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FC Dallas 4, Los Angeles Galaxy 0: A Supporter’s View


Many thought it would be Kenny Cooper’s farewell match for FC Dallas, but it wasn’t. The news that Cooper wasn’t leaving MLS just yet was welcome news in Dallas (and Frisco) and it did nothing to take away from a special Sunday at Pizza Hut Park.

It was a little more than two months ago when David Beckham’s Galaxy rode into Frisco and handed the Hoops a 5-1 thrashing. it was a thoroughly embarrassing day, so embarrassing that then FC Dallas coach Steve Morrow was fired days later. All that made Sunday’s blowout win all the sweeter. Not only did it deliver some revenge, it also handed new head coach Schellas Hyndman his first MLS victory.

SBI correspondents Casey Corcoran and Nathan Henderson-James took in the action and shared their thoughts with us:

A rout has Hoops fan optimistic despite transfer talk


Well that was certainly refreshing. In a season full of low highs and deep lows, FC Dallas finally destroyed someone. Interestingly enough, they destroyed the same team that directly led to Steve Morrows sacking. It was such domination that the score line of 4-0 was probably merciful to the LA Galaxy. If FCD was not putting the ball in the net, they were pinging the posts or crossbar, or shutting down the LA Galaxy attack. Granted, the Galaxy came out as only the Galaxy can… that is to say, hit or miss. Obviously, it was a miss day. It must be said though, as an FCD supporter, man it felt good to watch this game.

Where to start? With all of the transfer speculation, and even previous articles I’ve written praising FC Dallas forward Kenny Cooper, it must be said again. Cooper is pure class. Word came down today (which could be completely different tomorrow) that the Hunt Sports Group has decided to keep Cooper for the rest of the year. As an FCD fan, I’m torn. On the one hand, our hopes and dreams as a franchise literally sit on Cooper’s shoulders. He is the face of FC Dallas; the hard working, friendly, professional player that FCD fans can rally behind. While I can not imagine an FCD season without him, I also feel for the guy. Cooper has already had contract issues with HSG. He has lost out every time but still plays like nothing ever happened. Going to Manchester United for development is a clear sign as to where Cooper wants to ply his trade. And sadly, for Cooper, Europe might be the only way to again break in to the USMNT. So, only time will tell what happens to our Super Cooper, our one true FCD hero.

This game had more to it than any other I could think of this year. In a game where the fan is fearing the loss of huge fan favorites Juan Toja and Kenny Cooper, and the crowd is full, FCD came through spectacularly. I can not help but think, if FCD bombed this past Sunday, Toja and Cooper would have already been gone. Instead, HSG blocks Cooper’s Cardiff City or Rosenborg transfer.

Toja’s deal is oddly less important now that Eric Avila has stepped up. While Toja’s transfer bogs down and drags on, the ultimate FCD fan favorite has become somewhat expendable. I can remember last year’s SuperDraft, Avila was thought by many to be a top three pick. For some reason, FCD was able to grab him much later, and it has to be considered a steal. He still has much to prove, but one thing is clear, he can play. Whether he develops further is anyone’s guess, but when you do not have to worry about losing someone like Juan Toja, things are pretty good.

Another reason this past game was important was the amount of players missing. If it was not “injury” (Toja), it was the Olympics (McCarty), or it was the Milk Cup (Shea, Lambo, and Wallace). No matter, FCD sucked it up and played some solid footie.

Who knows that the transfer market brings for FCD. With Arturo Alvarez gone, Bruno Guarda coming in, and a whole laundry list of possible buys and sells, the season has really just begun for FC Dallas.

New defender, same results for struggling Galaxy


At long last, defensive reinforcements for the Los Angeles Galaxy have arrived. On July 27, 2008, away to FC Dallas, the Eduardo Dominguez era began.

Be still my beating heart.

I don’t know what was more aggravating, trying to keep the feed from cutting out or watching the play on the field when it was working.

And didn’t I just say last week I would stay away from mean? Oh my readers (and bless both of you), Sunday afternoon’s game is making it very difficult to keep to that intention. So, to keep things away from frustration, anger, and vituperation, let me tick off the five top positives about the pummeling the G’s took at The Big Slice.

