FRISCO, TX - MAY 14: Brek Shea #20 of FC Dallas dribbles the ball against Sheanon Williams #25 of the Philadelphia Union at Pizza Hut Park on May 14, 2011 in Frisco, Texas. (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)
On a beautiful night at Pizza Hut Park, FC Dallas pulled out an impressive result over the Philadelphia Union with a 2-0 result over one of the better sides from the Eastern Conference. First half goals from Fabian Castillo and Brek Shea were enough to earn the three points and to for a little a moment tonight put FC Dallas into a tie for the overall standings in Major League Soccer with the Los Angeles Galaxy with 17 points.
For the majority of the night, Dallas did everything right while the Union pressed on in hopes to break down the Dallas defense. I think it is fair to say that the defense for the boys in stripes are looking more and more like their 2010 self here while Kevin Hartman continues to do the little things in goal to keep gaining the clean sheets.
But what was more impressive tonight was Dallas' shape after the first 15 or 20 minutes of the game. After some high pressure from the Union, Dallas regrouped and found the possession they usually get out of the midfield with Andrew Jacobson and Daniel Hernandez stepping up. Those two were able to find more passes thew to Castillo and Marvin Chavez, along with finding Eric Alexander and Shea on the wings. Once that happened the game opened up and the chances on goal started happening.
(read on for more thoughts and videos)
Chavez-Castillo-Shea. Boy once these three get on the same page, look out. We saw a couple times tonight of exactly how dangerous these three can and will be together. Both goals were largely due to some combination of these three and the final score could have been higher had they been more on the same page with one another. Castillo and Chavez may not win a lot of 50-50 balls in the air but both are shifty enough to create their own space like Castillo did on his goal.
Jackson stepping up. Along with the perfect cross to Castillo, I really felt Jackson had one hell of a night in the defense for Dallas. He was in the right spot the majority of the night and pushed forward when needed. After some shaky play in games earlier in the season, he's found a nice home in the right-back spot.
Midfield space. At times with a 4-4-2 you can be exposed on the wings a lot if you aren't careful. Early on, Dallas wasn't careful enough and nearly paid for it. Justin Mapp, Danny Mwnaga, Sebastien Le Toux and Roger Torres all pressed high early on and almost cashed in a couple chances. Dallas has to be more careful about going to far forward early on but also more careful about not giving up easy counter attack chances for the other team. When Philly pressed high early on it was due to some counter attacks that should have been handled better.
Confidence is growing. One thing you could see with the club after the game was how confident they were and how happy too. You'd see it on the field when Andrew Jacobson would take a rip from 35 yards out without thinking twice about it. Or when Chavez would take on someone and make a nifty flick to Castillo to start an attack. Life without David Ferreira wasn't suppose to be easy but so far it hasn't been half bad, don't ya think?
Three of four isn't bad so far. We looked at the schedule before the start of May and pointed out how busy it was to you all. Four games in and Dallas hasn't lost once in May shows they are well on their way here. In fact they've won three of those four. Now comes more fun with Real Salt Lake coming into town next week followed by trips to Seattle and Houston.
Hyndman's post game thoughts:
Hyndman on Castillo:
Hartman post game:
DAL -- Brek Shea 3 (Fabian Castillo 2) 29
DAL -- Fabian Castillo 2 (Jackson Goncalves 2, Marvin Chavez 3) 43
PHI -- Danny Mwanga (caution; Reckless Tackle) 10
PHI -- Brian Carroll (caution; Reckless Tackle) 34
Philadelphia Union -- Faryd Mondragon, Sheanon Williams, Danny Califf, Carlos Valdes, Jordan Harvey, Roger Torres (Keon Daniel 73), Justin Mapp (Carlos Ruiz 46), Amobi Okugo, Brian Carroll (Jack McInerney 46), Sebastien Le Toux, Danny Mwanga.
Substitutes Not Used: Gabriel Farfan, Michael Farfan, Kyle Nakazawa, Zac MacMath.
FC Dallas -- Kevin Hartman, Jackson Goncalves, George John, Daniel Hernandez, Ugo Ihemelu, Zach Loyd, Marvin Chavez, Eric Alexander (Bruno Guarda 89), Andrew Jacobson (Bobby Warshaw 83), Brek Shea, Fabian Castillo (Ruben Luna 67).
Substitutes Not Used: Eric Avila, Moises Hernandez, Bryan Leyva, Chris Seitz.
Referee: Jasen Anno
Referee's Assistants: Chris Strickland; Frank Anderson
4th Official: Armando Villarreal
Time of Game: 1:51
Weather: Clear and 70 degrees