Match Preview: FC Dallas vs. Chivas USA

FC Dallas set to host resurgent Chivas USA side at Toyota Stadium

FC DALLAS vs CHIVAS USA
TOYOTA STADIUM, Frisco, Texas
March 22, 2013 (WEEK 3, MLS Game #24)
7:30 p.m. CT (TWCSN-TX)

Two teams who have made undefeated starts to the new campaign meet when FC Dallas take on Chivas USA on Saturday evening at Toyota Stadium. FC Dallas hit the road for the first time last weekend, and came away with a dramatic 1-1 draw at Sporting Kansas City. Chivas USA have also started the year with a win and a draw, holding out for a 1-1 result with Vancouver Whitecaps FC last weekend after going a man down.

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REFEREE: Fotis Bazakos. SAR (bench): Corey Rockwell; JAR (opposite): Brian Poeschel; 4th: Jair Marrufo
MLS Career: 23 games; FC/gm: 25.1; Y/gm: 3.3; R: 3; pens: 7

SUSPENDED: CHV: Agustin Pelletieri (through March 23)
DISABLED LIST: none
INTERNATIONAL ABSENCES: none

HEAD-TO-HEAD
ALL-TIME (25 meetings): FC Dallas 11 wins, 33 goals … Chivas USA 6 wins, 28 goals … Ties 8
AT DALLAS (13 meetings): FC Dallas 5 wins, 13 goals … Chivas USA 2 wins, 10 goals … Ties 6
RETURN MATCHES: 5/17: FC Dallas vs. Chivas USA, 7:30 p.m. CT; 8/3: Chivas USA vs. FC Dallas, 7 p.m. PT

LAST YEAR (MLS):
3/10: CHV 3, DAL 1 (Agudelo 68; Minda 76; Casillas 93+ -- Ferreira 57)
7/4: DAL 0, CHV 0
8/21: CHV 1, DAL 3 (de la Fuente 43 – Perez 71; Ferreira 86; Nunez 90)

  • Chivas USA haven’t won in Frisco since 2009, when they defeated FC Dallas 2-0. Since then, FCD is 2-0-3 at home vs. Chivas, with three consecutive draws, including last year’s scoreless result on July 4.
  • The 3-1 Chivas USA win in Carson in the first meeting a season was their first vs. FC Dallas at home since the 2009 season.
  • Coaches record: Wilmer Cabrera vs. DAL: first game … Oscar Pareja vs. CHV: P6 W4 L0 T2

FC DALLAS
FC Dallas maintained their undefeated start to the 2014 season, getting a late equalizer for a 1-1 draw with Sporting Kansas City on Saturday evening at Sporting Park. FC Dallas are one of four teams tied atop the Western Conference with 4 points from 2 games.

  • Sporting took the lead in the 81st minute. After a Chris Seitz save on a Jacob Peterson led to a corner kick, center back Aurelien Collin headed home Benny Feilhaber's offering for the opener.
  • But in the 90th minute, from Michel's free kick six yards outside Sporting's penalty area, Matt Hedges snapped a header of his own past SKC 'keeper Eric Kronberg to force the draw.
  • FCD head coach Oscar Pareja made two changes to the team that claimed a 3-2 win against the Montréal Impact at Toyota Stadium. Stephen Keel came into the back four for Moises Hernandez, and Adam Moffat started in midfield in place of Hendry Thomas.
  • FC DALLAS (4-2-3-1): Chris Seitz - Kellyn Acosta (Andres Escobar 61), Matt Hedges, Stephen Keel, Jair Benitez - Andrew Jacobson, Adam Moffat (Michel 87) - Je-Vaughn Watson, Mauro Diaz (David Texeira 78), Fabian Castillo - Blas Perez.

