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Posts Tagged ‘FC Dallas’

Colombian Independiente Medellin Jair Benitez (R) vies for the ball with Uruguayan Defensor Sporting's Julio Marchant during the Copa Libertadores soccer match in Medellin on February 24, 2009.

Today, FC Dallas made their second move of the transfer window by signing Jair Benitez from Deportivo Cali on loan for the rest of the season. Benitez is a 30 year old Columbian left fullback with good speed and average ball handling skills. To make room for him in the 24 man roster, FC Dallas released Micheal Dello-Russo.

I think this is a great signing to cure the Hoops’ left side defending problems. Benitez looks like he can attack well, but has the experience and skill to defend better than the company of players that have inhabited the left fullback spot this year. Here is a not very good video that kind of shows Benitez. He is in green on the left side of the field.

FC Dallas are trying to fix their problem spots during this window. They traded for Atiba Harris, a right side midfielder meant to balance the threat of Dave Van den Burg on the left. Now with this signing, Dallas is looking more and more dangerous. I believe they will make at least one more big move and probably more this summer. I know they are actively seeking a high target striker to compliment Kenny Cooper, and I wouldn’t be surprised to see another defender enter the mix as well.

In other FC Dallas news, the rumors are picking up again that Kenny Cooper is being courted by teams from England, specifically Bristol City, a Championship club. Cooper’s english passport makes him easier to acquire since he won’t need a work permit and teams are recognizing his skills. I would be surprised to see him move this summer, as I think the MLS will want too much money for him, but stranger things have happened. If he does leave, then the Hoops’ will definitely need to find a striker who can replace his goal production which is one of the best in the league.

Cooper has his detractors here in the States, saying that he is lead-footed, and isn’t as good in the air as he should be due to his 6′ 3″ frame. He does have things to work on, and he isn’t as good as he can be, but he is a young player (23) that has a good skill set. I see a good future for Cooper as he figures out his game and matures more.

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FC Dallas has traded Marcela Saragosa for Atiba Harris in a surprise move today. Click here for the official report.

Atiba Harris (left) and Chivas USA could not crack Kevin Goldthwaite and the Red Bulls defense.

Saragosa had lost his starting spot this year due to injury and poor form. I have never been a fan of Saragosa’s, but he was liked by Schellas Hyndman which allowed him to play even when his form and his decision making were at their worst. Saragosa was a central midfielder who played on the right occassionally and this year was converted to a right back. However, he was dreadful in that position, which got him benched by Hyndman.

Atiba Harris is a young, midfielder/forward who has played on the right side for Chivas. He has been a bench player at the LA club, but it looks like he will challenge for a starting spot at right midfield where no one on the Hoops has fit this year.

I like the move a lot, and think it will work out in our favor. Saragosa was dead weight, and Harris should become a first guy off the bench type or a starter before too long.

I’ll update with more later. Keep checking back to this post to find out.

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Danny Szetela has now signed with the MLS, leaving Racing Santander. Szetela is a central midfielder that played with Columbus before making the move to Europe in 2007.

FC Dallas is first on the allocation list of teams who can sign Szetela. The team is in need of another striker, a right midfielder, and some defensive help, but are pretty secure in the center of midfield. Szetela could play as a right midfielder, but I don’t know how affective he will be there.

Personally, I think this is the best that FCD will be able to get with the allocation, and will be a good option for the team to persue.

He could also be picked up by FCD, and then traded to New York or another team who wants him for another player or allocation money. Szetela is from New Jersey and may want to move back home and play for NYRB.

I’ll keep you updated.

UPDATE~~~~~~~~Szetela has signed with DC United as cover for the often injured Ben Olsen and others. A good pickup for DC who looks like they may be a real contender for the Cup. FC Dallas passed on the chance to sign him, and still hold the #1 allocation slot. Click here for more.

Rumors abound that Demarcus Beasley will come back to the MLS, and FCD might be able to lure him to Big D. However, I don’t see him coming back to the US to play his club soccer. I think he is still relevant in Europe, and a small club somewhere will take a chance on him.

