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Dallas Soccer News - MLS playoffs, FC Dallas, Houston Dynamo, Carlos Ruiz, Brad Davis, Arturo Alvarez

FC Dallas chokes once again in Playoffs

Published 11/4/2007 7:09:37 AM by staff from fc dallas
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History is proving to be quite unkind to FC Dallas. Coming into Friday's second leg of the Western Conference Semifinals, Dallas had never won at Robertson Stadium and hadn't won a first-round playoff series since 1999.   Both of those streaks seemed to be on their way to being put to rest after just 14 minutes, when Carlos Ruiz scored to put FC Dallas ahead 2-0 on aggregate. But Arturo Alvarez was sent off very early in the second half, Houston scored twice in six minutes to tie the overall series, then scored twice in extra time to win the game 4-1 and the series 4-2 on aggregate. Brian Ching scored two goals for Dynamo, his 72nd-minute goal coming five minutes after Stuart Holden had scored and tying the series on aggregate. Ching then gave Houston the lead in the 97th minute before Brad Davis sealed the victory three minutes later.

"It's not even about years previous," FCD goalkeeper Ray Burse said. "[But] tonight is very hard. Everyone put in 110 percent, things just didn't go our way. It's really frustrating."

The loss was especially disappointing, considering Dallas came into the game with a one-goal advantage from the first leg, which they doubled with an all-important early goal.

"I'm extremely disappointed for the players," said FCD head coach Steve Morrow. "It's a very tough way to go out."

Despite getting the first goal of the game, the Hoops could not seem to generate any momentum. They were put on their heels for most of the game, mainly because injuries and frustration had depleted their starting lineup.

"Everything seemed to go against us today, right from losing Clarence Goodson just before the game and losing Dario [Sala] early in the game, getting [Arturo Alvarez] sent off and losing Adrian Serioux as well," said Morrow.

While Goodson's injury occurred before kickoff, the ejections -- especially that of Alvarez, one of the staples of the Dallas midfield, after the start of the second half -- were avoidable, and were one of the main factors in FCD's elimination.

"Our game-plan worked right up until we had [Alvarez] sent off," said Morrow. "We got the early goal, but I think going down to 10 men we still had a chance to win the game."

Sala suffered his injury in the 25th minute which brought Burse into the game. The backup goalkeeper, who made five impressive saves, did not think that his team was affected by the plethora of injuries.

"We've dealt with injuries all season," he said. "We've been able to cope with it and move on when we have to deal with adversity. I think we dealt with it fine."  Although their season ended sooner than they wished, the Hoops are keeping their heads up, knowing that they played the best soccer they could.  "I'm very, very proud of the players' efforts," said Burse. "They fought very hard, but it wasn't enough."

Label: MLS playoffs, FC Dallas, Houston Dynamo, Carlos Ruiz, Brad Davis, Arturo Alvarez
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