Match Preview: FC Dallas vs Los Angeles Galaxy

FCD and LA meet in huge Western Conference matchup

FC DALLAS vs LA GALAXY
FC DALLAS STADIUM, Frisco, Texas
August 11, 2013 (WEEK 24, MLS Game #220)
8 pm ET | 7 pm CT (ESPN2/Deportes)

Looking to put a halt to a long winless run, FC Dallas play host to the LA Galaxy in a massive match for both clubs in the Western Conference on Sunday evening in Frisco. FCD hasn't scored a goal in the last five games and are winless in nine, after a 3-0 loss at Seattle last weekend. The Galaxy return to league play after a 2-0 loss at Colorado two weeks ago. The teams are separated by a single point in the division, with FC Dallas currently outside the playoff positions.

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REFEREE: Silviu Petrescu. AR1 (bench): Kevin Duliba; AR2 (opposite): Brian Dunn; 4th: Jair Marrufo
MLS Career: 69 games; FC/gm: 27.7; Y/gm: 3.6; R: 8; pens: 10

DISABLED LIST: DAL: Peter Luccin; Ugo Ihemelu (season-ending injury)
SUSPENDED: none
WARNINGS:
SUSPENDED NEXT YELLOW CARD: DAL: Je-Vaughn Watson ... LA: Juninho, Marcelo Sarvas
SUSPENDED AFTER TWO YELLOW CARDS: DAL: Blas Perez, George John, David Ferreira ... LA: A.J. DeLaGarza
INTERNATIONAL ABSENCES: none

READ: Drew Epperley scouts Sunday's opponent, LA Galaxy, in Know Your Enemy

HEAD-TO-HEAD
ALL-TIME (59 meetings): FC Dallas 20 wins (1 shootout), 77 goals... Galaxy 29 wins (1 shootout), 104 goals ... Ties 10
AT DALLAS (28 meetings): FC Dallas 15 wins (0 shootout), 48 goals ... Galaxy 8 wins (0 shootout), 42 goals ... Ties 6

2013 (MLS):
4/13: DAL 1, LA 0 (John 87)
7/7: LA 2, DAL 0 (Sarvas 65; Jimenez 80)

  • The teams are meeting for a third time this season. George John scored the game's only goal on a late header for an FC Dallas home win on April 13, then Marcelo Sarvas and Hector Jimenez scored second-half goals to give the Galaxy a 2-0 home win July 7.
  • The FCD victory in the first meeting snapped a four-game losing streak against the Galaxy, their first win in the series since May 1, 2011.
  • The Galaxy are undefeated in Carson over the last five meetings vs. FC Dallas in league play, dating back to the start of the 2010 season, going 3-0-1 in that time. But FC Dallas claimed the Western Conference Championship in Carson in 2010, a 3-0 victory.
  • Coaches record: Bruce Arena vs. DAL: P23 W12 L8 D3 ... Schellas Hyndman vs. LA: P13 W4 L6 D3

READ: Academy alumni Aaron Guillen wins PDL Championship with Austin Aztex

LAST MEETING

  • The Galaxy finished off the match with two second-half goals. In the 65th minute, Robbie Keane took a long pass from Omar Gonzalez on the left flank, got to the byeline and chipped in a ball that found Marcelo Sarvas running nearly parallel to the goal for the simple finish.
  • The second came with 10 minutes to play. Robbie Rogers, from the byeline to the left of goal, sent the ball into the center of the box where Hector Jimenez slotted home first-time.
  • LA GALAXY (4-4-2): Carlo Cudicini - Sean Franklin, Omar Gonzalez, A.J. DeLaGarza, Todd Dunivant - Hector Jimenez (Colin Clark 81), Marcelo Sarvas (Pablo Mastroeni 88), Juninho (Rafael Garcia 90), Robbie Rogers - Robbie Keane, Gyasi Zardes.
  • FC DALLAS (4-2-3-1): Raul Fernandez - Zach Loyd, Stephen Keel, Matt Hedges, Jair Benitez - Andrew Jacobson (Ramon Nunez 63), Michel - Je-Vaughn Watson (Jackson 46), David Ferreira, Fabian Castillo (Kenny Cooper 74) - Blas Perez.

FC DALLAS
FC Dallas had their winless run stretched to nine matches, suffered a 3-0 defeat by Seattle Sounders FC on Saturday evening at CenturyLink Field. FCD is in sixth place in the Western Conference with 32 points from 22 matches.

LAST MATCH

  • Sounders FC took the lead in front of a buzzing CenturyLink Field crowd in the ninth minute. Mauro Rosales hooked a free kick into the area from the right and Obafemi Martins was left completely unmarked, turning home a snap header from the center of the box.
  • The lead was doubled in the 22nd minute. Brad Evans controlled the ball in the center of the midfield and took a couple dribbles, before lofting a pass over the defense to an on-rushing Eddie Johnson, who made a quick feint to get goalkeeper Raul Fernandez to commit before burying his shot.
  • The home side capped the scoring in second-half stoppage time when Evans converted a penalty after Lamar Neagle was knocked down in the box by FCD midfielder David Ferreira.
  • FC Dallas head coach Schellas Hyndman made three changes to the team that reached a scoreless draw with the MontrÈal Impact at Stade Saputo. Jackson, Fabian Castillo and Blas Perez all came into the team in place of Michel, Kenny Cooper and Eric Hassli.
  • FC DALLAS (4-2-3-1): Raul Fernandez - Zach Loyd (Kellyn Acosta 73), George John, Matt Hedges, Jair Benitez - Andrew Jacobson, Je-Vaughn Watson (Mauro Diaz 46) - Jackson (Kenny Cooper 81), David Ferreira, Fabian Castillo - Blas Perez.

