Categorized | Match Reports

FC Dallas goes from disappointing to frustrating

Posted on 30 March 2009 by pwoodruff

In their first 13 years of existence FC Dallas usually gets off to a quick start only to have a summer swoon in trying to secure the coveted Supporters Shield or even get to the MLS Cup. With this 2-0 loss to Chivas USA at Pizza Hut Park in front of a very small crowd of 6,524, the Hoops appear to be trying reverse psychology. Last season, FC Dallas won just five times at home, equaling a club low. Now, after this debacle and last weeks 3-1 loss to the Chicago Fire, FCD now sit at 0-2-0 and have started the year with two defeats for the first time in their history. The most frustrating part for FCD has to be the fact that Chivas USA were without as many as 9 players who could be considered starters, including whom many would say is their best player, Sacha Kljestan who was away on World Cup Qualifying duty.

Somehow FCD lost despite outshooting their Western Conference foe by a 13-8 margin with six of Dallas’ shots on frame compared to just three for the visitors from California. Although that is an improvement over the one shot on goal from last week, the home side was unable to find the back of the net in this loss.

“A frustrating game. Disappointing, but I think the first half we created enough opportunities to score a goal,” FCD head coach Schellas Hyndman said. “Second half, we were supposed to come out and play a little bit harder and try to take the game to them. We make a mistake and all I see is the ball in the back of the net.”

For Coach Hyndman, the similar nature of both Chivas USA goals was disappointing to say the least. Both goals started as balls played over the top of the FCD defense. “First goal is just out of positioning,” he said. “Eduardo Lillingston hit a shot off balance and scored. Second goal, Bojan Stepanovic had just come on the field, just came into the league and he dribbled in the box and scored. Just a very frustrating, disappointing result. I think we’re a better team than what we showed, but the players need to start picking it up and playing with a little bit more enthusiasm, pride, or whatever it might be.”

FCD goalkeeper Ray Burse, who started for the injured number one keeer Dario Sala, agreed that the balls played over the top of the Dallas defense were a big factor in the loss. “I think the ball over the top of our defense was what really caught us off guard today,” he said. “I thought Chivas exploited us in that area. I guess it was three or four times (they did that). They took advantage of those opportunities and that’s just the game.”

Despite the return of FCD captain and holding midfielder Pablo Ricchetti, who missed the season opener on suspension, the Hoops beleaguered FCD back line was very ineffective, especially on those balls over the top. FCD defender Drew Moor said, “We have to deal with it. We have big, strong guys in the back and too many balls are bouncing around. They were able to get to too many first, second and third balls. When you’re under pressure like that, they’re going to get in behind you. We just need to be better to the first ball and better to the second ball. We just weren’t today.”

At halftime, Hyndman was especially unhappy with the play of left back Blake Wagner. So at the break, he brought on Aaron Pitchkolan for Wagner and moved center back Danny Torres to Wagner’s spot out on the flank. Asked why the change was made, Hyndman said, “I think he might have gotten injured, but I really thought Blake turned a lot of balls over in the first half. That concerned me because they were really dangerous off the counterattack and the transition. We decided to make a change, taking Blake off and putting Danny Torres out wide to get a little bit better distribution from the outside. It didn’t work out the way we hoped it did. But at the same time, these guys are all professional players and they all have to do their jobs.”

Chivas’ first goal was scored in the 56th minute by Eduardo Lillingston on an over the top pass from Gerson Mayen who was making his MLS debut. Lillington raced after it beating Pitchkolan and his left footed shot made it inside the right post for his first MLS goal. Then in the 75th minute, Bojan Stepanovic a 70th minute substitute who also was making his MLS debut and who had only been signed the day before by the Goats, grabbed a loose ball and raced down the right side and past FCD defender Daniel Torres and slotted one inside the far left post beating an out of position Burse. 

FCD now heads onto the road for two games and coach was asked about any possible lineup changes. He said he won’t rule out some changes to his first 11. “I think the first thing we’ve got to do is look at a player’s health and see where we are with that,” he said. “I think when you don’t get results it’s something you’ve got to consider. Are you playing players in the right position? Are we getting the best out of our players? Will another player help by being on the field? I think it’s something that we definitely have to talk about” 

Game Grades:

Ray Burse – 4 only made 1 save, should have made at least one more and coach questioned his communication after the game

Drew Moor – 6 had some good balls in the box and one late shot go high

Steve Purdy – 4 not so good again

Daniel Torres – 4 at times the middle of Daniel and Steve looked like the Keystone Kops

Blake Wagner – 5 was first one subbed, at the half no less but it was scoreless with him on

Pablo Richetti – 6 the Captain was missed week 1 but he spent to much time helping the middle backs to be truly effective

Dax McCarty – 5 not bad, he was a little better last week but his replacement did nothing

David Ferreira – 4 to be the #10 you have to play like one, FCD is way better off going wide and less touches for Dah-veed the better so far

Dave van den Bergh – 6 I said it last week, the offense must go thru him if they want to win but he was better last week

Jeff Cunningham – 6 barely missed one header chance and he really needs to get on one of his scoring binges

Kenny Cooper – 6 no 60 yarder this time but Zach Thorton did deny him on a great chance

Subs:

Aaron Pitchkolan – 2 he figured in both goals and when the other team is scoring them, that’s not good

Andre Rocha – 3 played 25 minutes, contributed about 2.5 of them

Peri Marosevic – 2 made debut, played 10 minutes, nothing else to say

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