TORONTO – Perhaps it’s the sign of a confident team, but FC Dallas manager Schellas Hyndman does not withhold details of his game plan.
Ahead of last week’s victorious Western Conference showdown against the LA Galaxy, the FCD head coach spoke openly about the two keys to that match: defending set pieces and David Beckham’s diagonal cross field passes.
Hyndman was equally forthright with the secret to defeating the Colorado Rapids on Sunday night at MLS Cup 2010 in Toronto (8:30 p.m. ET; ESPN, Galavisión, TSN2): stopping the quick through-pass to Omar Cummings.
“What they’re very good with Omar is that they win the ball in the midfield and that’s their first pass – to Omar,” Hyndman said. “And they know he’s going.”
Both Rapids goals against the Columbus Crew in the opening round of the playoffs came off Cummings running down the right flank and then crossing into the center of the penalty area.
“They have a remarkable chemistry between their midfield and their forwards,” Hyndman said. “I call it action-reaction. … The action is Omar running and the pass is the reaction to him.”
The back four, and specifically central defenders George John and Ugo Ihemelu, will be charged with tracking Cummings and ensuring that the Jamaican does not escape on these sprints.
“Even when we may have the ball, we have to have our eyes on him,” Hyndman said. “We have to be close enough that any second we lose the ball, he’ll be on a run.”
It was snowing early Sunday morning in Toronto. Regardless of their game plan, Dallas are hoping that the weather does not prove to be a factor.
“The conditions, if they’re bad, will probably hurt us more because we’re not used to the cold and to the rain and to the slick ground,” Hyndman said. “When you get into a championship game you don’t want weather to ever be in a conversation or an excuse.”