Revolution-FC Dallas Preview

FC Dallas is on a 15-game unbeaten stretch that’s put it in

contention for one of the Western Conference’s two automatic

playoff spots.

If it hopes to earn one, Dallas could really use three points

Wednesday night.

That might not be so easy with star goalkeeper Kevin Hartman

sidelined for a few weeks, but Dallas will nonetheless be eager to

take advantage of the road-weary New England Revolution.

Dallas (10-2-12) led New York 2-1 on Thursday before an own goal

forced it to settle for a 2-all draw, which pulled the club to

within three matches of the 2004 Columbus Crew’s league-record

18-game unbeaten run.

Coach Schellas Hyndman’s club was hardly focused on that after

the match, though. Hartman suffered an injured MCL in his right

knee when Red Bulls striker Thierry Henry tried to triumphantly

kick the ball back into the goal after New York had already

scored.

Hartman, whose shutout streak ended at 415 minutes, tried to

intercede and wound up getting hurt.

“It’s the weight it puts on us now. I thought Hartman was going

to be up for MVP,” Hyndman said of the veteran, who had allowed the

fewest goals (12) in the league. “Now we have to go get a pool

goalkeeper. It was something that was not necessary, so we’ll see

what happens.”

If Dallas can recover from the loss of Hartman, it might be able

to catch Real Salt Lake for the West’s second automatic playoff

spot. Dallas trails the defending champions by five points but has

a game in hand and a trip to Salt Lake City remaining.

Dario Sala gets the call to replace Hartman, but Dallas’ injury

woes don’t stop there. A strained left hamstring will keep

midfielder Daniel Hernandez out, while midfielder Brek Shea –

second on the team with five goals – will be serving the first of a

two-game suspension for a dangerous tackle.

Marvin Chavez and Eric Avila are likely to take the place of

Hernandez and Shea on the wings.

New England (7-14-3) salvaged a 1-all draw when it hosted Dallas

on May 1, but it’s watched its playoff hopes disappear over the

past month. The Revolution have been outscored 14-6 in dropping

five of six, losing 3-0 at Colorado on Saturday in the second of

three straight matches on the road.

New England, which fell behind five minutes in, is an MLS-worst

1-10-1 away from home. It was the third time in five matches the

Revs have conceded a goal within 20 minutes.

“It’s been the same all year long,” midfielder Pat Phelan told

the Revolution’s official website. “Teams come at us but we’ve let

them do that. We haven’t played with enough heart and passion, and

it shows.”