Home MLS More MLS Will Ferreira get the protection he needs?

Will Ferreira get the protection he needs?

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Let the gamesmanship begin.

FC Dallas coach Schellas Hyndman said in MLS media call Wednesday that he is sure the officials will do a fine job at this weekend’s Western Conference final between his side and Supporters’ Shield holders, Los Angeles Galaxy.

Hyndman said that he is sure that players on both sides will be emotionally charged for the do-or-die contest.

“It’s up to the referee; player can’t take the game into their own hands,” said the coach of the year nominee.

“And if things go physical, it will tend to go both ways,” said Hyndman. “The officials will take care of that.”

Oh, the mind games. Hyndman is already letting the match officials now he has confidence that they’ll call the game down the middle, and not let the tackling get too nasty.

You see, FC Dallas, as Hyndman admitted himself, is carried by Colombian midfielder David Ferreira.

“Our team goes on the way David Ferreira goes,” Hyndman said of his MVP award finalist and the Player of the Year award winner from the North American Soccer Reporters. “He’s always involved at some point in the breakout or in the goal itself.”

Hyndman noted that Eric Avila’s game winner in the first game of FCD’s playoff series with 2009 champs Real Salt Lake came after Ferreira brought three markers to him, opening up plenty of space for his teammate. Ferreira delivered the ball for the goal.

But one thing David Ferreira doesn’t have is size. At five-foot-five, he’s not going to climb over anyone to win a ball in the air.

In its first-round win over the Seattle Sounders, Los Angeles Galaxy coach Bruce Arena shut down the midfield by placing Dema Kovalenko, a man who has seen more red than an extra in a Tobe Hooper movie. Obviously, the thought of Kovalenko getting a few late challenges in on Ferreira is not a pleasant thought for the FCD braintrust. So why not a simple, public vote of encouragement for the officials a few days before the big game?

The Galaxy beat the Hoops in the final game of the regular season, but as FCD’s coach pointed out, it’s a hard game to use as a measuring stick. The Galaxy needed the three points to take top spot in the league; meanwhile, FC Dallas had its spot clinched and needed to just get through the game. Starting keeper Kevin Hartman and FCD captain Daniel Hernandez didn’t play.

Landon Donovan, the poster boy for U.S. soccer, said he, David Beckham, Edson Buddle and the rest of the new FC Hollywood (with apologies to Bayern Munich) know that the target is on their backs because of the celebrity nature of their team.

“I think there’s no doubt that teams around the league get up to play against us.”

But you can bet there were some cringes by other members of the Galaxy when Donovan told the media that the Galaxy have been “unquestionably” the best team in MLS over the last two years.

The same Galaxy that lost last year’s MLS Cup final — albeit with a second-string goalie in penalty kicks and were humiliated in a CONCACAF Champions League qualifier by the giant-killing Puerto Rico Islanders, whose total budget might not be enough for one haircut from David Beckham’s stylist?

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