Improved “D” for FC Dallas Will Be Key in 2010

FC Dallas finished with the most goals scored in MLS in 2009 (50) but fell a point short of the playoffs, largely because of an inept defense that tied for the most goals against (47).

The team has taken steps to vastly improve that problem, starting at the end of last season.

They acquired central defender Ugo Ihemelu from the Colorado Rapids and then signed fullback and U.S. international Heath Pearce.

After Pearce was signed on Sept. 11, Dallas went 5-2-0, including wins against playoff-bound New England Revolution, MLS Cup runners-up Los Angeles Galaxy, and MLS Cup champions Real Salt Lake. They also gave up only nine goals, an average of 1.29 a game, with two shutouts.

This offseason the team continued to add to its defense by signing goalkeeper Kevin Hartman.

The Hartman signing is a little surprising. Dallas' goal has been manned by captain Dario Sala since 2006 (he did make one appearance in 2005). The team was looking...

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