Dallas Soccer DFW

FC Dallas readies for home opener

Published 4/21/2007 3:35:35 PM by Staff from FCDallas.net

FC Dallas finally makes its 2007 Pizza Hut Park debut - against the team that has knocked them out of the MLS Cup Playoffs in each of the last two seasons on their home ground, the Colorado Rapids. The last time the teams met there were fractious post-game scenes after the Rapids won in a penalty-kick shootout as the lower seed for the second year running on their way to the Western Conference Championship. Since then, FC Dallas began the season with three tough road tests, coming away with four points, while the Rapids haven't yet been on the road, inaugurating their new stadium in Commerce City with a win and a draw.

REFEREE: Ricardo Salazar. SAR (bench): Chris Strickland; JAR (opposite): Michael Salyers; 4th: Jair Marrufo
MLS Career: 53 games; FC/gm: 32.1; Y/gm: 3.6; R: 13; pens: 20
Games involving FC Dallas: P10 W4 L5 T1; FC/gm: 31.1; Y/gm: 3.7; R: 3; pens: 2
Games involving Rapids: P7 W2 L2 T3; FC/gm: 30.7; Y/gm: 3.7; R: 2; pens: 2

INJURY REPORT: FC DALLAS - OUT: MF Marcelo Saragosa (R knee MCL), DF Adrian Serioux (R knee surgery); DOUBTFUL: FW Roberto Mina (L knee), DF David Wagenfuhr (concussion) ... COLORADO RAPIDS - NONE REPORTED

SUSPENDED: DAL: GK Dario Sala (through April 29) ... COL: FW Roberto Brown (through April 22)

ALL-TIME (40 meetings): FC Dallas 20 wins (2 shootout), 70 goals ... Rapids 14 wins (1 shootout), 51 goals ... Ties 6
AT DALLAS: (20 meetings): FC Dallas 14 wins (2 shootout), 39 goals ... Rapids 4 wins (1 shootout), 19 goals ... Ties 2
• This is the first of three meetings between the clubs this season, the first of two set for Pizza Hut Park. They will next meet when FC Dallas makes their first trip to Commerce City on June 23, then the teams conclude their season series on Aug. 4 in Frisco.

4/15: COL 2, DAL 2 (Kirovski 39; own goal 45 - Vanney 5; Mina 25)
6/24: DAL 1, COL 0 (Cooper 32)
7/29: DAL 4, COL 1 (Rhine 8; Nunez 71, 74; Cooper 90 - Beckerman 34)
8/30: COL 0, DAL 2 (Nunez 25; Mulrooney 56)
• A year ago, FC Dallas won the league season series, taking the final three matches (including both at Pizza Hut Park) after they played to a draw in Denver.
• However, for the second year running, the Rapids eliminated FC Dallas in the Western Conference Semifinals after the Hoops came in as the higher seed. In the first leg at Invesco Field at Mile High, FCD took a 2-1 victory (Cooke 23 - Ruiz 15, Thompson 55). But then the Rapids got the better of a 10-man FC Dallas in the return leg at Pizza Hut Park, winning 3-2 in extra time (Ruiz 48, Goodson 92 - Hernandez 57, 83; Mathis 114) to level the series on aggregate, then advancing on penalty kicks.
• In league play, the Rapids haven't defeated FC Dallas for the past two seasons. The Hoops have won five of the eight meetings, with three draws. Colorado's last win in the league series came on Sept. 4, 2004, a 2-1 win at Mile High.
• The Rapids win over the 120 minutes in the second leg of the playoff series last year snapped an 11-game winless streak against FC Dallas in all competitions (the teams played to two draws in the 2005 semifinals before the Rapids advanced on penalty kicks).
• Coaches record: Steve Morrow v COL: first game ... Fernando Clavijo vs. DAL: P13 W2 L7 D4

FC Dallas lost for the first time in 2007 on the back end of their cross-country trip that saw them play twice in four days, falling 3-0 to the New York Red Bulls at Giants Stadium last Sunday. FCD is still tied atop the Western Conference with four points with the Colorado Rapids and Houston Dynamo; they've played one more match than those teams.

• Brutal weather conditions once again greeted the Red Bulls as they played their home opener against an FC Dallas team playing for the second time in four days with a cross-country trip in between.
• With Claudio Reyna out for the opener to a thigh contusion suffered in the opener, Clint Mathis was given the start in midfield, and by the 34th minute had played a major part in putting the Red Bulls in front by two goals.
• In the 18th minute, Mathis swung in a corner kick from the left and Jozy Altidore got to it first at the near post and sent a flick header over FC Dallas 'keeper Shaka Hislop inside the back stick.
• Then in the 34th minute Mathis doubled the lead himself. Dane Richards chased down a rolling ball in the right corner and sent a low pass into the goalmouth where Altidore's little flick got it past the first defender for Mathis to pound high into the goal from close range.
• Dave van den Bergh finished off the miserable afternoon deep into second-half stoppage time after a cross from the right was pushed out by a diving Hislop, but only as far as the Dutch winger, who drove the ball into the unguarded goal from the top of the box. The weather was so dire two players were forced from the contest with hypothermia -- FCD defender Clarence Goodson and Red Bulls goalkeeper Ronald Waterreus.
• FCD head coach Steve Morrow made two changes to the team that defeated the Los Angeles Galaxy at The Home Depot Center the previous Thursday. With Marcelo Saragosa suffering a knee injury in that game, Arturo Alvarez came back into the team on the left of midfield. David Wagenfuhr also came back into the team, for Chris Gbandi at left back.
• Here's Morrow's team (4-2-3-1): Shaka Hislop - Drew Moor, Alex Yi, Clarence Goodson (Bobby Rhine 48), David Wagenfuhr (Chris Gbandi 19) - Dax McCarty, Juan Toja - Arturo Alvarez (Dominic Oduro 72), Ramon Nunez, Kenny Cooper - Carlos Ruiz. Substitutes Not Used: Ray Burse, Aaron Pitchkolan, Abe Thompson, Anthony Wallace
• "Preparation wasn't ideal with the schedule, conditions were bad, but that doesn't affect the end result in my eyes. We just had a very frustrating day with the ball -- I thought it was a very soft defeat for us," Morrow said. "The goals we gave up were very soft and could have been prevented. And I can only sum it up as being very frustrated. We didn't create enough chances, the ball didn't bounce anywhere for us, the passing wasn't good enough. It's one that we've got to take on the chin and just move on."

• The Hoops ended their treacherous season-opening stretch with four points away from home, decent considering they played at the home opener of Real Salt Lake, Los Angeles Galaxy and the Red Bulls. But they flew home from New York believing they'd let points slip away.
• "It's positive, it started off well in the first two games," Morrow said. "We wanted to finish it off good here in New York and we felt we could have come in and got a good result. I'm bitterly disappointed."
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