When FC Dallas head coach Schellas Hyndman brought on Jeff Cunningham for Dax McCarty at halftime of Saturday’s match against Real Salt Lake, it signaled FCD would be in a 4-4-2 with Cunningham and newcomer Milton Rodriguez up top. It was the first time Hyndman’s club had employed that formation in some time.
The FCD manager’s rationale for the switch from the 4-1-4-1 with Rodriguez as the lone striker was simple.
“The score was 0-0, and we weren’t controlling the second balls in the midfield, and I thought we weren’t getting the best out of our central midfield with Dax [McCarty] having the injury,” Hyndman said.
“I didn’t want to go for the tie at home. I think they were happy with the tie but I wanted to go for the win,” the FCD coach said. “Going in the 4-4-2 gave them another striker to deal with so (Nat) Borchers and (Jamison) Olave now have a man each instead of Olave coming over and helping out (Robbie) Russell when Brek (Shea) got the ball. Olave couldn’t do that in the second half and Brek became pretty dangerous. We were able to keep defenders a little more honest.”
McCarty Could Miss Toronto FC Game
One reason for the lineup change was that McCarty suffered a right quadriceps injury, which forced him out at the half. The injury first surfaced during training last week. McCarty ran, but did not participate in Monday morning practice. His status is uncertain for Saturday’s match with Toronto FC at BMO Field.
“I think his injury is a little bit more than what we thought it was," Hyndman said. "The more he had to sprint and strike a ball [it hurt him]. It’s a quadriceps strain. Those things don’t heal overnight.”
The FCD manager wasn’t about to rule his linking midfielder out for this weekend, at least not yet.
RSL Bottles Up Ferreira
After being the hero of the previous three games for FCD, central attacking midfielder David Ferreira had a relatively quiet evening against Real Salt Lake. He did deliver a nice corner kick after 10 minutes which Rodriguez headed off the crossbar, but all in all, RSL did a good job of bottling up the Colombian playmaker.
“That’s why they [RSL] went with a 4-5-1," Hyndman said. "I think he’s going to get a lot of attention the rest of the year. He’s playing like one of the best players in the league.”