April 9, 2009 MLS Toronto FC vs FC Dallas pregame story (from MLSnet.com)

Reds play host to hungry FC Dallas
Toronto FC looks for first BMO win against winless FCD
04/09/2009 02:23 PM
MLSnet.com Staff

TORONTO FC vs FC DALLAS
BMO FIELD, Toronto, Ontario, Canada
April 11, 2009 (WEEK 4) / MLS Game #23
4 p.m. ET (CBC; KFWD-52)

Toronto FC and FC Dallas kick off the first leg of their two-game, home-and-home series over the next two weekends when they meet Saturday afternoon at BMO Field - with both teams desperate for a victory. TFC followed a season-opening win with a draw and a loss, the defeat coming last weekend in their home debut. FCD has lost all three of its matches thus far, the first time in club history the Dallas organization has opened with three losses to start a season.

REFEREE: Terry Vaughn. SAR (bench): Joe Fletcher; JAR (opposite): Daniel Belleau; 4th: Steven DePiero
MLS Career: 104 games; FC/gm: 29.4; Y/gm: 3.8; R: 34; pens: 31

INJURY REPORT: TORONTO FC - OUT: FW O'Brian White (knee); PROBABLE: FW Chad Barrett (adductors) ... FC DALLAS -- OUT: MF Marcelo Saragosa (R knee); GK Dario Sala (L knee); QUESTIONABLE: DF Steve Purdy (R hamstring); DF Daniel Torres (R hamstring); MF Andre Rocha (R foot)
INTERNATIONAL ABSENCES: none
SUSPENDED: none

HEAD-TO-HEAD
ALL-TIME (4 meetings): Toronto FC 1 win, 6 goals ... FC Dallas 2 wins, 6 goals ... Ties 1
AT TORONTO (2 meetings): Toronto FC 1 win, 4 goals ... FC Dallas 1 win, 2 goals ... Ties 0
RETURN MATCHES: 4/19: Toronto FC at FC Dallas, 6 p.m. CT

LAST YEAR (MLS):
8/3: TOR 0, DAL 2 (Cooper 81, 90)

10/11: DAL 2, TOR 2 (Cooper 34, 90 - Velez 72, Wynne 88)
After a 4-0 win in the first meeting between the teams, Toronto FC have gone winless against FC Dallas, the Texas side winning two of the last three with one draw.
FCD has never lost to TFC at Pizza Hut Park, winning the first meeting there with a draw in the second last year. The teams have split their two matches at BMO Field.
The teams will conclude their season series this year over an eight-day stretch, with the meeting at Pizza Hut Park to be played next Sunday evening.
Coaches record: John Carver v DAL: P2 W0 L1 T1 ... Schellas Hyndman vs. TOR: P2 W1 L0 T1

TORONTO FC
Toronto FC opened up their BMO Field campaign with a rare home defeat, falling 2-0 to Seattle Sounders FC last Saturday afternoon for their first loss on the season. TFC sit in fourth place in the Eastern Conference with four points from three games, three points behind division-leading Chicago and New England.

LAST MATCH
Sounders FC were on the road for the first time ever after two wins at their Qwest Field home, taking on a Toronto FC side making its home debut where it had lost just twice last season.
It took the visitors just 15 minutes to open the scoring, as Freddie Ljungberg -- making his first MLS start -- got his first league goal. Playing a neat one-two with Nate Jaqua, Ljungberg strolled into the area to collect the return pass and slotted home past Greg Sutton.
Sounders FC doubled the lead almost on the stroke of halftime. A Jaqua shot bounced off a couple of TFC defenders in front of goal and fell right to Steve Zakuani, and the No. 1 pick in the 2009 MLS SuperDraft buried the rebound for his first professional goal.
Kasey Keller was called upon to make three saves as he extended his shutout streak to 270 minutes, the longest ever for a goalkeeper to begin his MLS career.
Toronto FC head coach John Carver made three changes to the team that came back for a late 1-1 draw with the Columbus Crew. Amado Guevara and Carl Robinson came back from international duty, coming into the team in place of Marco Velez and Sam Cronin. Greg Sutton made his first start in goal, in place of rookie Stefan Frei.
Here's Carver's team (4-3-1-2): Greg Sutton - Marvell Wynne, Kevin Harmse, Adrian Serioux, Jim Brennan - Dwayne De Rosario, Carl Robinson, Rohan Ricketts (Sam Cronin 46) - Amado Guevara - Chad Barrett (Danny Dichio 55), Pablo Vitti (Johann Smith 85). Substitutes Not Used: Brian Edwards, Emmanuel Gomez, Fuad Ibrahim, Marco Velez
"I'll apologize to the fans because they've not seen us for five months and that's a disappointing show in your first home game of the season," Carver said. "There was an awful lot of hype coming into the game ... and it just didn't work out. We weren't right. We looked a yard slow, we didn't win any second balls, we didn't compete ... all in all, it's a hugely disappointing game and result."

