Join Now | 
HomeAboutContact UsPrivacy & SecurityAdvertise
Soccer America DailySoccer World DailySpecial EditionAround The NetSoccer Business InsiderCollege Soccer ReporterYouth Soccer ReporterSoccer on TVSoccer America Classifieds
Paul Gardner: SoccerTalkSoccer America ConfidentialYouth Soccer InsiderWorld Cup Watch
RSS FeedsArchivesManage SubscriptionsSubscribe
Order Current IssueSubscribeManage My SubscriptionRenew My SubscriptionGift Subscription
My AccountJoin Now
Tournament CalendarCamps & AcademiesSoccer GlossaryClassifieds
Dallas down, Rapids rolling for final rematch
by Ridge Mahoney, April 8th, 2011 12:35AM

MOST READ
TAGS:  colorado rapids, fc dallas, mls

MOST COMMENTED

[MLS WHAT TO WATCH] No one was too surprised this week when Schellas Hyndmancoach of last year's MLS runner-up FC Dallas, said his team was "disjointed" heading into its MLS Cup rematch against Colorado Friday (9 p.m. ET, Fox Soccer Channel) at Pizza Hut Park. FCD (0-2-1) certainly is that.

If it can be difficult to improve a poor team, revamping a good team may be even harder, and much riskier. Hyndman has attempted the feat by jettisoning veterans Heath Pearce, Dax McCarty, Jeff Cunningham and Atiba Harris – among others – from last year’s squad, the first to reach an MLS Cup in team history. It fell to Colorado in overtime last November on an own goal after playing a stylish, dynamic brand of soccer that many observers cited as the league’s most attractive.

None of the changes have yet worked out. FCD has scored just one goal in three games. Brek Shea’s pairing with George John at center back, which shifted Ugo Ihemelu to right back, has been good and bad. John gave away a penalty kick in the 2-0 loss to Columbus last week; FCD had to play a man down after Jackson Goncalves received his second caution in the 33rd minute.

Colorado, on the other hand, hasn’t gained much respect from its 2010 accomplishments despite a strong start (3-0-0). That record is tempered by the fact Colorado has rolled over Portland (3-1), Chivas USA (1-0) and D.C. United (4-1) to climb atop the overall standings. Those teams are a combined 1-6-2.

Maybe there’s a hangover from Colorado’s seemingly improbable run to the title last year. Yes, the Rapids did finish tied with San Jose for the last two playoff spots and got the No. 7 slot on a tiebreaker. Maybe they were painted as villains and ogres for ousting MVP David Ferreira and perhaps the feel-good poster boy of 2010, keeper Kevin Hartman.

But they were hardly some lowly, sub-.500, cave-dwellers who wriggled out squinting into the sunlight; they finished with a record of 12-8-10 (46 points), a much better record than the bottom-rung teams in 2009 (RSL, 40 points) and 2008 (New York, 39 pts.) that also reached the finale.

Colorado’s attack will be hobbled against FCD; a hamstring strain will keep Conor Casey out of the game, and Macoumba Kandji is still recovering from a torn ACL he suffered in MLS Cup. Irish striker Caleb Folan scored his first two MLS goals in the D.C. United game and could be a real threat against FCD’s center backs if they aren’t in sync.

In their next two games the Rapids can prove their championship medals were deserved, and their winning mettle persists. After FCD, they head to Salt Lake City for a Rocky Mountain Revival against RSL next Wednesday.

As for FCD, this is only the fourth of 34 league matches, and its strength down the spine – Ferreira, Hartman, midfielder Daniel Hernandez – is intact. There is no better setting to re-establish elite status than at home against the team that destroyed the dream.



No comments yet.

Sign in to leave a comment. Don't have an account? Join Now




AUTHORS

ARCHIVES
FOLLOW SOCCERAMERICA

Recent Soccer America Daily
Klinsmann: 'We did a lot of good stuff'    
The USA's 3-2 loss at Denmark on Wednesday gives Coach Jurgen Klinsmann's team a post-2014 World ...
TV Report: ESPN3 will air 120-plus NASL games    
ESPN3 will carry a minimum of 120 North American Soccer League games during the 2015 season, ...
Road to Russia: Heroics from U.S. collegians and prep star    
Heroics by a pair of former U.S. college goalkeepers highlighted the start of the long World ...
MLS Week 4: Vancouver loses Manneh for Timbers' match    
Vancouver will be without young Gambian star Kekuta Manneh for Saturday's Cascadia Cup game against Portland ...
French Guiana stuns Honduras in Gold Cup playoff    
Not so fast yet on that USA-Honduras match to open the Gold Cup. French Guiana, which ...
World Cup on ESPN garners six Sports Emmy nominations    
ESPN received six Sports Emmy Award nominations for its coverage of the 2014 World Cup from ...
Rewind: Breaking down the USA's late-game collapses    
The USA continued its recent trend of late collapses with the worst one of all, blowing ...
Video Pick: Too much celebration proves costly    
Players from Mozambique club Ferroviario Maputo celebrated so much after scoring against Zambia's K-Stars they weren't ...
What They're Saying: Jason Kreis    
"I'm a huge fan of Xavi Hernandez. I think he would be a huge player in ...
Tulsa brewer handcrafts Roughnecks Pale Ale    
The USL's Tulsa Roughnecks will offer Roughnecks Pale Ale, brewed by Tulsa-based craft brewer Marshall Brewing ...
>> Soccer America Daily Archives