TEAM NEWS

  • FC Dallas remained undefeated on the season with a crucial road point; a season ago, they were just 2-9-6 on their travels.
  • “Our team showed a lot of character, started to wake up and have some control. We got some options, handled the game and at the end of the first half, we found a game that was both ways. We started to gain more control of the game,” said Pareja. “ … In the second half we looked very organized. As I said, FC Dallas has very good discipline and a lot of shape. We knew that Kansas City was going to throw bodies in and it's a characteristic for them to play aggressive, but I thought we controlled that.”
  • For the second consecutive week, FC Dallas scored a goal from a set piece, getting the equalizer on a free kick. They’ve also scored one goal from the penalty spot.
  • “We are a really dangerous team on free kicks. Any time we get one, we have a chance to score especially with Michel in there. He serves in some great balls and we have a good understanding of where I need to be and where he is going to put the ball. I just need to put it in the net when he does it,” said center back Matt Hedges.
  • It was the seventh goal in three seasons for Hedges; not surprisingly, five of those have come on set pieces, and four of those from headers.
  • The goal was set by Michel, his first of the season. In his first MLS season last year, Michel had eight assists – six of those coming from deadball services.
  • “You're always going to have new coaches and new systems to play, so you just have to be flexible. With Oscar coming in, he's playing a system that a lot of the players really enjoy. I think everybody's really happy about it and it's exciting for us,” said Hedges.
  • After Moises Hernández was given the start in central defense in the season opener, veteran Stephen Keel took his place in central defense alongside Hedges.
  • “You saw us go for attack when we could. Obviously they are a good team and they break out, so we try to clog the middle a bit and try to make them play to their weaknesses,” said goalkeeper Chris Seitz. “For us, we created some chances, probably not as much as we are used to. But, at the end of the day, we finished what we had and now we'll go home happy with it.”

CHIVAS USA
Chivas USA remained undefeated to kick off the 2014 campaign, holding out for a 1-1 draw with Vancouver Whitecaps FC on Sunday afternoon at StubHub Center. Chivas USA sit in a tie atop the Western Conference with 4 points from 2 games.

LAST MATCH

  • Chivas USA went down to 10 men after just 13 minutes when midfielder Agustín Pelletieri drew a red card from referee Ramon Hernandez for a for a late challenge on Pedro Morales in the center circle.
  • But the hosts took the lead on the stroke of halftime when Erick Torres fired a shot on the edge of the box that deflected off Whitecaps captain Jay DeMerit on its way towards goal, catching goalkeeper David Ousted out of position and unable to stop it.
  • Whitecaps FC finally broke through for the equalizer in the 81st minute, when Kekuta Manneh slotted home Darren Mattocks’ cross from the left wing to give them a share of the points.
  • Chivas USA head coach Wilmer Cabrera made no changes to the team that defeated the Chicago Fire 3-2 in the season opener at StubHub Center.
  • CHIVAS USA (4-4-2): Dan Kennedy - Eric Avila, Bobby Burling, Carlos Bocanegra, Tony Lochhead - Mauro Rosales, Agustin Pelletieri (ejected 13), Oswaldo Minda, Leandro Barrera (Matthew Fondy 71) - Thomas McNamara (Daniel Fragoso 80), Erick Torres (Kris Tyrpak 87).

TEAM NEWS

  • Despite playing a man down for 87 minutes, Chivas USA were able to hold out for the draw, now undefeated in two consecutive games to start the season after ending last year with a five-game losing streak.
  • “If we’re going to compete for a playoff spot, if we’re going to get into the playoffs, it’s important that we get results here,” said goalkeeper Dan Kennedy. “With that being said, after these two games we should have a lot of belief going into Dallas that we can get another result. We’re going to go there and we’re going to go there and fight and give it our best and make sure we improve. ... If we can continue to on this path where we get results like [vs. Vancouver], we should have that opportunity.”
  • Erick Torres scored for a second consecutive match in the Vancouver draw. He has scored nine goals in 17 MLS games since coming to the league at midseason a year ago.
  • “There is no doubt that when you score a goal being a man down that is important, it was positive for us. It gave us the possibility to rest, to recover and see what we were going to do for the second half,” said Chivas USA head coach Wilmer Cabrera. “As we saw, they were focused, concentrated during the second half, we just made one mistake and we got punished. That’s part of the game, but we have to continue moving forward.”
  • With the sending off of Pelletieri, rookie Thomas McNamara was shifted into a midfield role, and he lasted to the 87th minute. Torres figured as the lone attacker.
  • “Obviously with 10 men we had to adjust a little bit, he dropped back inside. I thought he did a good job, Minda, Mauro and Leandro did an excellent job in front of us running and chasing and breaking up plays, and really making it difficult for Vancouver to penetrate us and win in our back line, which makes a huge difference and makes us look a little bit better,” said defender Carlos Bocanegra.
  • Mauro Rosales collected an assist for a second consecutive game and now has three assists on the season to lead MLS, all coming on the last three Chivas USA goals. Rosales has 37 assists in 88 career MLS league games.
  • “Mauro coming in, he’s been great for us, with the experience, on the ball and keeping possession. Him and [Eric Avila] have done a good job, Leandro [Barrera] being able to get at people on the wing opens up the game so people can’t just focus on [Erick Torres],” said Bocanegra. “There has been some good additions, as far as talent-wise, and everyone has been working hard, and when everybody works hard and you have athletes in this league, you can compete.”