Dallas, Colorado both have powerful offences

RYAN WOLSTAT, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 6:27 PM ET

TORONTO - Though an oft-cited sporting axiom is that “defence wins championships,” the two teams competing for the MLS Cup on Sunday at BMO Field help prove that offence can do the trick as well.

The Colorado Rapids — powered by the deadly tandem of Omar Cummings and Conor Casey — tied for second in the league in goals for with 44, while FC Dallas was next at 42. By comparison, Toronto FC scored 33 times — with 15 coming by way of Dwayne De Rosario.

While the Rapids have no trouble finding the back of the net, it is Dallas that gets the bulk of the praise, at least in terms of style points, due to its more free-flowing style.

Under the direction of Major League Soccer coach of the year Schellas Hyndman, the club follows the lead of league MVP David Ferreira in playing an eye-pleasing, attacking brand of soccer.

Hyndman, 61, who had spectacular success in his 24 years as head coach at Southern Methodist University, is pleased that he has been able to transfer over his teachings to Dallas.

“We try to play good soccer, we try to play attractive soccer,” Hyndman told the Toronto Sun.

“It brings pride just like if I was building a house and people came by and said: ‘That’s a pretty house.’ Of course the builder feels tremendous pride in it.”

Hyndman was particularly happy that his side played to near perfection in taking out the heavily favoured David Beckham-led L.A. Galaxy 3-0 in the Western final last time out.

“I’m having a wonderful time because I envision a certain way, and these guys produced it (against the Galaxy),” Hyndman said.

Even MLS commissioner Don Garber seems captivated by FC Dallas.

He expressed admiration for the team — in its first final despite being around for 15 years — and said in a conference call earlier in the week that the league is looking at finding a way to get more franchises to emulate it.

“I hope that Dallas will be rewarded for playing the great style that they play,” Garber said.

“We have looked and should continue to look at incentives for points that they generate and goals that they score that could incentivize teams to play both to win, and to score more goals.”

Garber said the league has consulting firms analyzing games, trying to figure out how to get teams to attack more and therefore attract more eyeballs, whether in the stands or on television.

“We are looking at it hard. We get it,” he said.

The diminutive Ferreira — five-foot-five, yet as durable as they come despite taking more knocks than anybody in the league — is equally as adept at spotting teammates as he is at scoring goals.

The Colombian has turned around the franchise since coming aboard as Hyndman’s first acquisition at the start of the 2009 campaign.

Ferreira epitomizes the type of player Hyndman, with extensive experience as a coach and scout in Brazil, likes to employ: stocky, quick-thinking and highly skilled.

Ferreira scored eight goals and 13 assists this season. “The Little Bull” played all but one minute and also has been credited with getting back to help his defence when plays break down.

Ferreira and his mates tied an MLS record by rolling off a 19-game unbeaten run.

While both clubs notched 12 wins in 30 matches, Dallas tied Real Salt Lake with a league-low four losses, to Colorado’s eight.

Despite his praise for Dallas, Garber would be quite fine with a Colorado win as well.

He’s just happy a team that has never won will take home the MLS Cup.

Colorado lost back in 1997, 2-1 to D.C. United, in its only title game appearance.

“It’s good when you’re running a pro sports league to have teams every year that can bring back some hardware,” Garber said.

“One of the things that’s always concerned me is there are only a handful of teams that have stars (symbolizing Cup wins) beside their logos.”

One more franchise will join the club late Sunday night.


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