TEAM NEWS

  • FCD has now gone 450 minutes since hitting the back of the net in league play, the ninth-longest streak in MLS history.
  • "I don't think we're in good form. I don't think we created enough opportunities and it seems that we're very content with keeping the ball, but not going anywhere," said FCD head coach Schellas Hyndman.
  • Said defender George John: "Right now we're going through a dry spell. I think you can't point any fingers, just as a team we're not really getting the job done. Defensively we're not getting the job done. It's disappointing."
  • FC Dallas have gone five consecutive league matches without scoring a goal, the first time in club history they've been held without a goal in that many games in a row. They went four complete matches without scoring in 2011. FCD was also held without a goal in a friendly in between vs. England's Stoke City.
  • FC Dallas was kept without a single shot on target for the match in Seattle, their season-low.
  • "I don't think the players have really got the whole grasp of it, but for the coaches, we're very frustrated. We were just talking about that before y'all walked in," Hyndman said. "We need to maybe get away a little bit from some of the things we've been doing in training and put more into our attacking patterns."
  • Following a 1-0 loss to Portland on June 15, FC Dallas was still in first place in the Western Conference. They've taken four of a possible 21 points since, and start the final third of the season outside of the playoff positions by one point.
  • "That's the one game that we have to get maximum points [vs. LA] because that's one of the season games and we have to make it to the playoffs. So we just have to make a push towards that," said Je-Vaughn Watson. "We are still confident because we are in a good spot. We just need to win some games at home and go away on the road and do good at that."
  • Mauro Diaz made his MLS debut, coming on at halftime in place of Je-Vaughn Watson and playing an attacking midfield role.
  • "I think Diaz had nice movement at the top of the box and just put it a little bit wide, but that was probably our only really good chance," said Hyndman.
  • Blas Perez returned to the lineup following a two-match absence while on CONCACAF Gold Cup duty with Panama.

GET MORE FC DALLAS NEWS AT FCDallas.com

LA GALAXY
The LA Galaxy return to action after suffering a loss in their last league match, a 2-0 defeat by the Colorado Rapids on July 27 at Dick's Sporting Goods Park. The Galaxy are in a tie for fourth place in the Western Conference with 33 points from 21 matches.

LAST MATCH

  • Both goals came on either side of halftime. In the 41st minute, Dillon Powers delivered a corner kick for Hendry Thomas to blasted a header home from the center of the penalty box.
  • The Rapids scored their second two minutes into the second half. Edson Buddle flicked a perfect through ball in between Galaxy defenders and right onto the feet of Powers, who coolly slotted past oncoming goalkeeper Carlo Cudicini.
  • Galaxy head coach Bruce Arena made no changes to the team that came back for a 2-1 victory against Vancouver Whitecaps FC at StubHub Center.
  • LA GALAXY (4-4-2): Carlo Cudicini - Sean Franklin, Tommy Meyer, A.J. DeLaGarza, Todd Dunivant - Hector Jimenez (Laurent Courtois 65), Pablo Mastroeni (Michael Stephens 77), Juninho, Marcelo Sarvas - Gyasi Zardes, Jose Villarreal (Jack McBean 65).

TEAM NEWS

  • The Galaxy have lost three consecutive matches away from StubHub Center following the 2-0 defeat in Colorado. They have won their last three matches in Carson.
  • "I think we have to start getting a better mentality of getting points on the road. We have to be a little smarter," said defender Todd Dunivant. "Again, we're not pushing ourselves out of position or anything like that. It's just a mentality we have to get back to of trying to get a point first and foremost."
  • The Galaxy conceded a third goal this season from a corner kick, and have allowed seven goals from deadball situations, tied for second-most in MLS (behind D.C. United, with eight).
  • "They physically manhandled us," Galaxy head coach Bruce Arena. "They won the battles most of the day. It was a really poor goal for us to give up at the end of the first half. It was a big play and, obviously, not a good way to start the second half by letting them create the second goal. Overall, we deserved to get beat."
  • During the layoff from league play, the Galaxy took part in a high-profile friendly tournament, opening with a 3-1 loss to Real Madrid, where the lone goal was scored by Jose Villarreal.
  • That was followed by a 3-1 win against Juventus FC of Italy at Dodger Stadium, where Robbie Keane came off the substitutes' bench at halftime, his first appearance of any sort since July 13 because of a hip flexor injury, and scored a goal and assisted on another.
  • "For me, it was about 45 minutes, getting the fitness in. And trying to be as sharp as I can," said Keane. "For me, the most important game is next Sunday against Dallas. That's the game you have to play in. [This game] came at a good time for me, to be honest with you, because I've been out injured now for [three] weeks."
  • Said Landon Donovan: "I think getting Robbie, myself, Omar [Gonzalez] all back in the mix, having the majority of our starting group together helped a lot. We feel like we're a team that can do really special things when we have our full group together."
  • There was also a major signing, as the Galaxy acquired Panamanian international goalkeeper Jaime Penedo.
  • "He's a good goalkeeper," Arena said. "I followed him for years in Panama. He's got a lot of experience, he probably has between 85 and 90 international caps. We think he'll strengthen the goal position for us."
  • On Wednesday, the Galaxy fell 2-0 to AC Milan in the third-place match of the International Champions Cup at Sun Life Stadium in Miami. Mario Balotelli and Mbaye Niang scored for AC Milan.