Match Preview: New York Red Bulls vs. FC Dallas

RED BULL ARENA, Harrison, N.J.
Sept. 22, 2013 (WEEK 30, MLS Game #279)
4 p.m. CT (UniMás; TWCSN-TX)

A pair of clubs needing victories for different reasons meet in an interconference clash when the New York Red Bulls take on FC Dallas on Sunday afternoon at Red Bull Arena. The Red Bulls come into the weekend alone atop the Eastern Conference, following their 2-0 home win vs. Toronto FC last weekend. FC Dallas find themselves three points out of the final playoff position in the Western Conference, after their 2-1 loss at the Colorado Rapids last Saturday.


REFEREE: Matthew Foerster. AR1 (bench): Adam Wienckowski; AR2 (opposite): Corey Rockwell; 4th: Mark Geiger
MLS Career: 17 games; FC/gm: 23.5; Y/gm: 3.7; R: 2; pens: 5

DISABLED LIST: DAL: Eric Hassli; Ugo Ihemelu (season-ending injury)
SUSPENDED AFTER TWO YELLOW CARDS: NY: Jamison Olave, Tim Cahill, Jonny Steele … DAL: George John, David Ferreira, Blas Perez, Je-Vaughn Watson, Jair Benitez

ALL-TIME (39 meetings): Red Bulls 18 wins (1 shootout), 55 goals… FC Dallas 17 wins (0 shootout), 61 goals… Ties 4
AT NEW YORK (20 meetings): Red Bulls 10 wins (1 shootout), 29 goals… FC Dallas 8 wins (0 shootout), 30 goals… Ties 2

3/11: DAL 2, NY 1 (Loyd 11; Villar 61 – Cooper 78)

  • The teams are meeting for the only time this season in league play.
  • FC Dallas won the lone meeting between the clubs a season ago, a 2-1 win in Frisco, their first victory against the Red Bulls since 2009.
  • FC Dallas have never won at Red Bull Arena. FCD last won at New York on May 24, 2006, a 2-1 win; the Red Bulls are 4-1-0 at home vs. FC Dallas since.
  • Coaches record: Mike Petke v DAL: first game … Schellas Hyndman vs. NY: P8 W2 L4 T2

The New York Red Bulls made it three wins in a row, defeating Toronto FC 2-0 on Saturday evening at Red Bull Arena. The Red Bulls are now in sole possession of first place in the Eastern Conference with 48 points from 29 matches.


  • The Red Bulls netted the opener in the 32nd minute. Receiving a penetrating pass in behind the Toronto defense, Dax McCarty unleashed a low cross to the far post that Thierry Henry tapped in from close range.
  • New York put the game away ten minutes from time. From a restart on the right, the ball ended up on the right side of the goal where Fabian Espindola was able to find the back of the net with an impressive header from what looked like an impossible angle.
  • Red Bulls head coach Mike Petke made one change to the team that rolled to a 4-1 win against the Houston Dynamo at BBVA Compass Stadium. Michael Bustamante came into the midfield for Lloyd Sam.
  • NEW YORK RED BULLS (4-4-2): Luis Robles - Kosuke Kimura, Jamison Olave, Markus Holgersson, David Carney - Eric Alexander, Dax McCarty, Michael Bustamante (Peguy Luyindula 90), Jonny Steele - Thierry Henry, Bradley Wright-Phillips (Fabian Espindola 79).


