Match Preview: FC Dallas at Los Angeles Galaxy

STUBHUB CENTER, Carson, Calif.
July 7, 2013 (WEEK 19, MLS Game #176)

A massive game in the Western Conference is ahead on Sunday evening as the LA Galaxy continue their homestand by playing host to FC Dallas at StubHub Center. The Galaxy gained a valuable three points at midweek, coming back for a 2-1 win against the Columbus Crew. The Galaxy are four points behind FC Dallas, who sit in second in the West after a third consecutive draw, a scoreless result with Chivas USA, also at midweek.


REFEREE: Ricardo Salazar. AR1 (bench): Brian Poeschel; AR2 (opposite): Colin Arblaster; 4th: Alejandro Mariscal
MLS Career: 169 games; FC/gm: 26.9; Y/gm: 3.4; R: 50; pens: 58

DISABLED LIST: DAL: Peter Luccin; Ugo Ihemelu (season-ending injury)

SUSPENDED AFTER TWO YELLOW CARDS: LA: Marcelo Sarvas ; DAL: Je-Vaughn Watson

READ: Know Your Enemy, scouting LA Galaxy with Drew Epperley

ALL-TIME (58 meetings): Galaxy 28 wins (1 shootout), 102 goals; FC Dallas 20 wins (1 shootout), 77 goals; Ties 10
AT LA (29 meetings): Galaxy 20 wins (1 shootout), 60 goals ; FC Dallas 5 wins (1 shootout), 29 goals ; Ties 4
FUTURE MATCH: 8/11: FC Dallas vs. LA Galaxy, 7 p.m. ET (ESPN2)

  • The teams are meeting for the second time this season. George John's 87th-minute goal gave FC Dallas a 1-0 win in Frisco on April 13.
  • The FCD victory snapped a four-game losing streak against the Galaxy, their first win in the series since May 1, 2011.
  • The Galaxy are undefeated at The Home Depot Center over the last four meetings vs. FC Dallas in league play, dating back to the start of the 2010 season, going 3-0-1 in that time. But FC Dallas claimed the Western Conference Championship in Carson in 2010, a 3-0 victory.
  • Coaches record: Bruce Arena vs. DAL: P22 W11 L8 D3 ; Schellas Hyndman vs. LA: P12 W4 L5 D3

4/13: DAL 1, LA 0 (John 87)

  • The match took a decisive turn in the 60th minute when LA defender Leonardo was shown red for taking down FC Dallas forward Blas PÈrez in the box. On the ensuing penalty, Galaxy goalkeeper Carlo Cudicini guessed correctly and saved Kenny Cooper's attempt from the spot.
  • The game's lone goal then came in the in the 87th minute. Eric Hassli's header from a corner kick hit the crossbar, but defender George John raced in to nod the rebound into the goal from almost on the goal line for the match-winner.
  • FC DALLAS (4-2-3-1): Raul Fernandez - Zach Loyd, George John, Matt Hedges, Jair Benitez - Andrew Jacobson, Michel - Jackson (Fabian Castillo 85), David Ferreira, Kenny Cooper (Eric Hassli 66) - Blas Perez.
  • LA GALAXY (4-4-2): Carlo Cudicini - A.J. DeLaGarza, Omar Gonzalez, Leonardo (sent off 60), Greg Cochrane - Mike Magee, Marcelo Sarvas (Rafael Garcia 80), Juninho, Colin Clark (Jose Villarreal 56) - Landon Donovan, Jack McBean (Tommy Meyer 64).


FC Dallas played to a third consecutive draw, reaching a scoreless result with Chivas USA on Thursday evening in Frisco. FCD are in second place in the Western Conference with 31 points from 18 matches.


  • The home side held the edge in possession, but failed to create many true chances. Chivas USA goalkeeper Dan Kennedy was called upon to make just one save -- the best chance of the game, in the 86th minute, on a firm Blas Perez header off a Jair Benitez cross.
  • FCD goalkeeper Raul Fernandez made seven saves, saving the points in the 94th minute as Chivas USA's Julio Morales smashed a shot from the top of the box that forced a reaction stop.
  • FC Dallas head coach Schellas Hyndman made three changes to the team that played to a 2-2 draw with Philadelphia Union at PPL Park. Zach Loyd, Stephen Keel and David Ferreira came into the team, in place of Walker Zimmerman, Fabian Castillo and the suspended Je-Vaughn Watson.
  • FC DALLAS (4-2-3-1): Raul Fernandez - Zach Loyd, Stephen Keel, Matt Hedges, Jair Benitez - Andrew Jacobson (Fabian Castillo 73), Michel - Jackson (Eric Hassli 87), David Ferreira, Kenny Cooper (Ramon Nunez 64) - Blas Perez.


