FC Dallas-Dynamo Preview
FC Dallas hired Schellas Hyndman last week, hoping the legendary college coach could turn around the club's disappointing season. Hyndman's MLS debut, however, was a reminder that Dallas' resurgence could be a long-term process.
After an inauspicious start, Hyndman tries again for his first MLS win as Dallas goes for its first road victory against the intrastate rival Houston Dynamo on Thursday night.
Hyndman replaced fired coach Steve Morrow last Tuesday, joining MLS after compiling 466 wins in 31 years in the college ranks, including the last 24 at nearby SMU. The 58-year-old Hyndman had been the second-winningest active college coach in the nation before his departure.
Hyndman, however, is still looking for his first MLS win after Dallas (4-6-4) was outshot 12-4 and managed only two shots on goal in a 1-0 loss to the New York Red Bulls on Saturday night.
"It wasn't the way I had my first game planned in my head," Hyndman said. "I thought they played extremely hard, with intensity and energy, but we didn't have enough scoring chances. Their intensity was higher than ours."
Though disappointed with Dallas' third defeat in four games, Hyndman attributes some of the team's struggles to the change in leadership, and remains confident the club will be able to improve with time.
"It is tough. I am still getting to know the players' names," he said. "The situation is we've only had a couple days of training with them to try to instill some ideas. It takes time to get those ideas across, but I'm really proud of them for trying to implement these ideas and trying their hardest.
"All in all, it wasn't the result we wanted, but it was a learning opportunity for all of us."
Dallas may need to make big strides in order to end its struggles against the Dynamo (4-4-6). Dallas is 0-4-1 all-time in Houston, and 0-3-3 in six regular-season matches against the Dynamo since a 1-0 victory on Sept. 2, 2006.
The clubs have played to two draws this season, 3-3 in Houston on April 6 and 2-2 in Frisco, Texas, on May 28.
Houston also has the advantage in postseason play. The Dynamo dropped the opener of last year's Western Conference semifinal series against Dallas 1-0, but won the next match 4-1 and took the series on aggregate en route to their second consecutive league championship.
The Dynamo's bid at another title encountered a setback on Saturday, when an untimely power outage and a disallowed goal forced Houston to settle for a scoreless draw with Colorado.
The match was stopped for 18 minutes after the lights at Colorado's home stadium went out during the 69th minute -- a delay that Dynamo coach Dominic Kinnear said took away his club's momentum. Kinnear was also frustrated when Brian Ching's goal in the 78th minute was disallowed with referee Jeff Gontarek's ruling that Ching used his hands to send the ball into the net.
Despite those tough breaks, Houston recorded at least one point for the seventh time in nine games.
"It's a point on the road, so it's not a terrible loss," said Ching, Houston's leading scorer with five goals. "We didn't play very well today, so I guess we should be happy with the point."
Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press
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