Thursday, May 22, 2008

A View From the Other Side: RSL -vs- FCD

Real Salt Lake versus FC Dallas
from the perspective of Jay (aka FC Zippy on Big Soccer)

A while back on, fans who were arguing each insisted the other was only seeing the argument through [insert team here]-tinted glasses. I, in turn, posted:

“You should be an FC Dallas fan. Our glasses are the best. Not only are they striped white-and-red, but when you look through them, you can see disaster looming.”

So goes the soccer life of the average FC Dallas fan.

Last time FC Dallas and Real Salt Lake met a mere two weeks ago, FC Dallas was simply looking to get back on track after a disappointing home loss and a tie on the road. Of course, RSL prevailed although it did not feel like the end of the world. However, eight days later brought the LA Galaxy and FC Dallas’ most visible collapse since the opening of Pizza Hut Park.

The loss caused GM Michael Hitchcock to push the panic button, removing head coach Steve Morrow after just one year and eight games. You see, Mr. Hitchcock is in the last year of his contract with Hunt Sports Group (HSG) and is failing to deliver on the promises he made for both on-the-field and box office success. Just so you know, Mr. Hitchcock was responsible for bringing Denilson to FC Dallas which turned into possibly the league’s all-time worst major signing. Trust me, this guy’s resume’ is up to date.

So what about this Saturday’s matchup with Real Salt Lake? If I could type a two minute period of contemplative silence, that would probably have to suffice for the answers I have. However, I agreed to write this piece, so I will take a stab at the issues for this game.

Saturday’s game is not going to be as much about a win as one might think. This match is going to be about heart, about the players looking inside and deciding if they are going to display the team effort that has mostly been lacking this season, especially in this winless streak.

Less important is the visit of a Real Salt Lake club that has managed only six wins in its history away from Rice-Eccles. I know this: I would not really want to be the club coming in to face FC Dallas this week. Although this club is the youngest in MLS, they do have considerable talent and might well be ready to erupt. Mindset will matter as much as talent.

On the field, I doubt a whole lot changes for FC Dallas this week under interim coach Marco Ferruzzi’s watchful gaze. I will gladly thieve Buzz Carrick’s thought that “as so goes Juan Toja, so goes FC Dallas,” however. Adrian Serioux serves his red-card suspension and Dax McCarty recovers from his sports hernia operation.

This line-up is speculation: