March 27, 2010
by Charles Cuttone
Despite loss, Dykstra solid in MLS debut
HARRISON, NJ---Andrew Dykstra had never played in a Major League Soccer game before Saturday night. Despite a 1-0 loss to the New York Red Bulls, Dykstra played a solid game, according to Fire coach Carlos de los Cobos.
“He had a very good game,” said de los Cobos, who surprisingly made the decision to insert Dykstra as the team’s starting goalkeeper last weekend, which led to the team waiving Jon Busch.
“His first match as a professional,” said the Fire coach. “I am very satisfied. The only way he has the opportunity to gain experience is by playing. He has very good qualities.”
Dykstra made two saves in the game, one on a shot by Macoumba Kandji in the 38th minute, when he had to grab a low shot. Dykstra was challenged by the game’s only goal scorer, Joel Lindpere, again in the 70th minute. This time, he bobbled the Estonian’s shot , but then managed to control it.
Dykstra got some help from his defensive line, especially Wilman Conde, who had broken up a couple of dangerous offensive thrusts in the first half. Conde made a sliding block on a shot by Angel in the 57th minute, then less than a minute later, he stopped an attempt by Kandji, both of which appeared destined for the back of the net.
“We’ve still gotta get used to the whole communications part” said defender CJ Brown, “But at the end of the day, we know he can do the job and we have confidence in him.”
Dykstra, who was shocked with de los Cobos’ decision to give him the starting job, said he was ready to step into the role.
“Mentally I was prepared for it,” said Dykstra. “No jitters. As the game kind of progressed and opened up there’s that I still need to get used to with the guys, especially how they react to different plays. There were a couple of moments where maybe it could have been a little smoother in the first half. I learned from it. Second half I thought it was better.