Match Preview: Crew vs. FC Dallas
COLUMBUS CREW vs FC DALLAS
COLUMBUS CREW STADIUM, Columbus, Ohio
May 12, 2012 (WEEK 10, MLS Game #92)
7:30 p.m. ET (FS-OH; FS-SW)
Two clubs aiming to put an end to lengthy winless streaks meet Saturday at Crew Stadium when the Columbus Crew play host to FC Dallas. The Crew haven't won in five games, coming off a scoreless draw at the Portland Timbers last weekend. FC Dallas also haven't won in their last five, coming off a 2-0 home loss to Seattle Sounders FC at midweek.
REFEREE: Baldomero Toledo. SAR (bench): Corey Parker; JAR (opposite): Jason Cullum; 4th: Matthew Foerster
MLS Career: 132 games; FC/gm: 24.9; Y/gm: 3.5; R: 47; pens: 49
- COLUMBUS CREW -- OUT: FW Ben Speas (sports hernia rehab); DF Rich Balchan (sports hernia rehab); FW Tommy Heinemann (L knee surgery); DF Julius James (illness); GK William Hesmer (R hip surgery); FW Aaron Schoenfeld (R plantar fascia rupture); DOUBTFUL: FW Olman Vargas (L hamstring contusion); DF Chad Marshall (concussion symptoms); QUESTIONABLE: MF Danny O'Rourke (L ankle sprain); MF Dilly Duka (L hamstring strain); DF Carlos Mendes (R hamstring strain)
- FC DALLAS - OUT: MF David Ferreira (R foot surgery); MF Ricardo Villar (R foot strain); MF Andrew Wiedeman (sports hernia repair); MF Carlos Rodriguez (L elbow dislocation); MF Bobby Warshaw (R foot fracture); DF Ugo Ihemelu (concussion symptoms); QUESTIONABLE: MF Brek Shea (L foot turf toe)
INTERNATIONAL ABSENCES: none
- SUSPENDED NEXT YELLOW CARD: none
- SUSPENDED AFTER TWO YELLOW CARDS: DAL: Jair Benitez, Daniel Hernandez
ALL-TIME (40 meetings): Crew 16 wins (1 shootout), 54 goals ... FC Dallas 16 wins (1 shootout), 55 goals ... Ties 8
AT COLUMBUS (21 meetings): Crew 11 wins (1 shootout), 34 goals... FC Dallas 4 wins (1 shootout), 21 goals... Ties 6
LAST YEAR (MLS):
4/1: CLB 2, DAL 0 (Mendoza 54; Gaven 90)
7/2: DAL 2, CLB 0 (Shea 58; Jackson 76)
- This is the only league meeting between the clubs this season.
- FC Dallas last won at Crew Stadium in 2007. The Crew have won three of the four league meetings since at home with FCD, with one draw.
- The Crew haven't won in Frisco on their last three visits, since 2008. FCD has won twice, with one draw.
- Coaches record: Schellas Hyndman vs. CLB: P8 W3 L3 D2 ... Robert Warzycha vs. DAL: P8 W2 L4 D2
The Columbus Crew saw their winless slide lengthened to five games, reaching a scoreless draw with the Portland Timbers on Saturday evening at Jeld-Wen Field. The Crew sit in a tie for eighth place in the Eastern Conference with 8 points from 8 games.
HIGHLIGHTS: Columbus held scoreless in Portland
- Goalkeepers and defense ruled the evening. Columbus goalkeeper Andy Gruenebaum had six saves, including another diving effort off a Darlington Nagbe scorcher in the 83rd minute.
- Timbers ëkeeper Troy Perkins, sporting a face shield after suffering a boot to the nose last weekend against Montreal, was credited with one save.
- Crew head coach Robert Warzycha made three changes to the team that fell 1-0 to Vancouver Whitecaps FC at Crew Stadium. Eric Gehrig came into central defense for Chad Marshall, and Ethan Finlay and Emilio Renteria were an all-change strike pair, in place of Aaron Schoenfeld and Olman Vargas.
- COLUMBUS CREW (4-1-3-2): Andy Gruenebaum - Sebastian Miranda, Josh Williams, Eric Gehrig, Nemanja Vukovic (Shaun Francis 84) - Danny O'Rourke - Tony Tchani, Milovan Mirosevic, Eddie Gaven - Ethan Finlay (Justin Meram 79), Emilio Renteria (Bernardo Anor 79).
- The Crew saw their winless streak extended to five games in their scoreless draw at Portland last weekend.
- "I'm been very happy with the last three games, to be honest with you," Crew head coach Robert Warzycha said. "We were unlucky last week [against Vancouver], but overall, we're playing pretty good, pretty solid and steady games. We're making progress."
- Columbus was able to post its first shutout since March 31 - the second of back-to-back shutout victories - despite defender Chad Marshall being scratched from the lineup following a blow to the head in Friday training.
- "It's frustrating, the amount of injuries we have," goalkeeper Andy Gruenebaum said, "but at the same time it's out of our hands. We have the guys who can play and we have the depth at that position especially."
