Match Preview: FC Dallas at DC United

FCD takes on defensively stout DC United team at RFK

D.C. UNITED vs FC DALLAS
RFK MEMORIAL STADIUM, Washington, D.C.
April 26, 2013 (WEEK 8, MLS Game #66)
7 p.m. ET (TWCSN-TX)

D.C. United return home to put their undefeated run on the line with a major test, as FC Dallas, holders of the league’s best overall record, come to RFK Stadium on Saturday evening. United extended their unbeaten streak to four games last time out, despite being hauled back into a 1-1 draw at the Columbus Crew. FCD returned to its winning ways off their only loss of the season, coming back for a 2-1 home win against Toronto FC last Saturday.

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REFEREE: Fotis Bazakos. AR1 (bench): Adam Garner; AR2 (opposite): Paul Scott; 4th: Hilario Grajeda
MLS Career: 24 games; FC/gm: 25.7; Y/gm: 3.5; R: 4; pens: 7

SUSPENDED: none
WARNINGS:
SUSPENDED NEXT YELLOW CARD: none
SUSPENDED AFTER TWO YELLOW CARDS: none

MLSsoccer.com Scouting Report

DISABLED LIST: none
INTERNATIONAL ABSENCES: none

HEAD-TO-HEAD
ALL-TIME (40 meetings): United 14 wins (0 shootout), 70 goals … FC Dallas 18 wins (4 shootout), 67 goals … Ties 8
AT RFK STADIUM (18 meetings): United 8 wins (0 shootout), 43 goals … FC Dallas 5 wins (2 shootout), 28 goals … Ties 5

Watch Saturday's game at our Budweiser Party at the Pubs at The Allen Wickers

LAST YEAR (MLS):
5/11: DAL 2, DC 1: (Jackson 11; Watson 77 – De Rosario 43)

  • This is the only league meeting between the teams this season.
  • FC Dallas took a 2-1 win last May 11 in Frisco in the only meeting between the teams, their first defeat of D.C. United since Aug. 14, 2010, when they won 3-1 at RFK Stadium.
  • D.C. United last won in Frisco on Sept. 1, 2007, a 4-0 victory. FC Dallas have won three of their five home meetings since, with two draws.
  • Coaches record: Ben Olsen vs. DAL: P5 W1 L2 D2 … Oscar Pareja vs. DC: P2 W0 L1 D1

D.C. UNITED

D.C. United had their winning streak snapped but still extended their undefeated run, the Columbus Crew coming back for a late 1-1 draw on Saturday evening at Crew Stadium. United are in a tie for fifth place in the Eastern Conference with eight points from six games.

LAST MATCH

  • United took the lead against the run of play in the 31st minute, when Nick DeLeon took off on a breakaway behind the Crew midfield. DeLeon found a streaking Fabian Espindola to his left, who fired a high shot past Steve Clark in the Crew goal.
  • The Crew were a man down in the 81st minute when Bernardo Anor was sent off by referee Juan Guzman with a straight red card after a rash two-footed challenge on United midfielder Perry Kitchen.
  • But it was the home side which snatched another dramatic late-game goal as Crew midfielder Hector Jimenez beat Andrew Dykstra with a curling shot from just outside the area on the left in the 90th minute.
  • United head coach Ben Olsen made no changes to the team that took a 1-0 win against the New York Red Bulls at RFK Stadium.
  • D.C. UNITED (4-3-1-2): Andrew Dykstra - Sean Franklin, Jeff Parke, Bobby Boswell, Cristian Fernandez - Nick DeLeon (Alex Caskey 85), Perry Kitchen, Chris Rolfe (Lewis Neal 57) - Davy Arnaud - Fabian Espindola, Eddie Johnson (Conor Doyle 76).

