FC Dallas had closed practice on Tuesday in an attempt to spring a tactical surprise on Toronto FC Wednesday night.
But when Fabián Castillo told the world about FCD’s switch to a 4-4-2 formation, manager Schellas Hyndman had to change plans. The coach explains how Castillo's comments forced him to change his strategy during the 1-0 victory over TFC, which came on a solitary penalty kick.
FCD captain Daniel Hernandez scored the PK, his first spot kick since his college days at SMU. But TFC manager Aron Winter was livid at the referee’s penalty kick decision in the match, saying FCD’s George John slipped in the box because he wasn’t wearing the right shoes. But Winter has other matters to deal with today. This morning Nana Attakora’s agent is claiming the club is freezing out the defender on a contract disagreement. He also says Attakora is on the trading block.
They’re staying busy in Dallas, with a press conference announcing a player signing set for 1:30 pm ET today.
A 1-1 tie on the road at Philadelphia? It’d be a great result for some but not for the LA Galaxy, who also claim they had a penalty kick claim denied by the referee.
Goal-scorer Danny Mwanga and the Union, who have been struggling offensively this season, hope that the come-from-behind result will serve as a spark. Mwanga was one of three attack-minded subs for Philadelphia as they threw “the kitchen sink” at LA.
In addition to Galaxy coach Bruce Arena, San Jose’s Frank Yallop is another disappointed MLS manager this morning. His team held a 1-0 lead on the road until stoppage time, before Vancouver equalized through Davide Chiumiento. Much like Arena, Yallop said it would have been critical to get a second goal.
The Whitecaps have not won since opening day and manager Teitur Thordarson admits, “We’re definitely struggling a bit energy-wise.”
After dropping a 1-0 exhibition result against the Impact in Montreal on Wednesday night, New York Red Bulls manager Hans Backe said he expected the match to go the home team’s way: “Nine out of 10 times when you play friendlies it’s very, very even and you have one hungry team.” (VIDEO)
Although he praised Montreal for their performance, Thierry Henry admits he wasn’t prepared for the match. He says he hadn’t touched a ball since the last minute of the match against LA last Saturday.
There are reports from Salt Lake City this morning indicating that the league has already come to a decision on the Marcos Mondaini suspension for the tackle that left Real Salt Lake’s Javier Morales with a broken leg. Official confirmation is expected today.
One RSL player recounted what it was like in the stands for Morales’ wife and four-year-old son when the incident occurred on the field.
There is hope for Real Salt Lake fans, who may still be bummed out at the loss of their playmaker for the next several months. The club has also fared well without the Argentine. Check out the complete log of matches.
The Houston Dynamo will also need to cope with a loss of a player as they get set to lose one of their best defenders thus far this season. He’s been so good, his country is assured to call on him during the summer.
The team that earns the best results in matches involving the Seattle Sounders, Portland Timbers and Vancouver Whitecaps this year will win the Cascadia Cup, which currently sits in a fan’s house in Portland.
It promises to be a busy summer for LIVESTRONG Sporting Park. Sporting Kansas City’s schedule is back loaded with home matches, there is the US national team in the Gold Cup doubleheader and now a major concert in August.
There is one high-profile Spanish player who won’t be making a visit to LIVESTRONG this year as he declares he is staying in Europe.
Another addition to the Thursday agenda: don’t miss the debut of the Castrol Index on MLSsoccer.com, providing an objective rating system which doesn’t rely on goals and assists.
Speaking of top performers, American Clint Dempsey is reportedly in the crosshairs of a Qatari group which is interested in taking over French club Paris St. Germain.
There’s also some Thursday afternoon action on the international scene, including a match featuring an American. Ex-RSL striker Robbie Findley and Nottingham Forest host Swansea in the first leg semifinal match-up of the promotion playoff for the final spot in the EPL (2:30 pm ET, Fox Soccer Plus).
They’re also at the semifinal stages of the Mexican playoffs and Guadalajara host Pumas UNAM in their first leg at 8 pm ET tonight (Telemundo). The other first leg semi between Cruz Azul and Monarcas Morelia starts at 10 pm ET (Azteca America).
After Uruguayan club Peñarol (2-0) and Brazil’s Santos (1-0) took first-leg leads on Wednesday, the other two quarterfinal first-leg matches of the Copa Libertadores take place tonight beginning at 7 pm ET (Fox Deportes). One of the series includes Mexican club Jaguares de Chiapas.
Lastly, they’re calling it a “dark day in Scottish football” after Celtic manager Neil Lennon is attacked by a pitch invader during the course of a match. Watch it here. (VIDEO)
Despite losing 1-0, trip to Montreal still a success for the Red Bulls
Julian de Guzman says TFC players need to learn what it takes to succeed on road
The billboard that is stoking the rivalry between FC Dallas and the Houston Dynamo
Get the The Kick-Off delivered to you!
Enter your email address below to sign up for The Kick-Off mailing list and get it delivered to your inbox every morning.