Union-FC Dallas Preview

This weekend’s matchup between FC Dallas and the visiting

Philadelphia Union has lost plenty of luster with Brek Shea and

Freddy Adu unavailable for their struggling teams.

Those key midfielders are suspended for Saturday night’s game,

with both clubs hoping to end three-game losing streaks.

A poor start to the season for Dallas (3-6-3) took a turn for

the worse Thursday when MLS announced a three-game ban for Shea,

who kicked the ball at an assistant referee in a 2-1 loss to

Columbus last Saturday.

Shea, tied for the team lead with three goals while leading the

club with 24 shots and 10 shots on goal, posted an apology on

Twitter. Dallas is 0-4-2 since beating expansion Montreal 2-1 on

April 14.

Adu was assessed two yellow cards in the first half of the

Union’s 3-2 home loss to New York on Sunday. The second one was

called for simulating a foul in the penalty box.

“When I went down I wasn’t complaining to the ref or complaining

to anyone,” Adu told the Union’s official website. “I just wanted

to get right back up and the next thing I know the red card comes

out.”

His absence comes after Philadelphia (2-6-1) scored two goals in

a match for the first time. The Union’s seven goals in nine games

represents the league’s third-worst ratio ahead of winless Toronto

FC and Chivas USA.

That attack will face a makeshift defense, as Dallas is missing

two defensive starters. Ugo Ihemelu will miss his third straight

game in the aftermath of a concussion while Zach Loyd is suspended

for receiving a red card last week in Columbus.

The club has conceded 18 goals in 12 games, tied with Los

Angeles for the second-worst ratio in MLS ahead of Toronto. Dallas

has also been issued a league-high four red cards.

“We’ve had some bad luck with some late goals and bad luck

keeping the players on the field,” coach Schellas Hyndman told

Dallas’ official website. “You can say that’s bad luck, discipline

or intelligence, but those are things that are in our control.”

Philadelphia, which ranks right behind Dallas with three red

cards, traded defender Danny Califf to Chivas for midfielder

Michael Lahoud and allocation money Thursday. Califf started four

games, but would have been the odd man out with Gabriel Farfan set

to return Saturday after a three-game suspension.

“We have enough speed right now,” coach Petr Nowak said. “The

trade is going to give us another option as well.”

Lionard Pajoy had both goals for the Union on Sunday after

scoring once in a 2-1 exhibition victory over German club Schalke

04 on May 9. Those games featured the inclusion of fellow forward

Danny Mwanga in the lineup to give Pajoy support.

Dallas is 2-0-2 in the all-time series with Philadelphia, taking

both home matchups.