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home-sweet-home-quilt-block-3

At the FC Dallas game this weekend on July 4th, I saw some encouraging signs for the future of the team. This season has been the equivalent of a year’s worth of depressants hitting the system constantly. The team has been terrible, the crowds have been pathetic and the front office has been inept. It has seemed like no matter what happened, whether it be a weak home crowd or a blown lead, FCD was a loser.

However, these last few games have been somewhat less depressing. The Hoops have won or tied in seven of their last 8 games and now have 17 points, 5 points out of a playoff spot. The home crowd of around 14,000 last night was the most it has been since the opener, and the young players and recent additions to the team that the front office have made seemed to all come together to produce something Dallas fans should be encouraged by.

Now, more than likely the home crowd was bouyed by the fact that it was the Fourth of July, however, the front office must have done something right to advertise for this match. It also showed that support for the team has not dried out in Frisco and Dallas. I saw a crowd that was loud, encouraging, and pretty smart, cheering for subtle breakups in the New York attack and clean passes for the Hoops.

Jeff Cunningham scored a brace and showed that he can still score goals and lead the attack while Cooper is with the USMNT.

Brek Shea had his best performance in a Hoops jersey and really looked solid on that left wing, providing decent crosses and running at defenders splitting three at one point. He tenaciously kept the ball at his feet, and reminded me of the first time I saw Juan Toja play in a Dallas jersey. He won balls away from defenders and kept it at his feet battling until the very end. I thought he had a wonderful performance.

Eric Avila provided a good spark off the bench, keeping NYRB on their heels with some good offensive work that almost added a third goal to the Toro’s tally.

Dax McCarty was probably my star of the game besides Cunningham with his two goals, as McCarty has become the defensive midfielder Dallas has needed. He broke up attack after attack, and provided some very good balls into the attacking third.

Overall, I was very impressed with the performance. However, the score should have been much bigger. FC Dallas needs to start finishing some chances in the beginning of the game. If NYRB weren’t so awful, this game could have been a different story. Thankfully, they are much worse off than Dallas is. Also, the performances of Andre Rocha and Anthony Wallace were lacking. Both were lacidasical out there, and Wallace’s lack of hustle led to the Red Bull’s goal.

Game Grades

Ray Burse: 7 Provided some very good saves on a few one on one’s and has become an encouraging piece of the Dallas backline

Anthony Wallace: 3 Lazy performance. Subbed at the half

Kyle Davies: 6 Looked comfortable out there. I really like his presence. Even at twenty years old, he is much calmer than most of the CB’s on the team

Pablo Richetti: 7 Broke up attacks and made good passes out of the back to set up attacking counters. He needs to stay in the backline.

Drew Moor: 6 Good performance. Quiet but as a defender, that’s a good thing.

Dave Van Den Bergh: 7 Got the assist on Cunningham’s second goal. Very good crosses. Dangerous all game.

Dax McCarty: 8 Wonderful performance. See Above

Andre Rocha: 5 Played about like he has all year…which is sub par.

David Ferriera: 6 I really like this player, and think he will be a good FCD player. He hasn’t missed a minute all year, and there is a reason for that.

Brek Shea: 8 See above. Very good game.

Jeff Cunningham: 8 MOTM Got the brace that won the game. Took his chances well.

Subs:

Blake Wagner: 5 He gave the ball up too much. Got forward and lost the ball, leaving his teammates uncovered.

Eric Avila: 7 Provided a great spark of offense when the team needed one. The definition of a second half attacking sub.

George John: NA Not on the field long enough to warrant a grade, however, encouraging seeing him back on the field after his injury.

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David Ferreira

My beloved team, FC Dallas, gave up a draw in the closing minutes of the game on Wednesday against a Colorado side who were very beatable. If Dallas could have won this game, it would have proved last weekends beating of reigning champions, Columbus was not a fluke. Instead, the team had a lackluster effort that while still getting a point, only showed that this is not a playoff team, nor anywhere close to one. They seemed destined to draw that game from the start of the second half. They were just drifting, waiting for the hammer to fall. They didn’t have the fire or the passion, and I don’t know what it is going to take for them to get that passion, as these types of games are the ones to be pumped up for. When up 1-0 in a tough environment, and struggling to hold on; that is when a winning team shows their grit and determination in the face of adversity and fights for the win. Instead, they wilted, got tired and gave up.