  1. Sean Franklin played 45 solid minutes.
  2. Steve Cronin had seven saves and, despite the 4-0 scoreline, looked like the best defensive player the Galaxy had on the field.
  3. No one got carded.
  4. No one got injured.
  5. Umm, there was finally a sellout at Pizza Hut Park?


Okay, back to frustration, anger, and vituperation.

Is anyone else frustrated by seeing Landon Donovan placed anywhere on the wings? Don’t the coaches watch game tape? Don’t they see that when you strand Donovan on the wing he doesn’t get involved enough in a game to have an impact? I do think Ruud Gullit has to find a way to get Carlos Ruiz, Edson Buddle, David Beckham, and Donovan on the field at the same time, but it might have to be with an imbalanced formation that foregoes a left-sided attacking midfielder for a left wingback.

Speaking of the Dominguez Era, let’s hope this debut "performance" was the result of not having played much lately and having trained hardly at all with his new teammates. I’ve always liked Kenny Cooper. His MLS play gives me hope for what he could do for the US National Team. Especially when he does things like eating Dominguez’s lunch on the second FC Dallas goal. That was embarrassing. But it’s not like we Galaxy fans actually expect the defense to, oh, I don’t know, how about, say, clear the ball out of danger, to take just the first example that comes to mind.

This game was a study in contrasts. Last week the team fights back against New York, this week they take their most comprehensive defeat since Opening Day in Colorado. Last time they met FC Dallas, they ended a coach’s tenure. This time they provided one with his first professional victory. On the pitch, one team game to play futbol and the other one came to play… I’m not sure what that was. It could have been surfing, it could have been ultimate Frisbee, it might even have been BASEketball.

The Galaxy is now winless in six games and won’t be back to the friendly confines of the Home Depot Center for another month. Teams that win championships win games on the road. Teams that win championships have midfields that can control the ball and spark attacks and defenses that can protect their goals. Teams that don’t look like a lot of different things; at this point those looks include the highest-scoring offenses in MLS history.

I’m left with a creeping sense that teams have figured out the high-powered Galaxy offense. Man-mark Becks and keep Donovan on the wing. With those two creators shut down, the rest of the midfield can’t string together passes and the forwards starve for consistent service. And we see what happens when a mediocre backline has a mediocre defensive midfield in front of it.

Luckily this is MLS and the reality is that any team can crack open a 40 oz. of whup-*ss on any other any week. Put together seven good games in September and October and games like this one fade away.

Here’s hoping.

Because I’ve still got high blood pressure from this past one.


  1. if you have little good defenders wouldn’t make it sense to change the formation and go with a 3 man backline, add 1 player to midfield, which gets overun to easily aswell instead ?







  2. Nathanhj – “Would I use my allocation slot to pick up Cory Gibbs? No”

    you’ll lose the spot after this season, you may as well get a defender out of it that doesnt effect your cap as badly…. gibbs is solid, if he remains healthy…

  3. The problem with the Galaxy is Lalas. What has this guy ever done outside his playing career? He fired Bob Bradley who despite his critics is a very shrewd coach, and his trades are astonishingly poor, with the Metros and Galaxy and I’m not sure about San Jose but don’t doubt it was medicocre at best. He seems to be a nice guy, but how can he still be employed as a GM is beyond me.

  4. Sign Gibbs?

    Can we say Jean-Philippe Peguero?

    Seriously, I hate LA so I hope they do sign the guy that hasn’t played in two years due to 18 operations.

  5. It seems most of us agree the issue is the central midfield, not necesarrily the back line. Although face it Dominguez looked terrible, worse than terrible, it was the worst performance by any player on D this year…and this year that is saying a lot. Now everyone gets one nightmare game. Done. Anything resembling that effort this week, Argentine or not Argentine, give me something else.

    Donovon on the wing does not bother me as much as many of you. But Vanegas did not cut it as the linking midfiled and Pires has been terrible. Has Tudela really regressed that far? He was fine last year in leading the Gals towards that last game agains the Fire.

    There just has to be a better answer than Pires/Vanegas or Pires/MacDonald.

    I’m with Joe, push Franklin up and lets see if we can shut off some those runs up the middle.

  6. Would I use my allocation slot to pick up Cory Gibbs? No.

    He hasn’t played in over two years due to injury. He hasn’t played an entire season since 03-04 and he’s never played more than 25 games in a season. Here’s a test see what his value really is. Offer the allocation slot up in trade and see what we get offered.