TEAM NEWS
Carver returned to the majority of the group that came away from Kansas City with a 3-2 win in the season opener, the only change moving Dwayne De Rosario to a wide midfield role after he started the season as a striker and keeping Pablo Vitti in the team with Sam Cronin going to the substitutes' bench.
"We didn't perform. Usually when you sit here after a game I can say -- well he did well, and he did OK ... maybe you had four or five guys that did OK," Carver said. "But I'll be honest with you, I can't think of anybody that played well. Or did anything of what I'm used to or what I've seen."
While the Reds have scraped together just one goal in their last two games (that through an own goal), they've now conceded five goals on the campaign, including two each in two games.
"If you cast your mind back to the Kansas City game, we got our goals by playing the same way," Carver said. "Giving goals, passing and moving, but we just seemed to stand still and watch players move around us. It's not always about your back four when you're defending. You defend from the front. If your front four aren't defending properly and your midfield players aren't defending for you, no matter how well you did as a back four, you can still be put under pressure."
A season ago, TFC began their BMO Field campaign with two consecutive wins and a nine-game league unbeaten run - that was stopped by FC Dallas in their 2-0 win on Aug. 3, one of just two home league losses for the Reds on the season.
"Like I said after the first game of the season and as you saw today, there's an awful lot of work to be done," Carver said. "The good thing is it's only three games into the season. We had our backsides kicked, I've got no excuses, [we were] beaten by the better team and now I've got to roll up my sleeves with that lot in there and put it right."

FC DALLAS
FC Dallas suffered a third consecutive loss to start the season as the New England Revolution remained unbeaten on the campaign, coming back for a 2-1 win on Saturday night at Gillette Stadium. FCD sits alone at the foot of the Western Conference, now nine points off the pace of Chivas USA and Seattle Sounders FC.

LAST MATCH
The Revolution were in their home opener after a win and a draw on the road to kick off the season, while FC Dallas had lost the first two games in a season for the first time in club history.
The visitors took the lead in the 38th minute. Michael Dello-Russo overlapped down the right wing and overcooked a cross to the far post. No one tracked Dave van den Bergh, and he collected the ball and fed for an unmarked Kenny Cooper to turn home from close range for his second goal on the season.
The Revolution pulled level in the 56th minute. Shalrie Joseph hit a long diagonal pass to set Sainey Nyassi free on the right flank. The Gambian midfielder then skinned rookie defender George John and rifled home with his left foot from outside the area to draw the scores level.
Ten minutes from the end, the Revolution took the lead through Steve Ralston, making his season debut. John tugged on Kheli Dube's jersey and referee Silviu Petrescu pointed to the spot. Ralston stepped up and calmly slotted home the resulting penalty to give the Revs all three points.
FC Dallas head coach Schellas Hyndman made three changes to the team that lost 2-0 to Chivas USA the Sunday before. Michael Dello-Russo and George John came into the back four in place of the injured Steve Purdy and Daniel Torres, and Andre Rocha made his first start of 2009, with Jeff Cunningham dropped.
Here's Hyndman's team (4-4-1-1): Ray Burse - Michael Dello-Russo (Eric Avila 88), Drew Moor, George John, Blake Wagner - Dax McCarty, Pablo Ricchetti, Andre Rocha, Dave van den Bergh - David Ferreira - Kenny Cooper (Jeff Cunningham 73). Substitutes Not Used: Bruno Guarda, Josh Lambo, Peri Marosevic, Aaron Pitchkolan

TEAM NEWS
It was a completely new-look back four for Hyndman. Steve Purdy had already been ruled out with a hamstring strain, and when Danny Torres failed a pregame fitness test, George John was called upon to make his professional debut. Michael Dello-Russo came in at right back with Drew Moor slotting in centrally alongside John.
"I thought the two of them (John and Moor) gave us our best look to date (in the middle)," Hyndman said. "I think Drew (Moor) brought confidence to the team and the back four through communication and his ability to get players to do things. I think George (John) picked up on it pretty quick. I thought Drew did a good job for us."
As well, Andre Rocha was given his first start of the season, on the right of midfield, with Dax McCarty moving into the central role. David Ferreira was given the task of playing as a second forward off Kenny Cooper.
"I think David is a really quality player and you can see it," Hyndman said. "He had a couple of goal-scoring opportunities and a couple of quick combinations. I think Dax plays better in the center than he does out wide. One of the things you want from your flank players is flank play, penetration and crosses. I don't know if we have anybody like Dave van den Bergh. Dave did a lot, but right now, I think Dax is playing better as a center player and think David is adding to the attacking play."
About the lone constant for FC Dallas has been striker Kenny Cooper, who has followed up his 18-goal season of a year ago with goals in two of the first three games.
"So we're starting to get the right people on the field and the right combinations of players. We deserved more than what we've been getting," Hyndman said.
Ferreira was brought into the team in place of Jeff Cunningham. The veteran striker did come on as a 73rd-minute substitute.
"I think Jeff is a player that you don't get a lot of response from," Hyndman said. "He's a player that wants to play and wants to help. He's a real competitor, has been in the league and is a fierce goal scorer. I didn't think he had a good week of training and I thought we needed to make some changes. In two games, I think he had one shot and you can't live and die on that."
Costa Rican midfielder Alvaro Sanchez was expected to join the team this week, but Hyndman said it was doubtful he would make the journey to Toronto. "It's probably unlikely because I think he needs to be with the team for a while," Hyndman said. "I think he needs some time here. It all depends on the injuries too."

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