Dallas Soccer DFW

FC Dallas Plays LA Galaxy to Draw in Season Finale

Published 10/26/2008 3:46:49 PM by staff from dallas

FC Dallas and the LA Galaxy played to an entertaining 2-2 draw in both teams MLS season finale in Los Angeles on Sunday afternoon.  Drew Moor and Victor Sikora scored in a five minute span in the first half to give FC Dallas the lead, but the Los Angeles Galaxy got a late equalizer from Landon Donovan.  Edson Buddle had given the Galaxy the lead after 21 minutes before Dallas snatched the lead back. Donovan's goal, from a penalty kick, was his 20th of the season and gave him the MLS Golden Boot, two goals ahead of Kenny Cooper.

Moor also had an assist in the match as both teams finished the game with 10 men. LA's Alvaro Pires was sent off late in the first half while FC Dallas Aaron Pitchkolan picked up his second yellow card early in the second half.   Each side played their final match of the 2008 season as neither FC Dallas nor the LA Galaxy will participate in the MLS Cup Playoffs.

FC Dallas had several potential obstacles to deal with at the start of Sundays match. The noon kickoff time meant playing under sunny skies, which meant playing in unseasonably warm weather. Also, the sellout crowd was charged for the last Galaxy home league game until possibly early 2009.   The Galaxy matched the crowd's energy level at the start and sent numbers forward consistently in the early part of the game but solid goalkeeping by Dario Sala helped FC Dallas keep the game scoreless.

Edson Buddle, however, finally broke through in the 21st minute when he knocked a header into the back of the net following a cross from the right flank by David Beckham.   The goal only seemed to settle FC Dallas down, however, and the visitors settled into a groove afterward. In the 34th minute, FC Dallas made the Galaxy pay. On a corner kick, Adrian Serioux leapt for a ball that initially bounced off LA goalkeeper Josh Wicks. Serioux fanned on his attempt, however, but the ball trickled toward Moor, who buried the ball into an empty net.

The goal was Moor's second of the season and, more importantly, leveled terms. The goal also seemed to give FC Dallas an added jolt of confidence and the club translated that into another goal.   In the 39th minute, Moor crossed the ball over the Galaxy backline and into space. Sikora ran onto the ball, carried it toward the penalty area and ripped a shot past Wicks.   Perhaps for his goal, Sikora became a marked man. While the Galaxy players protested a noncall inside FC Dallas penalty area, Sikora broke free down the left flank on a counterattack. Alvaro Pires chopped Sikora down, though, and the breakaway stalled. However, Pires was sent off with a straight red card from referee Tim Weyland.

FC Dallas, though, evened things up minutes into the second half. Aaron Pitchkolan picked up his second yellow card of the game after fouling Donovan some 35 yards out. Pitchkolan initially picked up a yellow card in the 28th minute. On the ensuing set piece, Donovan broke clear inside the area and redirected the cross on goal but his shot landed on top of the net.   The physical play continued several minutes later, Galaxy midfielder Eddie Lewis stepped on Serioux after fouling him but was not booked.

In the 57th minute, Chase Wileman replaced Bobby Rhine, a substitution that officially ended Rhine's career.   Prior to the match, captain Duilio Davino handed over his armband to Rhine, who played the final match of his 10 year career. Rhine spent all 10 of his seasons with Dallas. Rhine's start on Sunday was just his sixth of the season and his seventh game played overall. Rhine enjoyed perhaps his finest season in 2006, when he started all 30 games he played in and logged 2,593 minutes, both career highs.

Afterward, teammates, coaches and even Galaxy coach Bruce Arena shook hands with or congratulated Rhine, who took in the remainder of the match sitting alone on the end of the bench.   In the 64th minute, FC Dallas coach Schellas Hyndman reached for his bench again as Andre Rocha replaced Sikora.   A pair of minutes later, the Galaxy had three corner kicks in succession but were unable to put a shot on goal. Sala leapt and plucked the final attempt out of the air and rolled the ball out to Cooper, who darted down the center of the field on a breakaway before Donovan fouled him near the middle of the field.

Hyndman made his final move of the match in the 67th minute when he took Serioux out in favor of Michael Dello-Russo.   Cooper had perhaps his best chance of scoring in the 78th minute but fired a weak shot just wide of the goal.   On the next trip into FC Dallas penalty area, Sala was called for a foul on Lewis inside the penalty area and the Galaxy were awarded a penalty kick. Donovan stepped to the spot and scored his 20th goal of the season, sealing the Golden Boot for the US international for the first time in his MLS career.   Jeff Cunningham had a chance to give FC Dallas the lead in second-half stoppage time but sent a shot over the crossbar from 15 yards out.  

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