Fire vs FC Dallas Preview

FC Dallas’ Schellas Hyndman has struggled with disappointment and frustration over his team’s lack of finishing and discipline.  The Hoops have played 6 of their first 9 games of the season at Pizza Hut Park but have managed to come away with only 11 points and a 2-2-5 record.  Dallas is 0-2-1 on the road with the only points coming from a 1-1 draw in Philadelphia. 


They managed to create chances against Los Angeles last week but were still held scoreless in a 1-0 loss at home.  Defensively they have been fairly solid with Kevin Hartman replacing Dario Sala as the starter in goal.  The back line features George John and Ugo Ihemelu as the center backs.  Rookie Zach Loyd has started the majority of the time on the ride side while Jair Benitez has filled in on the left when Heath Pearce is away on National Team duty.  Pearce, who should be available after not making the World Cup cut, has also played some midfield during the first nine games. 

Hyndman has used the flexible 4-5-1 formation that has become popular in MLS this season with Brazilian David Ferreira acting as a withdrawn forward and central playmaker.  Ferreira had a huge second half of 2009 fueling Dallas‘ late resurgence but he has yet to find that same form in 2010.  Diminutive Dax McCarty and Daniel Hernandez fill out the central midfield with McCarty serving as more of a supporting attacker.  Talented young attacker Brek Shea starts on the left side.  Shea has thankfully ditched the heinous hairdo that he sported through most of 2009.  Atiba Harris has started every game on the right side but Hyndman has experimented with Harris up front and Jeff Cunningham at rid might during training this week. 


Cunningham leads all Dallas scorers with four goals although three of them have come from the penalty spot.  Cunningham has been pulled from each of Dallas‘ last two matches in the 63rd minute.  There seems to be some underlying issues between Hyndman and Cunningham as the coach has seen fit to point out his disappointment with the team’s finishing after subbing the forward. 


Eric Avila, Marvin Chavez, Jason Yeisley, and Anthony Wallace are the main substitutes on the bench with rookie Bryan Leyva beginning to earn time with his debut against Los Angeles last week. 

From the Fire’s end, Carlos De Los Cobos has hinted at a return to the 4-4-2 formation featuring both Collins John and Brian McBride in the starting eleven.  De Los Cobos has also indicated that the four man midfield will consist of Patrick Nyarko and Baggio Husidic.  The other two starting spots will come down to either Justin Mapp or Mike Banner on the left side and a choice between Logan Pause and Marco Pappa to complete the eleven.  Banner is listed on the injury report but did train on Wednesday.  De Los Cobos said that Banner will play if he is healthy.  The Fire coach has decisions to make with regard to defensive responsibilities if the central midfield pair consists of Husidic and Pappa.  For this reason I would expect that Pause gets the nod over Pappa.


Dasan Robinson will likely return to the right back spot since Tim Ward will be out for several more weeks.  Pause played right back against Legia last Saturday so it’s possible that De Los Cobos could continue to explore this option as well. 


This game is the first of three consecutive MLS home games for the Fire.  The next two are winnable matches against Philadelphia and Colorado.  It’s time for the Fire to start making a move in the Eastern Conference by capitalizing on home games against struggling teams.  A failure to gaining maximum points tonight will certainly raise more questions for De Los Cobos and Frank Klopas.


Prediction : Fire 2 FC Dallas 1 – This game is important for obvious reasons but it’s also necessary to regain some respect against a Dallas side that has captured the Brimstone Cup every year since 2002. 



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  • 2-2, more changes, again different line up.

  • I find it hard to understand why Banner is starting over Mapp. One point would be a bad result.

  • In reply to cesba:

    Wow!!! why Banner?? Banner is who he is...bench warmer. Mapp is the 3rd highest paid player on the team, he should start every game unless he is too ouchy. In soccer, you can't tinker the lineup week in and week out (see 2009 New York Red Bulls).

  • In reply to cesba:

    Actually I'm not sure why either one should start over Pappa in a 4-4-2.

  • In reply to cesba:

    On side note. Baldomero Toledo is the referee tonight. He's probably one the better MLS refs. But then again that's like being one of the prettiest girls in Wisconsin.

  • In reply to cesba:

    I think 1-0 Fire. Nyarko gets the shot. I'd like to see Collins John play. I think that the US should make Brian McBride an honorary member of the World Cup squad and send him to South Africa with the team. Ditto for Davies. The guys mean a lot to the squad and it would be good if they were with the guys.

  • In reply to cesba:

    I have held back until watching another disappointing performance from the Chicago Fire. I am now convinced that Carlos De Los Cobos
    is not the right man for the coaching job and I am just as disappointed with Frank Klopas. They have brought in Deris Umanzor,
    Julio Martinez both of whom have shown very little performance wise. Frank wants to add Greek forward who is from the third division in Belgium what a big joke. Williman Conde has not played
    as good as he can probablly because the Chicago Fire haven't renewed his contract yet. Maybe they are planning on releasing him
    to as they did with Jon Busch to make room for the Greek forward.
    Mr. Hauptman and his staff need to wake up to the fact that the team needs a Midfielder who can hold the ball and dish it off to the forwards.Carlos and Frank are not good for the team and turning
    off the fans by their very poor decisions on and off the field.
    Maybe after the World cup we can get Bob Bradley back.
    Under Carlos and Franks control the Fire will remain mediocure
    and wont grow the fan base. We want an exciting winning team not
    what we have now.

  • Overall record: 37-26-8

    My MLS Picks Week 10:
    FC Dallas over Chicago.
    Columbus over Los Angeles.
    Chivas USA over DC United.
    New England and New York (tie).
    Houston over Philadelphia.
    Real Salt Lake and Kansas City (tie).
    Seattle over Colorado.
    San Jose over Toronto FC.

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