for this game

FC Dallas' scoring woes present once again in scoreless tie

Oct 12, 2007 - 5:07 AM FRISCO, Texas (Ticker) -- After getting three second-half goals Saturday against Columbus, FC Dallas coach Steve Morrow probably thought his team's scoring woes had been solved. For four days, they were.

Even with playmaker Kenny Cooper back in the lineup after a four-month absence, FC Dallas' offense suffered once again as it played to a 0-0 draw with Chivas USA on Thursday at Pizza Hut Park.

The outcome kept Chivas (15-6-7) - unbeaten in its last 11 matches - in first place in the Western Conference and moved it within two points of D.C. United in the race for the Supporters' Shield - given annually to the team that finishes with the best regular-season record. FC Dallas (13-12-4) locked up third place in the West with one game remaining on its schedule.

The shutout was FC Dallas' second in its last three games. And outside of Saturday's 3-1 offensive explosion against the Columbus Crew, the team has scored just two goals over its last four contests.

Morrow remained stoic in assessing his team's performance against one of the better team's in MLS.

"I thought it was a good competitive game; both teams matched up well against each other," Morrow said. "I thought we dominated for the most part and had some decent chances. I think there are a lot of positives to come from the game as well. We started off a little slow but for the most part I thought we dominated the game and I thought we deserved the three points."

Chivas coach Preki was equally diplomatic about the play of both clubs, but just as emphatic that his side deserved the victory. He was particularly disturbed about having a goal by Francisco Mendoza nullified by an offsides ruling in the 76th minute.

"We worked really hard tonight but gave away too many opportunities to the home team," Preki said. "Overall, it was one of those nights where we worked hard for our shots but just couldn't put one in. We were not offsides on the one we did score, but that's part of the game."

Morrow's problems were compounded 10 minutes from the end, when defender Bobby Rhine was sent off with a straight red card by referee Brian Hall for using abusive language.

Rhine, the FC Dallas captain for the match, was seeking an explanation for both a late challenge on forward Abe Thompson and a yellow card issued to teammate Arturo Alvarez moments before and apparently got a little too boisterous in his dissent.

"I could have cost my team the match tonight, but I'm an experienced player and as captain, I have the opportunity to be a spokesman for the team," Rhine said. "I chose to do that. I probably chose the wrong words when I did, but I don't have any regrets."

Chivas goalkeeper Brad Guzan recorded his league-leading 12th shutout of the season, establishing a club record.

FC Dallas' Arturo Alvarez almost broke the tie in the first minute of stoppage time, but his shot attempt from 15 yards out caromed off the right goalpost and bounced away. Guzan reached out for the shot, barely missing it before being saved by the post.

Cooper, who had suffered a broken leg against the Los Angeles Galaxy in June, returned to form quickly in his first start. But Guzan was equal to the task on each of Cooper's shot attempts.

After the match, it was disclosed that Chivas forward Ante Razov, who came on as a second-half substitute, injured his left knee in the 70th minute and is expected to undergo an MRI exam on Friday to determine his status for the team's two remaining contests.