For much of 2010, FC Dallas head coach Schellas Hyndman has had to field a number of different starting lineups. With five starters out and considering his club just played three days ago against New England, it looked like winning on Saturday night at Kansas City was a tall order.
But, like his club has done all year, FCD delivered another result, beating the Wizards 3-1 at CommunityAmerica Ballpark.
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FCD were without injured center backs Ugo Ihemelu (who remains sidelined with a concussion) and George John (out with a hamstring injury). Also out of the first 11 were goalkeeper Kevin Hartman (strained right MCL), captain Daniel Hernandez (pulled left hamstring) and left mid Brek Shea (serving the final game of a two-game suspension).
Their replacements, though, delivered solid performances. Honduran midfielder Marvin Chavez replaced Shea for the second straight game and, in the fourth minute, scored his first MLS goal to give Dallas an early lead.
Versatile Brazilian Jackson Gonçalves, who has played four different positions since coming to FCD in early August, started in place of Hernandez at defensive midfield. Jackson got the secondary assist on FCD’s second goal, scored by Milton Rodríguez in the 12th minute.
Backup goalkeeper Dario Sala ensured Dallas’ win by saving six of seven Kansas City shots.
Overall, the performance of his entire side gave Hyndman much to be happy about.
“We scored early,” the FCD gaffer said. “Our game plan went the way we thought it would. We worked all week on it.”
Saturday night’s win extended FCD's streak to 17 straight matches without a loss, another source of pride for Hyndman.
“It is really quite remarkable,” he said about extending the streak on Saturday. “Part of it is we are playing without five regulars. It is one thing to play without your starting goalkeeper or your captain, but our two center backs didn’t even make the trip. It says a lot about our team and our depth.”
FCD right back Heath Pearce, who started despite being bothered by a sore throat for much of the week, agreed that being without five starters is tough on the club.
“Obviously it’s a difficulty," he said. "There are guys trying to win starting jobs, trying to make the most of it, and they are doing that. We come to an away stadium against a team that is trying to make a late run for the playoffs. All the guys who are rookies, or new in the team, or relatively inexperienced made big plays for us tonight and gave us the win.”
Another player who filled in tonight was second-year center back Kyle Davies. He started in place of John, a spot Jackson has filled for the last few games. But with the Brazilian moving up to central midfield, Hyndman decided on Davies.
“We are doing the best to fill in,” said Davies, who got his first start since March. “We work hard all week to be ready when we are called on. I think we did our job today."