the past two games and has struggled to come together as a unit. Hyndman has been frustrated with the performance of not only his back line, but goalkeeper Kevin Hartman as well.
"The big thing for us is we're going to try to use a goalkeeper this week," Hyndman quipped.
New England are coming off two straight victories, including a huge 3-1 win over the LA Galaxy. If the Revolution can keep the momentum going offensively, it could spell big trouble for FC Dallas.
"I think the last two games they've played, they've showed a lot of character," Hyndman said. "They play with a lot of energy. They had a difficult game against LA with the weather conditions, but they found a way to score three goals against the reigning MLS champions."