Rapids, FCD battle for much-needed win
Commerce City, CO (Sports Network) - A pair of struggling teams square off at Dick's Sporting Goods Park on Saturday as FC Dallas attempts to end its lengthy winless streak against a sputtering Colorado Rapids team.
The Hoops enter the contest riding a 13-game winless streak, which is the fourth longest in MLS history, while the Rapids are also in need of a win having lost four of their last five games.
Dallas may be in a major slump at the moment, but the club has drawn its last three games and seems to have found a strong partnership in central defense with Matt Hedges and Hernan Pertuz.
With that duo in the middle of the Dallas back line, the team has yielded just one goal in the past three games.
"I think we need to get a little bit more disciplined in the back ... but I think Hernan and Matt continue to get better and better," FCD head coach Schellas Hyndman said. "Now I can say those two guys you could put on any team in the league and they would be successful."
While Dallas has tightened things up defensively in recent games, the offense has failed to take advantage, netting just two goals in four games.
But the team could get a boost with the addition of midfielder Julian de Guzman, who was acquired from Toronto FC on Friday and who could help to shore up the middle of the field for Dallas.
The Rapids didn't make any significant additions over the past week, but head coach Oscar Pareja was encouraged by the way his team fought back in Seattle after going down 2-0 in the second half.
"Playing in Seattle is always difficult," Pareja acknowledged. The team that we put on the field today was taking into the plan, being organized and trying to control the tempo. Seattle did a good job in the first 15 minutes of the game but our team reacted well for the rest of the game. I'm disappointed because we gave up too many corners and set pieces and ended up paying for that. Our team gave a good reaction in the last 25 minutes, for sure."
One thing that Colorado failed to do was defend set pieces, with both Sounders goals coming from them.
After going 11 games without conceding from a set piece, Rapids defender Drew Moor talked about his level of frustration after the game.
"Unfortunately it's set pieces that did us in here," Moor said. "You can play solid for the majority of the game and if you give away a set piece goal it takes away all the energy you put into it."
One bright spot for Colorado in the loss to Seattle was the play of substitute Omar Cummings, who came off the bench to score the Rapids lone goal and who provided the club with a nice spark, which is something that will be needed going forward.