FC Dallas kick off a three-game homestand when they return to Pizza Hut Park to face Toronto FC on Wednesday evening (8:00 p.m. CT, FSSW). FCD are unbeaten in their last three games, coming away from D.C. United last weekend with a point in a scoreless draw. Toronto FC won for the first time in league play since the season opener in their last match, a 2-1 home win against the Houston Dynamo.
REFEREE: Yader Reyes. SAR (bench): Chris Strickland; JAR (opposite): Adam Garner; 4th: Allen Chapman
MLS Career: 12 games; FC/gm: 25.9; Y/gm: 3.6; R: 3; pens: 0
INJURY REPORT: FC DALLAS – OUT: DF Edson Edward (R knee ACL tear); MF David Ferreira (R ankle surgery); DF Jair Benitez (L knee strain); FW Maykel Galindo (L foot strain) … TORONTO FC – OUT: MF Elbekay Bouchiba (R knee surgery recovery); FW Alan Gordon (adductor strain); QUESTIONABLE: FW Keith Makubuya (adductor strain); MF Gianluca Zavarise (adductor strain)
INTERNATIONAL ABSENCES: none
WARNINGS: SUSPENDED NEXT YELLOW CARD: TOR: Julian de Guzman. SUSPENDED AFTER TWO YELLOW CARDS: TOR: Dan Gargan
- ALL-TIME (8 meetings): FC Dallas 4 wins, 12 goals … Toronto FC 1 win, 10 goals … Ties: 3
- AT DALLAS (4 meetings): FC Dallas 3 wins, 8 goals … Toronto FC 0 wins, 4 goals … Ties: 1
- RETURN MATCH: 7/20: Toronto FC vs. FC Dallas, 7:00 p.m. CT (TSN)
LAST YEAR (MLS):
- 7/24: TOR 1, DAL 1 (Maicon Santos 61 – Rodriguez 77)
- 9/4: DAL 1, TOR 0 (Cunningham 47)
- Since a 4-0 victory June 17, 2007 in the first meeting ever between the clubs, Toronto FC haven’t defeated FC Dallas. FCD has won four of the seven encounters since, with three draws.
- Toronto FC have never won at Pizza Hut Park. FC Dallas have won three of the four all-time meetings in Frisco (with one draw), including a 1-0 win last year.
- Coaches record: Aron Winter vs. DAL: first game … Schellas Hyndman v TOR: P6 W3 L0 D3
FC Dallas extended their unbeaten streak to three games, reaching a scoreless draw with D.C. United on Saturday evening at RFK Stadium. FCD has 11 points from eight games on the season, sitting in sixth place in the Western Conference.
LAST MATCH (at D.C. United)
- The game's best chance came in the closing stages. A low cross from Josh Wolff found Fred dangerously open in front of the net, but his header couldn't get the best of lunging FCD goalkeeper Kevin Hartman, who steered the shot aside.
- Hartman was credited with three saves in the FC Dallas goal, while Bill Hamid made two saves for United.
- FC Dallas head coach Schellas Hyndman made two changes to the team that got a late goal for a 2-1 win against the LA Galaxy at Pizza Hut Park. Jackson Goncalves and Jair Benitez were out of the side, with Zach Loyd and Milton Rodriguez coming in.
- FC DALLAS (4-1-4-1): Kevin Hartman – Zach Loyd, George John, Ugo Ihemelu, Brek Shea - Daniel Hernandez - Marvin Chavez, Andrew Jacobson, Eric Avila (Ruben Luna 76), Fabian Castillo (Bobby Warshaw 90) - Milton Rodriguez (Eric Alexander 46).
- Since losing 2010 MLS MVP David Ferreira to injury, FC Dallas is unbeaten, coming back for a win against Vancouver, defeating the LA Galaxy, then drawing at D.C. United.
- “We’re disappointed we didn’t get three points,” FCD coach Schellas Hyndman said. “We don’t ever go into any game going for a point. But I think for the effort the guys put on the field, I’m really happy.”
- Already without Jair Benitez to injury, FC Dallas also were without their other fullback, Jackson Goncalves, with a late injury, yet managed to keep a clean sheet.
- It also meant Brek Shea returned to a left back role after moving forward to the left side of midfield for a couple of games. Shea started the season in central defense.
