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FC Dallas downs New York in season opener

Mar 11, 2012 - 9:41 PM Frisco, TX (Sports Network) - FC Dallas proved Red Bull New York is more flash than substance in the teams' Major League Soccer opener.

Zach Loyd and Ricardo Villar scored and FC Dallas held off a late surge by New York for a 2-1 win Sunday at FC Dallas Stadium.

Loyd scored in the 11th minute and Villar scored in the 61st, but Kenny Cooper scored off the bench for New York in the 78th to make FC Dallas work hard over final minutes of normal time and 4 minutes of stoppage time for the win.

Until former Dallas player Cooper sparked the Red Bulls, Dallas dominated, and former league MVP David Ferreira was not even on the field.

New York star Thierry Henry assisted on Cooper's goal, but played the majority of the match in a withdrawn role in midfield as more of a set-up man.

Red Bulls coach Hans Backe may already be on the hot seat, but FC Dallas coach Schellas Hyndman once again proved his ability as a top manager.

In addition to Ferreira being absent, Hyndman did not start center back George John - who spent part of the offseason on loan with West Ham.

Dallas did not miss the duo, as Blas Perez marked his MLS debut with a pair of assists.

Off a scramble in the box just over 10 minutes into the match, Perez touched a second failed clearance by New York over to Loyd, who scored his second career goal.

Perez could have added a second goal for Dallas after the half-hour mark, but New York rookie goalie Ryan Meara denied his point-blank half-volley.

Henry nearly tied the match before halftime off a fast free kick, but although he caught Dallas goalie Kevin Hartman off guard, his shot hit the right post.

Meara made another fine save early in the second half on a breakaway chance in the 53rd by Villar, but was not as fortunate minutes later.

Perez played a nice pass to send Villar into the area on the right, and Villar scooped the ball over Meara from 12 yards.

Dallas had a chance to go up by three goals after 73 minutes, but Meara made another save on Perez to give his club a chance over the final 15 minutes.

New York showed more life once Cooper came off the bench, and he scored in the 78th after Henry's perfect chip-pass set him up on the right side of the area. Cooper lofted the ball over Hartman with his first touch to finish.

The Red Bulls were revived after the goal, and played much better in the final stages, but if the first 75 minutes are a sign of things to come, Backe could gone before the second month of the season rolls around.

Hyndman, meanwhile, can feel good about a strong performance to open the year.