TEAM NEWS

  • While United saw their two-game winning run come to an end with the late equalizer while a man up, they are still undefeated in three consecutive games, the club’s longest unbeaten run since ending the 2012 season with a 5-0-2 mark.
  • “This is a good measuring stick for us because of how recent the game was against them. I thought tactically we were very good, I thought the guys did everything we asked them to do and I think we’re frustrated,” said United head coach Ben Olsen. “This is a team that has been as good as any in the league and we came in here and I thought we had a good game plan but at the end it still hurts.”
  • United saw their shutout streak come to an end after 278 minutes with the late Crew equalizer, the third-longest this season in MLS.
  • “We pride ourselves on keeping zeros. We’ve done it the last two weeks and I thought this was going to be more of the same. I think we got a little disconnected,” said United center back Bobby Boswell. “… It was a piece of brilliant play from them. We’ll look at it from an analytical point and say what could we have done when we have the ball going forward to make sure it doesn’t come right back down our throats.”
  • Fabian Espindola scored his second goal of the season, his first since March 29 when he netted United’s first goal of the campaign.
  • “He had a great goal. Whether it’s him or somebody else, we have to do better with finishing teams off but Fabi is a special player,” said Olsen. “He is going to continue to make special plays for this team were still figuring him out and his teammates are still figuring him out but I am extremely happy we have him and once again he proved to be the game changer.”
  • Nick DeLeon recorded his second assist of the season, also his first since March 29 when he set up Espindola’s goal vs. Chicago.
  • Andrew Dykstra remained undefeated in goal for United, making a third consecutive start since taking over the No. 1 job from Bill Hamid for the New England game on April 5. He saw his shutout streak come to an end after 270 minutes ñ the longest for a goalkeeper in MLS this season.

FC DALLAS

FC Dallas rebounded from their first defeat of 2014, getting a late winner for a 2-1 defeat of Toronto FC on Saturday evening at Toyota Stadium. FC Dallas sit atop the Western Conference with 16 points from seven games.

LAST MATCH

  • TFC took the lead in the 21st minute. Running onto a pass from Jackson, Issey Nakajima-Farran fired a shot that was parried by FCD 'keeper Chris Seitz – except right back at Nakajima-Farran, and he volleyed the rebound to the back of the net.
  • FCD pulled level in the 32nd minute as center back Matt Hedges beat his marker at the near post and headed home off a corner kick by Michel.
  • But the home side grabbed yet another late winner. Defender Stephen Keel headed down a long ball from Michel in the penalty area, and Blas Perez pounced on the loose ball to stab home for the full three points for his team.
  • FCD head coach Oscar Pareja made one change to the team that fell 3-2 to Seattle Sounders FC at Toyota Stadium. Kellyn Acosta came back into the back four for Zach Loyd.
  • FC DALLAS (4-2-3-1): Chris Seitz - Kellyn Acosta, Matt Hedges, Stephen Keel, Jair Benitez - Hendry Thomas, Michel (Adam Moffat 90) - Je-Vaughn Watson, Mauro Diaz (Andrew Jacobson 90), Fabian Castillo - David Texeira (Blas Perez 70).

TEAM NEWS

  • FC Dallas scored multiple goals in a game for the sixth time in seven games this season, and lead MLS with 17 goals scored and 2.43 goals per game.
  • The opening FCD goal was their first this season from a corner kick, but they have already scored seven from set-piece opportunities. That is by far the most in MLS this season; FC Dallas led MLS with 16 goals from dead-ball situations a season ago.
  • “The team continued that pressure this week,” said FC Dallas head coach Oscar Pareja. “The result was a lot of set pieces, corner kicks, fouls and crosses. I want to highlight that it happened against Seattle last week, we had five corners in the first five minutes. But we didn’t come away with points. The guys look more mature just a week after losing.”
  • FC Dallas had 16 corner kicks for the match, a club record, and tied for the fifth-most for a single team in a single game in MLS history.
  • “The service from Mauro [Diaz] and Michel is world-class,” said FC Dallas defender Stephen Keel. “You see the quality we have going forward, so teams are going to sit back. It is a 90-minute game, I think we’ve shown that given our quality we can score. We stay patient and get bury our chances when we get them.”
  • Matt Hedges scored his second goal of the season, both on headers from set pieces, his first coming on March 15. Hedges also added his first career assist on the second FCD goal. He has eight career goals in three MLS seasons.
  • Blas Perez made his second substitute appearance in the last three matches, after starting the first four matches, and scored his first goal since March 29 vs. Portland, his last first XI appearance.
  • “I can’t stress enough how important (Blas Perez) is for this team. The rest that he had during the last couple of weeks was just what he needed. He trained very well this week and today we knew that he was going to come in (and play well) because he’s experienced,” said Pareja. “I’m very proud and happy for him. He helped us a lot. He can hold the ball for us and he’s experienced.”
  • FC Dallas won their fourth game out of five this season at Toyota Stadium. The trip to D.C. United marks the first of three road games out of the next four for FCD.
  • “It will be challenging but playing at home is not easy,” Pareja said. “Playing away is a different challenge but we’ve already gone to Kansas City, a very hard atmosphere in a difficult game against the champions of MLS. Then we won against Houston, a club that is very strong in their own building. We got good results there and that is the mentality that we have.”