- The Crew did see their current goalless drought extended to 196 minutes with the scoreless tie.
- "We're going back home, which is nice," defender Eric Gehrig said. "Last two games we haven't liked the results, so to come into a place like this and get a draw, at least shut [Portland] out is something we can build on. Hopefully we can use that for momentum going home next weekend and get some results going our way."
- Gehrig came in for Marshall in central defense, partnering Josh Williams in the heart of the back four for the first time in a league game.
- "We feel very comfortable with each other," Williams said. "It's not only the Reserve League, but every day in practice. We've had two years together."
- The game in Portland started a string of six out of nine games on the road for the Crew. "We have a game against Dallas at home, and then go straight to San Jose and Seattle, so some tough games in front of us, but after a game like (Portland) it's something to build on, especially having so many injuries," said Warzycha.
- The Crew made a vital pickup this week, signing Trinidad & Tobago international midfielder Chris Birchall. Birchall was a part of the MLS Cup champion LA Galaxy side in 2011.
- "He is a quality player who has experience," Warzycha said. "If you want to close the game or score in the end, you need experience on the field. Sometimes with so many young players we don't have it, especially with all the injuries. You can't always put so many things on their shoulders."
FC Dallas had their winless slide extended to five games, going down to a 2-0 defeat by Seattle Sounders FC on Wednesday evening at FC Dallas Stadium. FCD is in sixth place in the Western Conference with 12 points from 10 matches.
- Substitute Fredy Montero scored both goals in a four-minute span midway through the second half. First, in the 68th minute, the Seattle striker received the ball on the right side of the box and skipped between two FC Dallas defenders before blasting a shot near-side past FCD goalkeeper Kevin Hartman.
- Then in the 71st minute, Alex Caskey drove in a low cross from the left that bounced up off a defender and Montero met it with a diving header in front of his marker.
- Sounders FC goalkeeper Bryan Meredith made five saves on the night, his best an acrobatic leap to his right to parry a Scott Sealy header in the 35th minute.
- FC Dallas head coach Schellas Hyndman made three changes to the team that suffered a 2-0 loss to the Colorado Rapids at FC Dallas Stadium. Matt Hedges and Hernan Pertuz came into the back four and James Marcelin started in midfield, in place of Ugo Ihemelu and the suspended Daniel Hernandez and Blas Perez.
- FC DALLAS (4-4-2): Kevin Hartman - Zach Loyd, George John, Matt Hedges, Hernan Pertuz (Ruben Luna 84) - Jackson, Andrew Jacobson, James Marcelin, Jair Benitez - Fabian Castillo, Scott Sealy (Brek Shea 70).
- FC Dallas were shut out for a second consecutive game and for a third time in their five-game winless streak, dating back to April 21.
- "I don't want to emphasize the players that we're missing, but there is a reason why we're missing them," FCD head coach Schellas Hyndman said. "I thought what we had on the field today was very good. I thought the players played hard and determined. They had a very difficult game on Sunday that took a lot of energy out of them."
- FCD hasn't scored a goal from open play since that April 21 win, the 2-1 win vs. Montreal. Both of their goals in the current winless skid have come from the penalty spot.
- "Our backs are against the wall right now and we haven't won a game in several weeks. I think the biggest thing we can do is to come together as a team and continue to believe in one another," said defender Zach Loyd. "For the next game, we'll have Daniel [Hernandez] back, we'll have Blas [Perez] back, and we will have Brek [Shea] back in the lineup, so I think we're going to see a huge improvement with the team. Hopefully going forward we can see better results."
- Rookie Matt Hedges made his first career MLS start, coming into central defense in place of Ugo Ihemelu. Hedges had made four substitute appearances.
- "We were very happy with getting Matt some playing time," Hyndman said. "We drafted him because we never expected George [John] to return, so we almost have to many people in the center back position and not enough people that can score goals. Matt did very well for the first game."
- For the second time this season, Jair Benitez moved forward from his usual left back role to play on the left of midfield. Benitez played as a wide midfielder in the March 25 game vs. Sporting KC.
- "I really think Jair had one of his best games this year," Hyndman said. "We're again playing players out of position. I thought he did a very good job on the left side. He got forward, he served early services, he gave good balls, he took our corner kicks, our free kicks. I thought he was very active."
- After missing out on the Colorado game entirely, Brek Shea came on as a substitute for the final 20 minutes vs. Seattle.
- "Brek is having a little bit of foot trouble but today we did a test with him, and he felt OK," Hyndman said. "He felt like he could help. I thought if I could get him on the field for 15 to 20 minutes, he would be of help. I think we got the best we could out of Brek today."
- Hyndman and Shea are hopeful he will be able to start vs. Columbus. "I think the big thing we are going to find out now is how he feels after playing 20 minutes," Hyndman said. "I thought his movement today was some of the best we've seen since Vancouver."
- "I'm going to do whatever coach asks me," Shea said. "I want to start. I want to play 90 minutes. It depends on what the trainers think is best for my foot for the long run. It just depends."