- “We were a makeshift defense, and I think it kind of showed a little bit,” Hyndman said. “We left two starting defenders at home and that obviously hurts us. Brek Shea did a good job playing the left back position, but he helps us so much more as a left midfielder.”
- Goalkeeper Kevin Hartman added to his all-time MLS-leading shutout record, now with 95 over his 15-season career. His save on Fred in the final minutes of the match sealed the point.
- “That was a huge save. That was outstanding. That’s the Kevin Hartman that we all know and remember from last year,” Hyndman said. “I think it was the best scoring chance of the game and he saved us.”
- The game against Toronto FC starts a string of three consecutive games at Pizza Hut Park for FC Dallas, where they have won their last two.
- “We have won three out of four and then this tie – we’re starting to get back into the groove of really not conceding goals and really trying to be difficult to beat,” Hartman said. “I think that that’s something that we really kind of want to make a trademark of the team.”
Toronto FC put an end to their winless streak at seven games, with a 2-1 victory against the Houston Dynamo on Saturday evening at BMO Field. TFC has 10 points from nine games on the season, in a tie for sixth place in the Eastern Conference.
LAST MATCH (vs. Houston)
- Toronto FC took the lead early in the second half. After scooping up an errant clearance, Nick Soolsma cut into the box before being pulled down by Houston's Andre Hainault. Joao Plata put the resulting penalty straight and high, tucking it just below the crossbar to score his first MLS goal.
- Plata appeared to have won a second penalty in the 60th minute when he went down under a challenge from Dynamo goalkeeper Tally Hall. Though referee Jorge Gonzalez pointed to the spot, assistant referee Adam Wienckowski had raised the flag for offside.
- TFC still doubled the lead in the 81st minute. Plata this time played provider, laying the ball behind the Houston back line for Maicon Santos to run onto, and he ripped a low, hard shot past Hall.
- The Dynamo cut the lead in the 87th minute when Je-Vaughn Watson corraled a loose cross and laid it back for Lovel Palmer, who hammered a low drive past Stefan Frei from the top of the box.
- TFC head coach Aron Winter made five changes to the team that lost 3-0 to Seattle Sounders FC at Qwest Field. Out were Dan Gargan, Danleigh Borman, Maicon Santos, Javier Martina and Alan Gordon, and coming in were Richard Eckersley, Mikael Yourassowsky, Tony Tchani, Nick Soolsma and Joao Plata.
- TORONTO FC (4-2-1-3): Stefan Frei - Richard Eckersley, Dicoy Williams, Adrian Cann, Mikael Yourassowsky - Julian de Guzman, Tony Tchani - Jacob Peterson (Matt Gold 76) - Nick Soolsma, Alen Stevanovic (Maicon Santos 75), Joao Plata (Dan Gargan 93+).
- Joao Plata made his first MLS start against Houston – and scored his first MLS goal and added his first assist.
- The 19-year-old Plata was the 49th overall selection in this year’s SuperDraft, invited to the MLS Player Combine after playing for Ecuador’s LDU Quito.
- “Before the game I said that if I scored a goal I was going to dedicate it to (Toronto FC coach Aron Winter) in response to the confidence he’s had with me and the trust,” Plata said through an interpreter.
- Plata had made four substitute appearances in league play for TFC – none longer than 25 minutes – though he did start both Canadian Championship games against FC Edmonton of the NASL.
- “You have to be careful with those players because [Plata] is still young and this is a tough league,” Winter said.
- Plata’s addition to the side also meant Toronto FC scored two goals in a league game for the first time since opening the season with two goals in each of their first two games.
- “This is what the team has actually been missing — a player who can light it up like Plata has done,” midfielder Julian de Guzman said. “He has to keep it up, stay level-headed and continue the same performance at a consistent rate.”
- While Alan Gordon was available through injury, there was another change up top where Javier Martina did not appear in a league game for the first time this season. Maicon Santos, who had started seven of eight league games, came on as a late substitute – though he did score Toronto’s second. Winter said the pair were dropped because he was not happy with their recent play.
- Another addition to the side – Nick Soolsma, making his first start for the club in any competition since the season opener on March 19 – won the penalty that led to the TFC opener and recorded his first MLS assist on the second goal.
- “From my perspective, just to lift my head up and see that I can play [the ball] to Nick [Soolsma] or Plata gives you confidence that we are going to move forward. It brings much more joy for myself and for the entire team to have these kinds of options,” de Guzman said to the National Post.