MLS Preview from The Sports Network|
Saturday, May 24, 2008
(All times Eastern)
Real Salt Lake (2-4-2) at FC Dallas (2-3-3), 8:30 p.m.
Frisco, TX (Sports Network) - Steve Morrow took full "responsibility" after FC
Dallas suffered an embarrassing 5-1 to the Los Angeles Galaxy last weekend.
On Tuesday, he was relieved of all his responsibilities. Morrow was fired just
eight games into his second season as head coach.
Dallas finished third in Major League Soccer's Western Conference last season,
but a four-match winless streak - which included three losses - was enough for
the franchise to go in a different direction.
"If the team needs to go in a different direction, then I wish the players
nothing but great success for the remainder of the season and beyond," Morrow
FC Dallas started the season unbeaten in four straight under Morrow, and it's
now up to assistant Marco Ferruzzi - the interim head coach - to get the team
back on track.
Ferruzzi, who was in his fourth season as an assistant at Dallas, will debut
Saturday against struggling Real Salt Lake, which has just one win in its last
five games - a 2-1 victory over FC Dallas two weeks ago.
"We know that we have the potential to be a very good team in this league, and
we want someone to help this team reach its potential," Hitchcock said. "It's
not too late to fix this."
Just looking back to Dallas' good start makes that pretty obvious. Dallas tied
Chivas USA and two-time defending champion Houston Dynamo, then beat Red Bull
New York and Chivas.
Forward Kenny Cooper, who missed a large part of last season to injury, scored
four of his team-high five goals during the four-game unbeaten streak.
But Cooper had just one goal over the next four games - Dallas had only two -
and the club was shutout twice and failed to win either of its two home games.
Dallas is fourth in the Western Conference, but still just three points behind
the first-place Colorado Rapids.
Real Salt Lake is sixth in the Western Conference, but could have climbed into
first place last week with a win over Colorado. The Rapids won, 2-0.
RSL coach Jason Kreis obviously wanted his club to win but thought moving into
first place could have backfired on the club.
"To be completely honest, I don't think we deserve to be the best team in this
conference; we're not ready for that yet," he said. "That's my opinion after
looking at the game: we're not ready.
"Hopefully that opportunity will come again."
Real has plenty of injury concerns this week with Yura Movsisyan out, Javier
Morales doubtful, Ian Joy questionable and Fabian Espindola and Chris Wingert
In addition, Real Salt Lake has lost all four of its road games this year. FC
Dallas has just one win in four home matches (1-2-1), however, and that's part
of the reason Dallas will start a new era this weekend.
"Losing 5-1 to Los Angeles in front of our biggest crowd was a factor. If you
look on our home record over the last year and a half," Hitchcock said, "we
have had 30 matches and have won 10 of those."
05/23 13:43:14 ET