FRISCO, Texas — A disappointing 2-1 loss to the Red Bulls on April 17 at Red Bull Arena was the definitive low point in an otherwise stellar 2010 campaign for red-hot FC Dallas.
Think they’ve forgotten about it? Think again. With the Red Bulls coming to Pizza Hut Park on Thursday, the memories are fresh in the minds of an FC Dallas team looking for revenge after Juan Pablo Ángel’s late penalty kick gave New York an emotional early-season win.
“We did feel that was a game that we should have at least walked away with a tie. To give that PK up in extended time, that was pretty discouraging and disappointing,” FCD coach Schellas Hyndman said Monday. “But we’ve become a better team because of it. We’re looking at a different team today from Red Bull with their financial investment into those players. But at the same time, we’re at home and we’re playing well. We feel like they have to come out and beat us.”
Since that setback, FCD have gone 10-1-9 overall, with their lone loss coming on May 20 against the Galaxy in Frisco. They’re riding a 14-game unbeaten streak overall and have won six straight on their home pitch dating back to the loss to the Galaxy in May.
“I definitely think we should have come away with more than we came away with when we were (at Red Bull Arena),” midfielder Brek Shea said. “We had many chances and just couldn’t capitalize. So, hopefully we can capitalize on some chances this weekend.”
The defeat is also a result that FCD captain Daniel Hernandez remembers especially well.
“It’s not revenge directed towards them—it’s just a game that we lost ourselves,” Hernandez said. “We let that one slip away from us. I don’t really think it was anything they did. Of course, they found a way to win, but I think we gave up the game to them.
"I think it’s motivation on our end as far as we let that one slip away. We know that we dominated that game on the road, so we want to try and win those three points back because those are three points we should’ve had, without a doubt.”
FCD’s starting lineup this time around will feature several changes. Dario Sala started in goal in the last meeting, but Kevin Hartman has started the last 18 games and is again one of the top goalkeepers in MLS.
There will also be two changes in the back. At center back, Ugo Ihemelu started the first meeting but has been out with a concussion since Aug. 8.
In his absence, rookie Zach Loyd has started the last five games and performed well. Loyd actually started at right back against the Red Bulls the last time out with Heath Pearce, now the mainstay on the right side, starting in the midfield.
And in the midfield, linking midfielder Dax McCarty, who started against New York the last time out, will at least return to the 18-man roster. Rookie Eric Alexander has started the last five games there as McCarty continues to work his way back from a leg injury suffered in July. He returned to practice last week, but it’s unclear whether he’s ready to return to a starting role.