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
By CASEY CORCORAN
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
By NATHAN HENDERSON-JAMES
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 MLSLive.tv 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.
- Sean Franklin played 45 solid minutes.
- Steve Cronin had seven saves and, despite the 4-0 scoreline, looked like the best defensive player the Galaxy had on the field.
- No one got carded.
- No one got injured.
- 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.
Because I’ve still got high blood pressure from this past one.