  • The Red Bulls won their third consecutive match, their longest winning streak of the season since taking four victories in a row April 20-May 8.
  • “I think you’re seeing from everyone, a renewed commitment to try and be better and to try to be more unselfish and play for the team," midfielder Dax McCarty said. “You see Bradley [Wright-Phillips] coming back in the midfield to cover for me when I’m out of position, you see Thierry busting his [butt] when he loses the ball to get back in a good shape and win it. These are things that you need as a team to be successful. It’s not just the defenders that defend, it’s not just the midfield that has to keep the ball. It’s everyone that has to do their job, but once we adopted the mindset that, ‘Listen, this is 11 players all with the same goal to try to win.’”
  • Thierry Henry scored for a second consecutive match, after going seven games without a goal. He has two goals and three assists in the last four games.
  • “I’ve seen an improvement in the overall attitude of this team, the overall understanding, the willingness to jump on board,” said Petke. “Thierry’s goal the last two weeks is a product of everybody behind him and the quality that he has, of course, at the end of it. It’s great to have him scoring two weeks in a row, but I’m equally as pleased as what he’s doing aside from the goals. You saw him tonight, Thierry Henry, sprinting back 40 yards, four or five different times into our half to defend. It’s phenomenal.”
  • Lloyd Sam was unable to feature after starting the previous two matches, after failing a fitness test on a groin issue the day before the match.
  • “I don’t think there was that much of a lack of wing play. I think that they did a good job a lot of times getting in a block on midfield or behind. It was difficult for us, we weren’t playing the ball fast enough,” Petke said. “And when we did, when we were patient, when we went outside, got it back then went inside as the first goal happened, we were able to dissect them a little bit. But I think our ball movement was very slow today.”
  • After three substitute appearances, Michael Bustamante made his first MLS start, playing nearly the entire match in the center of midfield, and recorded his first career assist.
  • “The story of the game for me was how Bustamante played,” said Henry. “… I thought at times he played pretty well. Dax had a great awareness on the goal but that first pass that [Bustamante] played was vital, so you have to give him credit for that because I know when you feel like you’re not part of the team because you’re not often in the squad, but great attitude, great performance for me from his part.”
  • There could be good news for Petke as both midfielder Tim Cahill (ankle) and fullback Brandon Barklage (gluteus) could be available for selection.
  • “[Cahill] seems to be doing very well,” said Petke. “As you saw, he was on the bench this past Saturday. We didn’t want to use him unless we absolutely had to. We have another week ahead of us that he can keep rehabbing and be integrated into the team. Without making predictions, it’s looking good, it’s looking good that this will be a big week for him and we could possibly see him back in action. … Brandon Barklage, I believe, is back in the mix, considering that the last couple of days that we’ve had off, he’s done what he should be doing with the medical staff.”

FC Dallas saw their three-game undefeated streak come to an end, the Colorado Rapids coming back for a 2-1 win on Saturday evening at Dick’s Sporting Goods Park. FCD is in sixth place in the Western Conference with 40 points from 28 matches.


  • FC Dallas took the lead in the 51st minute. Jair Benitez took a pass along the left wing and crossed it across goal for David Ferreira, who slid in front of the net to turn home the close-range finish.
  • But the Rapids responded quickly. In the 59th minute, two Dallas defenders tried to head away Chris Klute’s cross into the box, but the ball popped right to Vicente Sanchez on the left side of the penalty box, and the Uruguayan brilliantly volleyed home the equalizer.
  • The winner came six minutes later, again through Sanchez's efforts. He dribbled around a defender and delivered a cross in front of goal that FCD defender Hedges accidentally turned into his own net ahead of charging Colorado striker Gabriel Torres.
  • FC Dallas head coach Schellas Hyndman made one change to the team that hit late for a 3-1 win against Vancouver Whitecaps FC in Frisco. Jair Benitez came in at left back for Michel.
  • FC DALLAS (4-2-3-1): Raul Fernandez - Kellyn Acosta, Matt Hedges, George John, Jair Benitez - Andrew Jacobson, Erick (Kenny Cooper 82) - Jackson (Blas Perez 46), David Ferreira, Je-Vaughn Watson (Mauro Diaz 65) - Fabian Castillo.


  • FC Dallas saw their undefeated run come to an end after three games in the loss at Colorado, also their fourth road loss in their last six matches away from Toyota Stadium.
  • “People are in the crunch for the playoffs. Points are very important. Colorado has been playing very well. They've been getting some good results and we knew we had our hands full,” said FCD head coach Schellas Hyndman. “As I said to the boys. Our goal these last eight games was to win four. If we keep playing like this, we'll be OK. What we need to do now is just keep our heads up and keep fighting.”
  • Said midfielder Je-Vaughn Watson “We have six games remaining and we're playing some really good soccer right now. I guess we're back on track. We're creating the chance so we can win any game at any time. We just have to keep on digging because at the end of the season, all of the teams are fighting for points. I know we are going to make it to the playoffs.”
  • David Ferreira scored his second goal in the last four matches, after going more than five months between scoring goals.
  • Fabian Castillo set up another goal, his fifth assist over the last five games, a stretch in which FC Dallas has scored 10 goals.
  • “I think Fabian’s playing probably the best soccer of his life,” said Hyndman. “One thing you deal with in young players is inconsistency and that’s what we’ve been going through. We’ve seen some wonderful moments from him and then some ugly moments and I think what you’re starting to see now is that those wonderful moments are happening more often and continuing.”
  • Returning to the starting lineup after a one-match absence, Jair Benitez contributed his first assist of the season. He has recorded at least one assist in each of his five MLS seasons.
  • “A big part of it is injuries. Every team has them. I think this is probably one of the strongest bench we've had all year. I think a big part of it is the depth and the guys are really focusing on what we need to do,” said Hyndman. “Again, I can't give our guys enough credit for going into a difficult environment, playing a good team, and taking it down to the last kick of the ball.”