Now you might say that it was a good result, that a tie on the road against a very good team is encouraging. If you say this, and believe it, you didn’t watch the game very closely. FCD was dominated for most of the game, and if it wasn’t for a beautiful assist by Kenny Cooper and a nifty finish by David Ferriera against the run of the play, this team would have really lost.

Colorado had chance after chance to win this game and it was their worthless finishing that helped FCD more than anything else.

Eric Avila didn’t get the start again, and came on midway through the second half to try to relive that spark that he had in last week’s game. His insertion and Brek Shea’s in the 45th minute didn’t do enough to turn the tide and maintain possession.

Jeff Cunningham started on the right wing only to come off at halftime to be replaced by Shea. In my opinion, he should not be a starter for this team. His first touch, passing and crossing are not efficient enough to make a difference in this league, and guys like Avila and Shea deserve a starting role over him. Cunningham is a proven goal scorer in the league with over 100 goals, but he is getting older and the league is leaving him behind in talent.

So, the question that remains is this: what happens to the rest of the season? Buzz over at 3rd Degree shows that we have to get 26 points in the next 15 games to reach the proverbial 40 points needed to reach the playoffs. From the first 15 games we have 14 points. I think the rest of the season is a wash. Unless something very magical happens, and the Hoops go on a streak that is one of the best the league has ever seen, I don’t see the team making the playoffs nor even getting close.

Coach Hyndman needs to figure out what he wants from this team, and begin to shape them. Let loose the dead weight and bring in his players that fit his system. I am willing to support him for another season as this is his first in any professional league and it takes time to learn the league, and how it plays, but if he doesn’t do it by the beginning of next season, he should be gone, as well as the Hunt Sports Group. They are a mess and are bringing down the team even more than the team’s horrid record.

But hey, miracles can happen right. Just look at the USA. They believed. Maybe we should too.

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Probably not. It’s probably more of an exception that proves the rule, and the rule is that FC Dallas isn’t very good. Tonight they played two halves that couldn’t have been more different. The first half, they looked timid, unable to string passes together and pretty much like a losing team. The second half was a different story. Hyndman’s substitutes injected energy into a lackluster lineup and those substitutes are what made the game for the Hoops. Brek Shea was the tormentor that the attack needed, pestering the Columbus back-line and making his presence felt. I love his play, and think that he should be a starter for this team. Everytime he is on the field, the team is more dangerous. He’s also incredibly versatile. Tonight he played three different positions: striker, left midfield and left fullback. Eric Avila was another great sub, even though he should have started the game in place of Saragosa who is woefully inadequate and should be the third string right midfielder. Avila’s goal was pure class. A wonderful curling shot from outside the 18 yard box in the 80th Minute. Click here for the match report. Another surprise was Jeff Cunningham and his added spark to the lineup. I was impressed with him tonight.

All three of the subs were great additions to the game. I am not a fan of Schellas Hyndman and don’t think he is a coach that will take FCD to the top, but he is a pretty good game manager. Another post about him will be coming.

My Three MVP’s for FCD

1. Eric Avila–His goal was great, and he provided the slick pass to Ferriera to set up the PK.

2. David Ferriera–He provided the assist and got the PK to set up the winning goal. He had good possession and linked up with Cooper very well a few times. I think he may finally be finding his feet in the MLS.

3. Dax McCarty–I loved his work ethic out there, and I think he is finally becoming that attacking fulcrum from D-Mid that FCD has been needing.

Final thoughts:

This victory is nice and the team looked good in the second half, but I still don’t see them making the playoffs or getting out of the basement of the MLS. I love this team, but they don’t have the right pieces to seriously make a run. I think our young players are really coming through and this will bode well for next year. If they can get a few pieces in July, they could look like a decent side for the second half of the season.

If you follow FC Dallas and don’t read this blog, you should. It’s the best MLS blog out there and Buzz really knows what he is talking about.

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