August 25, 2012
Hoops shooting for fourth straight win Sunday against the Galaxy
A real crunch match in the Western Conference is ahead on Sunday afternoon before an NBC Sports Network audience as the LA Galaxy play host to FC Dallas at The Home Depot Center (6:00 pm CT). The Galaxy have used their recent form to pull into a tie for fourth place in the Western Conference entering the weekend, their last league match a 1-1 draw in Columbus.
|David Ferreira is returning to form at a perfect time for FC Dallas, fueling the team’s three-game winning streak with two goals and three assists.
Linda Cuttone/Sports Vue Images
FC Dallas are one of the hottest teams in the league, and have won three straight, including last weekend’s 2-1 win over Real Salt Lake. Fabian Castillo has scored in all three matches, and the Hoops added veteran Argentine striker Matias Jara at midweek for extra firepower down the stretch.
On the tail end of a three game road swing, they are perfect so far with back-to-back wins at Vancouver and Real Salt Lake, and now sit five points out of the final playoff spot with an 8-11-8 record.
“This is the first time all year we’ve won two games in a row, now three," said FCD coach Schellas Hyndman. "We’re now in a position where we think we can win. We’re just playing well. We have a tough schedule; the teams we’re playing are tough.”
They don't come much tougher than the defending MLS champs, who have been in peak form of late. The Galaxy are coming off a 5-2 CONCACAF Champions League win over Isidro Metapan, a game in which they held out captain Landon Donovan because of a tender hamstring.
But the Galaxy have so much more firepower. Robbie Keane has a two-game MLS scoring streak after connecting in a 1-1 draw with Columbus on August 15. David Beckham powered the Galaxy attack at midweek with a goal and two assists. Juninho scored twice.
Of course, the Hoops are no slouches in that department either, especially with the recent play of David Ferreira, who scored his second goal in the last three games, and added his third assist in the last two games. Since Ferreira returned to the team on July 4, FC Dallas are 5-2-3.
“We’re a completely different team,” said Hyndman. “I think before we battled and had some good players, but we were always hoping to get a result. Now we’re going in thinking we are going to get a result.”
Former MVP Ferreira is not the only Dallas player on a hot streak. Fabian Castillo also netted a goal for a third consecutive game. Blas Peréz has returned to training as well, meaning Hyndman has a nearly fully-fit squad from which to call upon.
“My foot feels good [and] it’s good to get back out there and not have much pain,” Peréz said. “It still bothers me a little bit, but I can have the ball at my feet and be comfortable with it. Now it’s just about getting back my physical fitness and match fitness.”
Said Hyndman: “He’s a proven scorer, extremely focused and hard-working. We’ve played with one striker and sometimes you look up there and think it’s two strikers because he’s covering so much ground.”