As the MLS season makes its way down the home stretch towards the playoffs, each game becomes more and more important for FC Dallas. FCD find themselves on the outside looking in once again and seem to be struggling to find their form as of late. A switch has been set to Ã¢â‚¬Å“OnÃ¢â‚¬Â and FC Dallas seems to be firing at all cylinders, but they still have a ways to go. They have had four differnt line-ups in the past 4 matches, and it has been working out fairly well.
Frisco, TX was a grueling 100 degrees out; luckily for the players and fans, the game had an 8 pm start time. The San Jose Earthquakes didnÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t seem bothered by the heat, and they made it very apparent early on. It only took San Jose 8 minutes to find the back of the net. The early goal could have meant a long night for FC Dallas, and then, just 8 minutes later in the 16th minute, San Jose found the back of FCDÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s net for the second time. San Jose shut down FC Dallas early on, and found themselves in a very good position. Although, many fanatics would say that going up 2-0 that early in a game could be a bad thing.
Turns out that FC Dallas defensive midfielder, Michel, and right midfielder, Je-Vaughan Watson, had an answer to San JoseÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s strong play. Michel and Watson connected on a great pass over the top of the San Jose defense. As Watson received the ball from Michel he headed it back across the 6 yard box to open space. That open space shortly became occupied by Blas Perez, who had beat San Jose goalkeeper Jon Busch to the ball and put it in the back of the net. The score sat at 2-1 at the end of the first half but with 45 more minutes to play, more excitement was to come.
Both teams came out with the same lineups as they started with, and FCD continued to control possession. San Jose gutted out a few counter attacks that ended with FC Dallas in control at the end. As of late, FC Dallas Head Coach, Schellas Hyndman, has looked like a brilliant coach by the way he has been selecting the starting lineups and making substitutions. The first sub came at the 60th minute with Mauro Diaz coming in for Castillo and then Ramon Nunez coming in for Watson in the 71st minute. These two substitutions were very key to FCDÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s continued possession. FC Dallas has had trouble finding the form they had at the beginning of the season but have caught their second wind finally. A few Ã¢â‚¬Å“wake upÃ¢â‚¬Â calls were in order with several players and itÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s seemed to have worked.
Players like David Ferreira have answered the call and have been contributing greatly. Ramon Nunez was limited to playing and to some degree still is but has made a very good case for himself the past two games; Ramon was the key that unlocked the Chivas USA game. In the 71st minute Watson delivered a beautiful lob pass to Blas Perez that ended up becoming a Penalty Kick. Watson was injured on the play and came out of the game. Michel stood over the ball on the spot and buried it in the net.
FCD tied the game and kept possession for the remainder of the game, but the excitement didnÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t stop there. Yellow and Red were the colors for the night as both teams saw those colors. The biggest conflicts were the 3 straight red cards given to San JoeÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s Justin Morrow (81st minute), Victor Bernardez (86th minute), and FCDÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s Kenny Cooper (86th minute). Morrow received his for a tackle on Ramon Nunez as Nunez was on a breakaway and Morrow tackled him from behind. Bernardez and Coopers red cards were for fighting. Bernardez came in hard on Cooper and Cooper ended up on the ground. Bernardez then steps on Coopers groin area on purpose; Kenny didnÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t like that very much at all. You then see Cooper jump straight up, grab onto BernardezÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ jersey and leads him straight to the ground in a controlled manner. Kenny gave Bernardez a stern talking to and let him know that what he did was not appreciated. Referee Toledo consulted with his linesman and decided that straight red cards were due.
FC Dallas finally showed some fight in their play and hopefully that fight continues and leads them into the playoffs. With the win tonight it put FCD into the 5 playoff spot but the Western Conference in very tight and itÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s still up in the air who could be making a playoff run. Will we continue to see an aggressive FC Dallas that controls game? Or will they revert back to too much possession and not enough shots on goal? All I know is that you wonÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t want to miss the end of this season because itÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ll be a good ending!