NEW YORK – The importance of matching the Los Angeles Galaxy's size on set pieces is not lost on FC Dallas manager Schellas Hyndman as he prepares his team for the Western Conference Championship match on Sunday at the Home Depot Center (9 p.m. ET, ESPN2).
LA's two goals on dead balls in their 2-1 playoff win over the Seattle Sounders on Sunday further convinced Hyndman to keep 6-foot-4 winger Brek Shea on the field with a ticket to MLS Cup on the line this weekend.
“I think so,” Hyndman told Monday’s ExtraTime Radio about whether he will dispatch Shea as a starter. “He had a couple of miscues to get him out of the starting lineup, but he’s starting to find his way back. We have to continue to give him the confidence.”
LISTEN: HYNDMAN ON EXTRATIME RADIO
Shea started the second leg of the Western Conference semifinal against Real Salt Lake on the left wing, while 5-foot-5 Honduran Marvin Chavez occupied the right wing in place of the suspended Atiba Harris, who stands at 6-foot-2.
“We felt like we needed [Shea] with Atiba out,” Hyndman said. “We had to get Brek on the field for sure [vs. RSL] because of his size and his athleticism. He has a great work ethic and we really felt like we didn’t have enough strong players to handle the aerial game.”
After starting 20 straight matches for FCD, Shea was not in the starting XI for the last six regular-season games following a red card in a home match against the New York Red Bulls. He also came in as a sub in the first leg meeting with RSL at Pizza Hut Park.
Hyndman told ExtraTime Radio that along with Shea, he also expects Harris to make a return to the starting lineup at right wing. The speedy Chávez would prove the odd man out.
“After watching LA play [on Sunday], I think set pieces are a big part of their plan,” Hyndman said. “You may not want to lose a man like Atiba, who scored against LA just recently [on Oct. 24 in a regular-season match] and who can defend those free kicks coming in.”
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