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Upset FC Dallas sees positives
by Ridge Mahoney, March 10th, 2008 6:45AM

TAGS:  mls


The preseason has yet to end, but FC Dallas Coach Steve Morrow is already in midseason form, at least in regards to the officiating. He's not happy. Good fields, good weather and good competition are the elements most sought for proper preseason training, yet a fair shake from the officials doesn't hurt, and Morrow felt so strongly his team was wronged in a 3-1 loss to Brazilian club Avai FC Sunday in Florianoplis he nearly pulled his players off the field Soccer America's Ridge Mahoney explains.

"The referee was suspect to say the least, so much so that we almost took the team off the field toward the end of the game, that's how bad it was," said Morrow. "But we took a lot of positives and we'll try to ignore the result."

Kenny Cooper notched FCD's only goal with a header from a David Wagenfuhr cross less than two minutes after coming into the game. That cut Avai FC's lead, fashioned on a long-distance shot and a disputed penalty kick whistled for a foul by Michael Dello-Russo, to 2-1, but the ejection of midfielder Pablo Ricchetti in the 83rd minute left FCD a man down and in the 84th minute Avai FC added its third goal.

Ray Burse started in goal behind a three-man backline of Blake Wagner on the left, Alex Yi in the middle, and Andrew Daniels on the right. Eric Avila and Anthony Wallace lined up in central midfield, with Dello-Russo on the right, and Brek Shea on the left.

Abe Thompson, Dominic Oduro, Ibee Ibrahim on either side formed a three-man front line.

Morrow substituted freely in the second half, leaving only Yi to play the entire 90 minutes.

Trailing 1-0 at halftime, FCD nearly tied the game early in the second half when Wallace hit the crossbar and Avai FC keeper André saved follow-up shots by Thompson and Wagner. After Cooper scored, Avai FC repelled several FCD chances before scoring the clinching goal.

"It was frustrating to lose the game" added Morrow. "But I was very pleased with a lot from the game, especially the young boys, who played very, very mature. We had a lot of good performances from the young kids, so we take a lot of positives from the game."

FCD returns to Dallas Tuesday and scrimmages the University of Tulsa Wednesday. It plays the Galaxy Friday in the FC Dallas Foundation Charity Game at Pizza Hut Park.



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