  • FC Dallas saw their winless run extended to five matches, but have taken points from four of those, since the start of June.
  • "Defensively, we were happy to get the shutout for the whole team. I think our defense put us under a little bit of pressure at times, maybe taking a little more risks than they needed to," said FCD head coach Schellas Hyndman. "Saying that, I think it was a good team effort from the players. They put everything they had into the game."
  • FC Dallas also extended their home undefeated to 14 league games, the longest in club history, dating back to last Aug. 11. After scoring goals in each of their first 14 MLS games, FCD has now been shut out in two of its last four.
  • "Shots on goal opportunities we didn't get enough of and we didn't put (Chivas goalkeeper Dan) Kennedy into enough situations where we could really test him. The game started to get too wide open and our midfielders weren't allowed to support the attack and we found that we lost the center to midfield," said Hyndman.
  • Stephen Keel made his first start of the season, playing the full match in central defense, his first league appearance since coming on for the final minute in the opening game of the season on March 2.
  • "It was very good, all night. [Matt Hedges] was good about telling me when I had a guy on my shoulder and vice-versa. Having Zach [Loyd] back there helped as well, a very experienced, awesome player. Raul [Fernandez] from the back was very good as well," said Keel. "Overall, communication in the back was very solid. AJ [Andrew Jacobson] and Michel were brilliant so it's something we can build off of."
  • Said Hyndman: "I thought he did very well. I thought he marked his man well, attacked the ball well and kept it very simple."
  • David Ferreira returned to the starting lineup following a one-match absence, again playing as the underneath striker behind Blas Perez.
  • "He's the key player for us and I think that if you ask him, he wasn't very pleased with his personal performance. We've got to do a better job of holding the ball and not always counting on him to be the difference maker," said Hyndman. "I think he's frustrated that we didn't get the win tonight. I think he's probably frustrated that we put so much time and energy focusing on this game for a win and we didn't get it."
  • Raul Fernandez tied his season-high with seven saves, set twice previously, April 27 at Vancouver and June 15 at Portland.
  • "It wasn't the result we were looking for; We'll leave this game with a bitter taste in our mouths as we were counting on three points, especially at home," said Fernandez. " ; We needed to be more defined. Today we played well, but we didn't finish our chances. We had a couple of opportunities to score in the first half, but we were just not able to follow through."
  • Said Hyndman: "Raul made some outstanding saves. He was selected Man of the Match, which was great for him, but it's a sign that showed how much we were under pressure."


The LA Galaxy came back for a dramatic victory, scoring on two late penalty kicks for a 2-1 win against the Columbus Crew on Thursday evening at StubHub Center. The Galaxy are in fourth place in the Western Conference with 27 points from 17 matches.


  • The Crew took the lead in the 78th minute. Federico Higuain put in a free kick from near midfield and Bernardo Anor, just inside the Galaxy box, got his head to it and looped it over Galaxy 'keeper Carlo Cudicini into the upper-right corner.
  • But the Galaxy took the points thanks to two penalty kicks. In the 85th minute, Jose Villarreal tumbled after taking a through ball from Marcelo Sarvas and going down after pushing it past Crew goalkeeper Andy Gruenebaum. Robbie Keane fired the spot kick into the lower-right corner.
  • Then in stoppage time, referee Sorin Stoica again pointed to the spot after Anor was called for pushing down Keane as he awaited a cross from Colin Clark. Keane again finished with a low shot inside the right post for the winner.
  • Galaxy head coach Bruce Arena made one change to the team that lost 3-2 to the San Jose Earthquakes at Stanford Stadium. Hector Jimenez came into the team with Landon Donovan away on national team duty.
  • LA GALAXY (4-4-2): Carlo Cudicini - Sean Franklin, Omar Gonzalez, A.J. DeLaGarza (Jack McBean 83), Todd Dunivant - Hector Jimenez (Jose Villarreal 61), Marcelo Sarvas, Juninho, Robbie Rogers (Colin Clark 78) - Robbie Keane, Gyasi Zardes.


  • While the Galaxy allowed their 14th goal in league play over the final 15 minutes, they were able to score twice in the final quarter-hour to save the victory. It was the second time this season they've gotten a goal in stoppage time to secure a result (also: a 2-2 tie March 30 at Toronto FC).
  • "We've been on the other side of those games a number of times this year," said Galaxy head coach Bruce Arena. "At this point of the season, we should have 11 or 12 victories, and we've shot ourselves in the foot a number of times, so we've got to battle and keep moving forward and try to move up the ladder in a very competitive conference."
  • Said goalkeeper Carlo Cudicini: "I think that football gives and football takes away. We lost a crazy game on Saturday, and we won one in the same way today. Although today was really deserved. I mean, we created so many chances, and, unfortunately, we make it a bit difficult for ourselves."
  • The Galaxy took a season-high 23 attempts at goal against Columbus, putting six on target.
  • "On the night, we played OKóthe second half a little bit better than the first half. We can certainly be accused of not finishing our chances, and putting ourselves in a poor position, which certainly happened," said Arena. " ; There's an awful lot of work to be done. Finishing our chances is one of them."
  • Robbie Keane scored multiple goals in a game for a second time this season, netting a hat trick on May 26 in a 4-0 win vs. Seattle. Keane has seven goals in 10 MLS games this season.
  • "We certainly should have put away a few. We had a lot chances where we went over the bar and stuff like that. I think the most important thing is getting into the spots," said Keane. "If we were not getting any chances I'd be certainly worried but the fact that we are getting them. It's only a matter of time before we start putting them in and we start scoring a lot of goals."
  • Jose Villarreal made his first appearance after missing three games while with the USA for the FIFA U-20 World Cup, coming on for the final half hour. Villarreal partnered Keane up top as Gyasi Zardes moved out wide on the right, and won the penalty leading to the leveler.
  • "[If we were] sitting in this locker room after a defeat [in this game], I think we would have been completely shattered, to be honest with you," Keane said. "Our heads would have been down. But because you do win the game, it's amazing how confidence can get you through a few more games."