April 16, 2009 MLS FC Dallas vs Toronto FC pregame (from MLSnet.com)

FCD, TFC ready to clash once again
Dallas, Toronto finish up back end of home-and-home series Sunday
04/16/2009 04:11 PMMLSnet.com Staff

FC DALLAS vs TORONTO FC
PIZZA HUT PARK, Frisco, Texas
April 19, 2009 (WEEK 5) / MLS Game #36
6 p.m. CT (GolTV Can.; FSN-SW)

FC Dallas and Toronto FC play the back end of their home-and-home series over two weekends at Pizza Hut Park, after FCD came back to snatch a late 1-1 draw with TFC last Saturday at BMO Field. For FC Dallas, it was their first point of the season after three losses to open the campaign. Toronto FC are still looking for a second win on the season, with a loss and two draws in their last three matches.

REFEREE: Tim Weyland. SAR (bench): Bill Dittmar; JAR (opposite): Greg Boles; 4th: Abbey Okulaja
MLS Career: 92 games; FC/gm: 30.1; Y/gm: 3.7; R: 29; pens: 21

INJURY REPORT: FC DALLAS -- DOUBTFUL: GK Dario Sala (L knee); QUESTIONABLE: MF Marcelo Saragosa (R knee); DF Steve Purdy (R hamstring) ... TORONTO FC - OUT: FW O'Brian White (knee); QUESTIONABLE: MF Dwayne De Rosario (hamstring)
INTERNATIONAL ABSENCES: none
SUSPENDED: none

HEAD-TO-HEAD
ALL-TIME (5 meetings): FC Dallas 2 wins, 7 goals ... Toronto FC 1 win, 7 goals ... Ties 2
AT DALLAS (2 meetings): FC Dallas 1 win, 4 goals ... Toronto FC 0 wins, 2 goals ... Ties 1
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 four with two draws.

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 three matches at BMO Field, each winning once with one draw.

The teams will conclude their season series this year over an eight-day stretch, with the first meeting played at BMO Field last weekend.

Coaches record: Schellas Hyndman vs. TOR: P3 W1 L0 T2 ... John Carver v DAL: P3 W0 L1 T2

LAST MEETING (MLS)
4/11: TOR 1, DAL 1 (De Rosario 17 - Ricchetti 87)
Toronto FC were looking to get back to their winning ways, with a loss and a draw following a First Kick victory, while FC Dallas had stumbled to three consecutive losses to open the season.

Two hometown newcomers combined to put TFC into the lead in the 17th minute. Adrian Serioux - last with FC Dallas - sent in a long throw-in from the left touchline and Dwayne De Rosario - like Serioux a native of Scarborough, Ont. - headed home his first goal since coming to TFC.

But three minutes from the end FC Dallas secured their first point on the campaign. A corner kick flew over the goalmouth and Eric Avila chased it down, knocking a pass back into the center, where Pablo Ricchetti put home a nifty backheel for the equalizer.

FC DALLAS
FC Dallas finally gained a first point, but are still looking for their first victory of the season after four matches. FCD sits in eighth place in the Western Conference, nine points behind division-leading Chivas USA.

TEAM NEWS
FCD head coach Schellas Hyndman made no changes to the team that lost 2-1 to the New England Revolution the week before. That meant David Ferreira again partnered Kenny Cooper in attack, with Dax McCarty filling a central midfield role.

Here's Hyndman's team (4-1-3-2): Ray Burse - Michael Dello-Russo (Jeff Cunningham 74), George John, Drew Moor, Blake Wagner - Pablo Ricchetti - Andre Rocha (Eric Avila 65), Dax McCarty, Dave van den Bergh - David Ferreira, Kenny Cooper (Daniel Torres 91+). Substitutes Not Used: Bruno Guarda, Josh Lambo, Peri Marosevic, Aaron Pitchkolan

"It's a great feeling for the whole team to finally get a point. I think you saw today we are better than an 0-3 team," said Hyndman. "Being down early and having the resilience to fight through it was a fantastic feeling as a coach and for the team as a whole. We have to start somewhere on a positive note this season and today was really our starting point."

