Time and time again Saturday night, FC Dallas captain Daniel Hernandez found himself talking with referee Michael Kennedy over a foul whistled against his side.
A 3-1 loss to the league-leading LA Galaxy at the Home Depot Center and 34 total fouls called didn’t settle well with the veteran midfielder, as FCD missed an opportunity to climb atop the MLS leaderboard.
“It doesn’t help when you have a ref that listens to [David] Beckham and [Landon] Donovan at the beginning and does what they want,” said a frustrated Hernandez. “That plays a big part of the game.”
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Hernandez’s words came after the Galaxy scored each of their three goals on free kicks and beat the second-place Dallas side to extend their Supporters’ Shield lead to six points.
“I thought it was, unfortunately, a physical game,” acknowledged FC Dallas head coach Schellas Hyndman. “I know we were tired and it kind of showed in the second half.”
Physicality described the game well, as six yellow cards were shown and both teams exchanged unfriendly words for the majority of the 90 minutes.
After a jaw-dropping left-footed blast from Marvin Chávez in the ninth minute — the Honduran’s fourth goal in three games — LA center back Omar Gonzalez (pictured above, far right) answered with an open header off a Beckham free kick in the 32nd that goalkeeper Kevin Hartman misjudged.
Nearly 30 minutes later, with the physicality of the game rising, Chávez was called for a handball after taking contact and falling onto the ball inside his defensive third of the pitch. Beckham’s ensuing free kick bounced out to a waiting Juninho and the young Brazilian pounced on the opportunity with a volley from 18 yards out, putting his side up 2-1.
Mike Magee put the cherry on top for the home side in the 81st after taking a Beckham corner kick and authoritatively heading it into the FC Dallas net.
“I think the last two goals — one they called a foul against us and it shouldn’t have been [one], and then [on] the third goal, they got a corner kick but they should have called a foul for us,” continued Hernandez.
Hyndman, however, gave the Galaxy credit for their performance following a 3-0 embarrassment at JELD-WEN Field on Wednesday night.
“Because they got beat pretty well in Portland, it was a game to show of character,” Hyndman said. “So I think they came back and played very hard and there was a lot of fouls going back and forth and it just turned out a very disruptive game.”
Robert Casner covers FC Dallas for MLSsoccer.com. He can be reached on Twitter: @FCDallasBeatGuy