FC Dallas-Crew Preview
FC Dallas has been shut out in two straight matches, part of a
lengthy victory drought since its best stretch of the season.
That mirrors what’s happened to the Columbus Crew.
Meeting for the only time this season, Dallas and Columbus will
each try to snap a five-game winless streak Saturday night at Crew
“It’s going to be two desperate teams looking to get a result,”
Columbus goalkeeper Andy Gruenebaum told the club’s official
website. “They’re a very dangerous team and very potent
That hasn’t been the case lately, as Dallas (3-5-3) has scored
just twice – both on penalty kicks by Brek Shea – since its last
victory, 2-1 over expansion Montreal on April 14. That was the
team’s second consecutive win after defeating New England 1-0 on
Dallas is 0-2-3 since those victories, but the team has reason
for optimism heading into Saturday. Daniel Hernandez and Blas Perez
will return from red-card suspensions, and Shea likely will be back
in a starting role after being a second-half substitution Wednesday
due to turf toe.
“I think the biggest thing we can do is to come together as a
team and continue to believe in one another,” defender Zach Loyd
told Dallas’ official website following Wednesday’s 2-0 loss to
Seattle. “For the next game, we’ll have Daniel back, we’ll have
Blas back, and we will have Brek back in the lineup, so I think
we’re going to see a huge improvement with the team. Hopefully
going forward we can see better results.”
FC Dallas’ last single-season, six-game stretch without a win
was an 0-3-7 slide July 2-Sept. 10, 2005.
The Crew (2-4-2) are trying to avoid their first winless skid of
that length since going 0-1-5 from Aug. 27-Sept. 28.
Columbus is 0-3-2 since winning back-to-back matches to close
“I’ve been very happy with the last three games, to be honest
with you,” coach Robert Warzycha said after Sunday’s scoreless draw
at Portland. “We were unlucky last week (a 1-0 loss to Vancouver),
but overall, we’re playing pretty good, pretty solid and steady
games. We’re making progress.”
The Crew, though, have been shut out in three of their last four
matches and have scored six times all season. With midfielder Dilly
Duka and forward Olman Vargas questionable due to injuries,
Columbus could get a boost Saturday if midfielder Chris Birchall
makes his debut. He was signed this week after making 18 starts
during Los Angeles’ run to the 2011 MLS Cup.
Both sides could be without their captains as Dallas’ Ugo
Ihemelu and Columbus’ Chad Marshall are dealing with concussion
symptoms. Rookie Matt Hedges will likely get a second straight
start if Ihemelu can’t go, while Eric Gehrig could get the call
again if Marshall is a scratch.
Dallas goalkeeper Kevin Hartman, a native of Athens, Ohio, made
five saves in a 2-0 home win July 2 to end the Crew’s four-game
point streak in this series. Hartman’s teams have not won in 13
consecutive games in Columbus since the Galaxy’s 4-2 win there May
Warzycha was playing for the Crew at the time.