FRISCO, Texas — The bottom line after FC Dallas’ 2-2 draw with New York on Thursday night is that FCD now have 41 points and increased their unbeaten streak to 15 games.
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However, there were some big negatives for Schellas Hyndman’s club as Brek Shea was sent off in the first half and FCD also lost starters Kevin Hartman and Daniel Hernandez to injury.
“We came very close to pulling off that upset,” Hyndman said. “A team at that level playing down a man for that long was quite a character test.”
Shea was ejected in the 29th minute after upending veteran Red Bulls’ defender Chris Albright with a hard tackle. The FCD manager had little to no issue with referee Hilario Grajeda reaching into his back pocket to send off his starting left mid.
“Being that close to the field, I think it was probably a red card. It was a two-foot tackle coming in hard,” Hyndman said.
That play came about four minutes after Hernandez, FCD’s captain, had to leave the game with a pulled hamstring.
But the game’s most controversial play came just before halftime. As Hartman had set the ball down in a dead-ball situation in front of goal, Henry strolled over and struck the ball. But he did so with Hartman’s loose foot on the other side, and the impact sent the FCD keeper to the ground.
Hartman was unable to return to begin the second half and, after the game, Hyndman said his veteran ‘keeper had injured an MCL.
“No, I have no idea [how long Hartman will be out]. It was a goofy strike,” the FCD manager said. “He got his knee taped and put a sleeve on. He wanted to go but we didn’t think it would be the right decision.”
Henry was openly regretful about the play, calling it a “pure accident.”
“The ball was there and, like I do sometimes, I just wanted to kick the ball back in the net,” explained the striker. “He put his foot out there and that’s how he got injured.
“I went to apologize at halftime because I didn’t mean to hurt him. I told him I was sorry. He accepted it. It was one of those stupid things.”
At the end of his remarks to the press, Hyndman was asked if an FCD official will be asking the league office to review the play. He offered a quick retort.
“I think somebody from our administration probably will do that. It’s not just the incident. It’s the weight it’s putting on all of us now,” the FCD manager said. “Hartman, I thought, was up for MVP of the league. Now we’re going to have to call in a pool goalkeeper.”
Grajeda also offered his take on the sequence to a pool reporter.
“They both go to kick the ball at the same time. They never connect knees or anything,” he said, adding that he saw no grounds for issuing a second yellow card to Henry. “They just nailed the ball at the same time. That was pretty much it.”
The referee did consult with his linesmen on the play, but they agreed the proper call or non-call was made.
FCD will have nearly a week to regroup, as they return to action on Wednesday against New England in Frisco. They definitely won’t have Shea for that one and it looks like Hartman and Hernandez will also be out of the mix.