Kenny Cooper had been the sole source of the FC Dallas goals until Pablo Ricchetti's neat backheel secured the share of the points.

"We came out with a lot of energy -- you know we all believed that we could come back fighting, and fortunately we were able to pull a goal back with a beautiful shot from Pablo Ricchetti," said Cooper. "It was a great goal and it felt good to get back into the game."

It was his first MLS career goal for Ricchetti since the Buenos Aires native joined Dallas in 2007 from Argentina`s Quilmes.

"The ball was sent across by Avila on a Dax McCarty corner kick -- it was a tremendous goal by Ricchetti," said Hyndman. "It was one of those goals where everything has to be perfectly right with your back to goal and I think it just caught everyone by surprise. It was a quality and composed finish."

While the one point from the first four games is still the poorest opening to a season in Dallas club history (their previous worst was 0-2-2), the late draw in Toronto was a significant different than starting 0-4.

"We were trying to look for some sort of hope, and I think we got it today," substitute Eric Avila said. "Just a point or something to get our mindset going to the next game."

TORONTO FC
After a season-opening win at Kansas City, Toronto FC have now recorded two draws and a loss. The Reds have five points from four matches, tied for fourth place in the Eastern Conference, three points behind the pace-setting Chicago Fire.

TEAM NEWS
TFC head coach John Carver made three changes to the team that lost 2-0 to Seattle Sounders FC in their home opener the weekend before. Sam Cronin returned to the midfield on one side and Fuad Ibrahim made his first start of the season on the other, coming in for Rohan Ricketts and Pablo Vitti. Stefan Frei came back in between the posts, replacing Greg Sutton.

Here's Carver's team (4-3-1-2): Stefan Frei - Marvell Wynne, Kevin Harmse, Adrian Serioux, Jim Brennan - Sam Cronin, Carl Robinson, Fuad Ibrahim (Rohan Ricketts 75) - Amado Guevara - Dwayne De Rosario (Pablo Vitti 89), Chad Barrett (Danny Dichio 69). Substitutes Not Used: Nana Attakora-Gyan, Johann Smith, Greg Sutton, Marco Velez

"It's really disappointing to concede a goal with two or three minutes to go since I thought there was a vast improvement after last week's performance," Carver said. "It's disappointing coming away with a point, but a point is better than none at all. At one stage we could've lost all three, so I'll take the point, it might be valuable down the line."

FCD outshot TFC 19-10 overall and 8-3 in shots on target, and returning to the lineup after leaving the March 28 game in Columbus with a back injury, Stefan Frei was outstanding in goal in making six saves, several of which were difficult.

"I was trying to keep the team in it and give us a 1-0 win and I came up short by three minutes," Frei said. "It's disappointing, very disappointing. ... I look at it as week-by-week, you have to earn your spot. So I'll be coming out Monday to earn my spot for next Sunday again."

If there was a concern, it was the timing of the tying goal. In 2008, TFC allowed a league-worst 13 goals in the final 15 minutes of games.

"I hope it's not going to be one of those years when it comes down to the last two minutes or so and teams are able to capitalize on us," Serioux said. "That's one of the things we've got to focus on and make sure we can put an end to."

The Reds are facing an injury concern for the return match with midfielder Dwayne De Rosario, who scored his first goal since coming to the club in Toronto. De Rosario came off the field just after the goal with a hamstring injury that kept him from full training during the week.

"I think it [his hamstring] is just a little bit tight -- he won't be training with the team for a couple of days and then we will make an assessment," said Carver. " ... I was too busy talking to the bench about making a change to even see the Dallas goal. We got him off the field at the right time, it was tight but he hadn't pulled it -- it was a precaution to get him off the field."

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