    I mean, we suck in the back, no question, but the biggest problem at this point is NOT the back line. It is the holding midfield (okay the entire midfield except Becks). Don’t waste senior roster spots, your allocation standing, allocation money, and cap space on an injury-prone out-of-form center back when what we really need is a d-mid who can break up plays and pass the ball. At this point I would take Logan Pause and Kenny Cutler over anyone we have on the roster.

    Not that desperate times don’t call for desperate measures, but how many desperate measures do we have to sit through before we realize they are mostly just boneheaded panic moves?

    You know, the Galaxy had both Paolo Nagamura and Shavar Thomas on the roster recently and now we’re playing Greg Vanney and Alvaro Pires. I know we’re talking mid-level MLS players here, but those are the kinds of guys you can put in place and forget about and they deliver solidly and consistently. Find a couple of those guys through the discovery process or the international allocation process and we can talk, but Cory Gibbs just ain’t worth it.

  7. Lalas must go! According to Goff, the big fellas at AEG are none to pleased with recent results, so we all may get our wish.

    NHJ, what do you make about rumors of the G’s snagging Gibbs off the ridiculous allocation merry-go-round? LA now has the top standing. Think we should pick up an injury prone defender who is better than anyone we have, or wait for another player to come along?

  8. I am really trying not to harp on the midfield because I talk about it with everyone of these columns.

    But the sad fact is that without a functioning midfield, the Galaxy has no hope of post-season glory. You see guys like Alvarez and Guerrero changing teams and you wonder why the Galaxy can’t score some of that. It was all for draft picks and allocation money, too. Don’t we have a bunch of allocation money? Because, lord knows, we don’t have anyone we can part with that anyone else wants!

    Was Dominguez really the best guy we could find to fill our gaping needs? Really?

    Feh. We are reaping the whirlwind that was the folly of hiring Lalas as GM. I like Gullit, you get the sense he’s really trying to win games with this team. I don’t know what’s going on with Bravo, if he’s making a difference or not.

    But there’s really no justicification for Lalas at this point. His early tenure tinkering with the line-up (did we need to blow up the team to get Joe Cannon? Really?) set the Galaxy up to be a team of three stars and a bunch of rookies and aging journeymen with no cohesion and no depth.

    Last year I wanted to take him to the woodshed and shank him with a prison shiv, this year, I’m just pounded into stupification. The list of former Galaxy players doing well elsewhere is annoyingly long and frustrating to ponder.

    I don’t know where I’m going with this other than to say I don’t know how the Galaxy recover from this with or without Lalas, but it can it really get worse with someone else at the top? Really?

  9. Nathan, you are not alone. When Bradley first tried Donovan on the right for the MNT it seemed an interesting idea. But it only took a couple of games to make clear that Donovan is marginalized on the wing–his impact on a game is cut by well more than half. Gullit’s experiment with Donovan on the left has had the same result. To have the greatest impact, Donovan has to play behind Buddle and Ruiz and close to Beckham. Those delightful short-passing collaborations between Donovan and Beckham that we saw earlier in the season just can’t happen if they are played on opposite wings. Perhaps the imbalanced attack you suggest is the answer. Or they might add an attacking midfielder on the left, playing with two defensive mids (perhaps Franklin and/or Klein?) and three in the back. Of course, with the defensive personnel we have available that may not be a practical solution.

  10. As a galaxy fan, even more depressing than losing, was the fact that the game was unwatchable. I turned it off after 20 minutes. It was like they weren’t even trying. . . .

  11. While the Galaxy backline couldn’t mark a set of 12 year olds, their biggest problem is a complete lack of midfield. Pires should be sent on the first flight back to Brazil and while Vagenas has performed better, his better is still not MLS standards.

    I think LA would be better off pushing Franklin into the holding mid spot and take your chances with Roberts/Dominguez/Vanney in the back. If the back four doesn’t have opposing midfields running freely at them, they may stand a better chance. Let’s hope Gibbs signs and comes through healthy enough to contribute.

    When is McDonald going to be healthy again???

  12. Doesn’t it make you feel better that San Jose has strengthened their side to an insane degree since we played them last? What about that great LEFT MID they just got for a draft pick and some allocation? We don’t even have a left midfield.

    I can only look to the future and the future does not look good.


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